Commando Run

Shuttle • 18 mi • 0 ft

The Commando Run from Vail Pass back to Vail Resort is regarded as one of the most challenging and best ski tours in Colorado. The Commando Run is named for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division soldiers who used to train along this demanding route for high-altitude skiing combat and the commando raids during World War II. Popular today for its outstanding views and quality of snow, it’s often tracked and can be accomplished in one full, hardy day of skiing. As with all winter activities at the top of Vail Pass, skiing the Commando Run requires paying a day-use fee. The Commando Run gets its advanced rating for several reasons. The tour is long and the terrain is difficult. Map-reading and compass skills are a must. Even though many parts of the route are well defined, skiers will encounter sections along ridgelines that are not marked, where it’s easy to go off in the wrong direction. If you are an experienced backcountry skier, however, the tour is an enjoyable test of stamina and technique. Surface quality: Ungroomed backcountry and usually well tracked by skiers. Avalanche danger: Moderate.
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Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing
Nearby City: Vail
Length: 18 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Advanced
Duration: Full day
Trailhead Elevation: 10,580 feet
Top Elevation: 10,580 feet
Other Uses: Snowmobiles for first 4 miles; downhill skiers last 2 miles
Local Contacts: White River National Forest
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