Ridge Route

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 3.8 miles round trip
6400 feet
+750, -750 feet
Navigation Road, marked trail and map
Time Half day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Pinecrest
Start Dodge Ridge Ski Resort parking loop. Follow Dodge Ridge Road to where the one-way loop of the ski area parking lot begins. A right turn at this point leads into the parking area at the Crabtree Trailhead.

Description   Link to more information about description

In excellent conditions this tour can offer a thrilling descent in shin-deep snow. In poor conditions the descent requires excellent technique to control your speed as you descend along the ridgetop.

Image looking down ridgeTop of the ridge

Because the fun of the descent is the reason for doing this tour, there is no reason to ski this tour in the reverse direction.

The tour begins with a slog up a road to within 0.1 mile of Aspen Meadow before descending a fairly narrow ridge and intersecting the route you skied earlier. High on the ridge the route passes through sparse trees, but lower down you will encounter more trees and the clear route through them will be narrow.

Plan this tour for periods of powder snow or corn snow. For corn conditions, be sure to wait for the morning thaw and don't be too late in the afternoon because it may freeze earlier than you think.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Note: The Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol has marked many backcountry ski trails in this area. Where applicable, the numbers and name of the trails are given in brackets. Visit their website to download a map showing all the marked trails or obtain a map at the Summit Ranger District office at #1 Pinecrest Lake Road near the junction with Highway 108.

Waypoint 1 to 3
Miles: 0.0 - 0.4
Elevation change: -50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski on the spur road that weaves southwest for 0.4 mile until you reach the intersection with Crabtree Road (3). You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 2, which is located 0.1 mile from Crabtree Road. The road that intersects the spur road you are on enters from the east (left), is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort, and is sometimes groomed. You will know you are at Crabtree Road because a stop sign and road direction sign will probably be visible.

Waypoint 3 to 5
Miles: 0.4 - 1.6
Elevation change: +550 feet

Turn southeast (left) onto Crabtree Road and ski in that direction for 0.9 mile and then north for 0.3 mile until you reach Hair Pin (5) an almost 180-degree turn in the road. You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 4, which is located 0.4 mile from the previous road junction. The junction at mileage point 4 is a Y with the north-most (left) fork heading downhill and is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort. It is sometimes groomed. This tour stays on the larger, south-most (right) fork. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 1.6 - 2.1
Elevation change: +150 feet

Continue climbing south on Crabtree Road for 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (6). The road makes a left turn just before you reach the junction. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 2.1 - 2.2
Elevation change: Nil

Leave the road skiing west, at first through trees and then in the open, for 0.1 mile until you reach the top of a ridge that descends northwest (7). This point offers an expansive view to the north and west. [#9 Ridge trail]

Image looking north from ridgetopLooking north from the top of the ridge

Image looking west from ridgetopLooking west from the top of the ridge

Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 2.2 - 3.3
Elevation change: -700 feet

Descend the ridge to the northwest for 1.1 miles until you intersect the Crabtree trail (8), which is part of the Crabtree Trail Loop tour. In the upper reaches of the ridge you should be able to avoid skiing through trees. As you get lower the non-treed route will narrow and eventually you will not be able to avoid skiing through trees. [#9 Ridge trail]

Waypoint 8 to 3
Miles: 3.3 - 3.4
Elevation change: Nil

Turn east (right) onto the Crabtree trail and ski east for 0.1 mile until you reach Crabtree Road and the road junction (3) you were at earlier in the tour. [#1 Crabtree trail]

Waypoint 3 to 1
Miles: 3.4 - 3.8
Elevation change: +50 feet

Wind your way to the northeast (straight) for 0.4 mile until you reach the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour