The road up to Farellones is unbelievably gnarly. Getting an exact count of the number of switchbacks is impossible, but most people say about 65, then another 25 or 30 up to Valle Nevado. The road is so narrow that it is one-way in during the mornings and one-way out during the afternoons. This is the last – and relatively benign – section leading to Valle Nevado. Most of the switchbacks do not have guard rails.
The rescue chopper is more for road accidents (survivors of vehicles falling off the switchbacks) than for ski accidents.
This is the backside of El Colorado, taken from Valle Nevado. You can easily ski from one to the other, but your lift ticket doesn’t have reciprosity, so unless you’ve got skins and are up for a good hike, obey the (very tiny) sign which tells you which resort is where and stay at the resort to which you are ticketed.
Valle Nevado, El Colorado, and La Parva are all above Farallones. Obviously, all are above the tree line as well.
A little alpenglow at the end of a hard day of skiing.