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Old 08-17-2014, 01:47 AM
 
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Colorado doesn't have conical shaped dormant Volcanoes like the beauty of California's Mt. Shasta, nor Mt. Lassen.
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:23 AM
 
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TThe Sierras are wonderful but as one who lives and plays in California and has also lived in Utah and Colorado, I can tell you the Sierras lack the scope of the Rockies. The Sierras are roughly one tenth the acreage of the Rockies. The Rockies contain nearly (700)13,000 ft peaks versus (147) in the Sierras. The Rockies have (53)14,000 ft peaks versus 11 in the Sierras. Despite the enormous runoff the Sierras can produce the California population still relies on water from the massive Colorado river basin. The reality is most of these people have never experienced a fraction of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem due to how vast and remote a majority of it is. The reputation of the Sierras truly hinges on the fact that millions of people lay neighbor to them. Most of the arguments are based on a truly California's the best or else attitude, an ego massaging policy that forgets the other 49 states. P.S. I grew up alpine racing and have skied all over the west, Rocky Mountain dumps are superior in every way possible, nothing like hanging out in the white room at Alta after a big storm!
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:17 AM
 
Location: LBC
4,155 posts, read 4,440,154 times
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Originally Posted by Elementalwonder View Post
TThe Sierras are wonderful but as one who lives and plays in California and has also lived in Utah and Colorado, I can tell you the Sierras lack the scope of the Rockies. The Sierras are roughly one tenth the acreage of the Rockies. The Rockies contain nearly (700)13,000 ft peaks versus (147) in the Sierras. The Rockies have (53)14,000 ft peaks versus 11 in the Sierras. Despite the enormous runoff the Sierras can produce the California population still relies on water from the massive Colorado river basin. The reality is most of these people have never experienced a fraction of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem due to how vast and remote a majority of it is. The reputation of the Sierras truly hinges on the fact that millions of people lay neighbor to them. Most of the arguments are based on a truly California's the best or else attitude, an ego massaging policy that forgets the other 49 states. P.S. I grew up alpine racing and have skied all over the west, Rocky Mountain dumps are superior in every way possible, nothing like hanging out in the white room at Alta after a big storm!
This is my favorite kind of post. By your own numbers, the geographic concentration of both of your selected categories favors the Sierras 2:1. Well done.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:48 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,328 posts, read 18,066,353 times
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Originally Posted by Mezter View Post
Denver actually had the chance in The 70's to host the olympics, but the residents voted the idea down. Colorado is obviously worthy of hosting the winter olympics though.

Also, Colorado Springs has the Olympic training center.
I really wonder if the IOC will ever forgive Denver for that. I think Salt Lake City has a better chance at hosting a round 2.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:44 AM
 
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I also have to rather easily pick the Sierras over the Colorado Rockies. And I have spent extensive time in both.

With a few exceptions for Colorado (limited parts of the San Juans, the Sangre de Cristo, the Gore Range, Maroon Bells - and by limited I mean limited), I've found most of the Colorado Rockies to be relatively unimpressive in comparison.

While some posters have claimed an impressively long list of '14ers' for Colorado, without any exaggeration the vast majority of them look like the indistinct mounds of California's White Range across the Owens Valley, which also touts aesthetically forgettable 13-14ers. The jagged, rocky granite that typifies the high Sierras are an exception in the Colorado stretch of the Rockies; Ironically, the High Sierra are much more deserving of the term "Rocky" than any single mountain range in Colorado. Even with the dramatic reputation of the San Juans, much of the range is typified by "hilly" peaks surrounding some jagged albeit limited portion of the range. Don't get me wrong, any mountain wilderness is worth celebrating, but all that elevation-chest-thumping for what? Seriously, what's up with the Sawatch, Park, Front, and Mosquito ranges? All that height for nothing. IMHO Sierra Nevada vs Colorado Rockies is clearly a question of quality vs quantity.

Then there's the flora. Big stretches of the high Sierra are much more beautiful up close. Hike through Ansel Adams in June, and I challenge you to find a similarly delicate and lush alpine environment in the Colorado Rockies. It's true, the Sierras are much more lush overall. No single place in Colorado does there approach a concentration of waterfalls of the scale that exists in Yosemite Valley. The alpine flora of Colorado does not compare.

