Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Folly Beach, South Carolina

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Loveland Pass

For Valentine's Day, it seems appropriate to post about Loveland Pass. For those unfamiliar with high-altitude terrain, roads usually cross mountain ranges at the lowest possible points, which are known as passes. This is true in Colorado, where there are few east-west roads leading across the mountains, and all the passes are fairly high in elevation. Coming back from Keystone we drove across Loveland pass, elevation 11,990 feet (3,655 meters) above sea level. That means that there are mountains rising on both sides of the road at this elevation, the highest point on the road but the lowest between the mountains.
The warning about avalanche blasting is real - this road is regularly closed by avalanches, and skiers and snowboarders die here on the open terrain, most recently just a few weeks ago. The amount of snow by the side of the road illustrates the extreme weather here in the winter. In places the snow was 20 feet (6 meters) high, particularly where avalanches had crossed the road and been cleared.
Nevertheless, the road is open year-round, except when blasting is being done to cause avalanches, or when an unexpected avalanche goes across the road it will be closed until it can be cleared (usually a few hours). The snow and scenery make for a gorgeous drive.
Well down the pass on the west side sits the Arapahoe Basin Ski and Snowboard Area. More photos of that in a future post.
Obviously these mountain passes are important in an area like Colorado, so the state tries to keep them open except in the worst weather. For parts of other peoples' worlds visit the My World Tuesday meme. And have a great Valentine's Day!

If you found this interesting, I've posted in the past about Hoosier Pass which goes over the mountains, and the main east-west road through Colorado, Interstate 70, which goes under them at one point to avoid the worst terrain.

18 comments:

  1. These are awesome, Al! Such a gorgeous place and such beautiful blue skies!! Even snow and cold are beautiful with an umbrella of blue overhead! Have a lovely evening and a great week!

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful scenic shots, Al! I have not seen snow piled that high since I was in Switzerland.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am reminded of the 20 foot walls of snow I've seen at Tahoe. Beautiful, but cold.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 20 feet hight, well that is quite some walls ;-) I like your photos with the clear blue sky and the montains!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic series! I think I would not feel very confortable after looking at the red sign... :-) Actually I had an unforgettable experience with mud slides at the Himalayan slopes in Nepal. Truly scary!

    ReplyDelete
  6. that's serious snow! I'm surprised it's passable all year long, I guess they're all over those plows! I don't like avalanches (they freak me out with good reason) but i do miss some good mountains!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Makes our mountain passes look rather feeble affairs!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Terrific shots of the scenic place.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Colorado is so beautiful! But I can remeber hauling a trailer over a pass there. SLOW going! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. scenic road. if able, i'll try to see this in the summertime.

    have a wonderful valentine's day.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Al, Does this mean you came skiing? I once (in my younger and wilder years) skied down off the top of Loveland at Full Moon. It was quite an experience - my son led me down and I could see sparks flying off his skis when he hit small rocks in the dark.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Again Al, Have you tried Salomon Boots? I think they make them in three widths. My husband got them last year and loves his. (Sorry to post this here, but I couldn't find your E-mail.)

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful place!!! And such a contrast to our sunny West Africa over here... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It finally snowed here for half a day! Your photos of snow against the blue blue sky is lovely! What a view!

    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  15. well done, the snow its amazing :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello, dear Al! WOW! What gorgeous snow and mountain pictures. Breath-taking--truly breathtaking!

    I have featured your blog and photography in this week's FAT Tuesday Artist Spotlight!

    Have a wonderful wonderful rest of the well, my talented, inspiring Friend!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovers better not be engrossed in this Loveland, otherwise they may not hear an avalanche.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment - I love reading them and look forward to viewing your blog. If you only allow Google+ comments I won't be able to leave a comment in return.

Related Posts with Thumbnails