What's not to love - you'll be skiing in the off season!
This article is published on The Outbound.
We did this hike/ski in late June, our skis, boots, and avi gear packed with our hiking shoes on our feet. May could potentially be the most opportune time for this adventure.
The hike you will take is the traditional Notch Mountain Hike. The hike starts at the Fall Creek trailhead off Tigiwon Rd, near Minturn Colorado. I'd advise having a 4x4 vehical to get to the trailhead, but you should be alright with a low clearance vehical as well - taking it slow.
The first two miles of the hike lead you through the high alpine, occasionally popping out on a cliff side to take in the views. At the two mile marker you will see a a split in the trail. Straight on will take you toward Tuhare Lakes / Lake Constantine. The trail to your right will take you up Notch Mountain. Also - to note - this is a good break spot.
After you take your right turn, the climb begins, for another mile you'll find yourself in and out of the alpine. Once you find yourself fully out of the alpine and into tundra the switchbacks will becomes more apparent (here you'll be about two miles from the top). Just before reaching the top you'll want to keep an eye on the cliffs and chutes to your right of the switchbacks. These chutes are where you'll be able to drop in to ski out. Reference the last photo in the series for lines. Here you can ditch your ski gear, after you pick your line, and hike the last .5 mile to the top to catch the veiws.
Upon making it to the top of Notch Mountain you'll be greeted by the most glamours views of Holy Cross, you'll also be able to check out the stone hut that lives at the top of the Notch Mountain.
Once you complete your summit, eat your lunch and enjoy the views, head back to your gear and ski out! Once you reach the bottom of your line, you'll follow the river/ creek / drainage till it intersects back with the trail taking you out and back to the packing lot.
As to be advised, be sure to carry all your avalanche gear, helmet, etc... and take caution when attempting something of this nature. Not for the inexperienced.