One part of the American Rockies that DOES compare well to the Sierras are the Wind River and Teton Ranges. I could die and go to backpacking heaven in either the Sierras or the Wyoming portion of the Rockies. Don't force me to choose!
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:17 PM
 
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Colorado Rockies
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:13 AM
 
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I've lived in both, and the Sierras win. They're, in general, more prominent despite not being as tall (think, you're starting from sea level approaching from the West, rather than 5000 feet like the rockies). The longer growing season means bigger, more majestic trees - when I moved to the rockies I was disappointed in how puny most of the trees were. The rockies have some amazing areas, and benefit from their huge geographic area, but the Sierras are more consistently beautiful.

Just noticed as well this is asking about COLORADO rockies vs CA sierras. Definitely Sierras, then.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
I really wonder if the IOC will ever forgive Denver for that.
Sure hope they don't. They were stupid expensive in the early 70s. They are even more so now with even less ROI.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:18 PM
 
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Simple look at statistics. The Sierra have more ultra prominent peaks in a much smaller and more concentrated area (smaller land mass), meaning a steeper average grade (often vertical). The coastal ranges receive as much as 15 percent water content snow, and more of it, resulting in much deeper snowpack (look at snotel sites, not resorts, if you want unbiased info. Also, che ck snowpack. The sierras have difinitively considerably deeper snowpack at high elevations). This equates to bigger lakes and more waterfalls and greenery as well as an amazing impact ion weather (Sierra wave, atmospheric rivers, impressive lake effects, and the strongest rainshadow effect in the us). Storms come in cold with multiple feet of 5 to 7 percent a handful of times per year, creating that many incredible powder days (precip is huge, powder is temp dependent). Otherwise its usually hot and sunny with corn (stable snowpack). In dry years, snow thins out and conditions turn bad, and refreezing can be a problem.
The rockies are much more expansive, receive less snowfall overall at a much lesser water content of 5 to 7 percent. There are a handful of days of big precip with the same ratio, resulting in the same (or lighter with less precip) number of epic powder days. Powder days are dependent on precip. Otherwise it is cold and sunny with backcountry snowpack instability and generally soft skiable snow, but with some dust on crust days thrown in. Melting is much less of an issue and skiing is much more consistent, but it takes longer to build a base naturally. The rockies are more expansive and have a larger average landmass per peak, meaning bigger in volumes and less steep (on average). There are less ultra prominent peaks in Colorado (3)Then in the NV CA area (17). If you include UT (7) and all of the Rockies, there are many more, but by far the most prominent us peaks are concentrated on the perimeter of the great basin (sierras, nv basin and range, Utah rockies). Colorado, geographically, consists of less prominent peaks on a much higher plateau to a higher overall elevation. This is why access in Colorado is so much better and why CO is, overall, more green (the plateau gets immensely more snow than CA foothills and Owens Valley). Tahoe access is amazing, but most of the sierras are relatively impassible in winter. See: donner party.

Based on statistics: Sierras: higher concentration, more snow, less vast, higher density of ultras, lower density of 14ers. More corn and ice.

Rockies: more vast, much less dense concentration of ultras (Utah being a relative exception), higher plateau, many more 14ers. Less overall snowfall (total, snowpack, and water content), lighter snow, more access. More consistent and unstable.

Re: Colorado river. 1. Basically nobody in the sierras or foothills uses the CO river. LA is not in the sierras, nor is it close. In fact, if you really want to learnb about some water stealing, see what LA did to the Owens River and the mini civil war that ensued. Sierra region Californians fought LA harder than Coloradans did over water stealing. 2. The Green r. Contributes 40 percent of the water in the Colorado. Eastern NV and AZ make significant contributions too.

My opinion after living from Tobacco Root to Peavine and growing up in UT. CO has the most consistent snow, UT has the most powder days, and the Sierra have the most snorkel days, albeit inconsistently. Sierra has by far the most t shirt days if that's what you're into. The most beautiful place I have been is Kings Canyon/sequoia followed very closely by Glacier NP. Now that I wrote this novel I should point out that Alaskans and people from S. America, E. Europe, and Nepal probably find this whole topic hilarious.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:07 PM
 
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The Colorado Rockies are more like big soft hills.
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