With the big snow in the forecast we decided to head up Friday night and avoid the I-70 shitshow that is Saturday morning. It didn’t work in our favor though, I-70 was closed as we got on in Golden so up 285 we went. The storm was raging over Hoosier Pass and we went and did some business in Breckenridge. Then we met up with Mike and Bryan and headed up Ute Pass to set up camp. Ah winter camping, it is different. Friday night was easy but after a bunch of laps in a snowstorm and then managing temps afterwards Saturday night was less fun. It’s really the waiting game of going to bed. Once you’re in your tent it’s nice and warm, anyway I’m rambling. The skiing was what I was hoping for as we were in a new zone. The east trees of Prairie were stacked with snow from the northwest flow and there was almost no wind. On our third lap we were skiing about 16 of new. It’s not steep terrain but there are sections to be careful around, the creeks have some steep banks.
The next day we hit up Victoria. We had planned to go for another line on Ute Peak but thought the viz wouldn’t be very good. The snow in J Chute was less deep but plenty stable. The spacing over there is just money.
Enjoy the pics
Had another article published with GarageGrownGear.com’s magazine.
The Sky Chutes in Colorado’s Summit County have long been a favorite for backcountry skiers. With Breckenridge’s recent expansion into terrain on Peak 6, and the new sidecountry access gate, getting to them just got a lot easier.
That said, remember that anyone can still climb up to this terrain from the bottom; and for those who do, keep in mind the likelihood of parties dropping in above you.
Click the link below to read the rest.
Thank you John Peterson for the photo.
Got some skiing in this past week. First day was up on Victoria, the next day we hit Dry Gulch. We took a day off for working and then headed up to Grand County. We had a late start and did Bottle Peak with a ski of Bottle Pass. Night time exits are the price to pay for being in the alpine at sunset. The beauty is well worth the price. The next day we went up the other side Bottle Peak into Deadhorse Gulch. The snow those four days was money but the winds were picking up.
Day five brought us to Berthoud Pass after waking up to a low cloud deck and high winds. We did the 3 valley tour from the summit. The last run into First Creek had the best snow but the wind had made things pretty heavy. We need a refresh.
Here’s a video and some choice shots from the day. Be sure to check it out in HD. Thank you Bloomie for putting us up and thanks to Allison, Gary, Zack, Yuki, Nate and Mike for coming along for the fun.
Had another article published for GarageGrownGear.com’s Magazine.
Here’s an excerpt. Click the link above for the full article
“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.”
Adding skis is just adding weight to mountaineering, though the descent is far more exciting than walking down.
Some things about winter backcountry travel are obvious, or at least should be obvious – like carrying a beacon, shovel and probe and knowing how to use them, and watching avy conditions closely – but often the subtleties are just as important. Here are a few backcountry skiing tips I’ve learned from years of making turns in remote mountains.”
Stoked to be doing some writing. Want to do more.
With the early January high pressure came a stabilizing of a lot of the alpine. We decided to take advantage of the refresh this week and get up high to play. It’s not very often that you can ski a 13er in the winter, from the summit. This line was really fun and with the welded pack and 5-8′ on top this was a great option. The choke is around 40 degrees. You wouldn’t catch me in here normally but with how the pack is now I was a-ok with it. The day was beautiful so we went for another run. The bowl from the saddle of Coon Hill and Golden Bear is pretty mellow with a measured 33 degree angle off the ridge. The wind rippled snow was the softest. Thanks for a great tour Gary and Allison.
After the tour we headed to Red Fox North America in Lyons for Mark Kelly’s slideshow on his book “Backcountry Skiing and Ski Mountaineering in Rocky Mountain National Park” It was good to meet some of Mark’s old friends. Well done on the presentation as well. Red Fox will be carrying our books.
Enjoy the pics and I’m looking forward to getting after next week.
After dropping off the kids at school we headed up to meet Gary Fondl and Justin Ibarra from Oz Snowboards along with Justin’s friend Nate, Allison rounded out the crew. The goal was a mellow tour with low 30 degree terrain. If it looked good up high we were going to see but the weather was cloudy so we stayed low. With all the high pressure of late the alpine has been doable. After grabbing the gully line we headed up to ski some steep tree chutes. We had trouble finding them on the traverse so we got in an extra lap. The steep trees were super fun and mostly stable. Digging illuminated that the more open areas might be an issue so we skied the tight lines where it was steep.
There’s other terrain on Bethel that I think I’ll be visiting in the near future.
Me and Allison have been doing some skiing lately. We’ve hit Trelease, Loveland Pass, LCM, Berthoud Pass and Ute Peak. I went four in a row and Allison went 7 days in a row. Yesterday we woke up late and decided that we shouldn’t waste the beautiful bluebird skies. We jumped in the car and headed up to the trailhead. We got a super alpine start of 1pm. We knew we’d need our headlamps. The route from the Ute Pass Road heads up the ridge east of Berry Gulch. Our original goal was to ski the Northwest Ridge but the sun went down and it got very cold fast, it was already cold but this was different. So we decided to make our way down Berry Gulch. The main chute was reasonable from an angle perspective but there were plenty of steep slide paths that we skied under. It was a lot like the SKY Chutes but not as steep at the top. Skiing this line in a foot of pow was all time. The light throughout the tour was amazing and the views of the Gore Range were inspiring. Time to go back for more.
Enjoy the pics. Happy Holidays everyone. Be sure to hit the HD button in the settings.
I’ve agreed to do some writing for GarageGrownGear.com’s Magazine. This is the first of what I hope to be many articles.
Our Iceland trip was pretty fun but the weather there can be a bit of a pain. There is so much terrain to ski on this small island just south of the Arctic Circle. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Here’s the link to the article – http://read.garagegrowngear.com/iceland-ski-touring-photos/
And here’s a few more photos from the Iceland trip
Yesterday was pretty damn fun. We headed up 285 and did some business with the stores in Park County. The headed over the pass to Summit and did some business in Breck. Allison picked up the skis she designed for RMU/REI/Protect Our Winters and then we headed to Frisco to go get in a lap. He headed up the Mt Royal Trail and then to the top of J-Chute. There was good snow along the way and we thought it might provide the goods. There was a lot of recycled powder in there the last time we skied this zone and with the new snow I was expecting a bit of sluffing. Expectations were met and we stayed away from the J-Chute start zone. Sluff management in the trees means not getting fanned into a tree. It’s still thin out there but in the tighter trees the skiing was really good and the pack was more solid below the new accumulation.
Then we headed to the Boatyard for some dinner and some presentation preparations. Gotta love pizza and Breck Bourbon after skiing. After that we headed over to Wilderness Sports in Dillon for my slide show. Thanks to everyone that came out for it. Also a big thanks to Upslope Brewing for providing refreshments. I love talking about skiing and sharing my thoughts on getting it done. The quote that I couldn’t remember was:
“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”
Something to think about when measuring whether you were lucky or good.
If you wanna check out a slideshow here’s the schedule – http://www.giterdunpublishing.com/slideshow-presentation-schedule/
Enjoy the photos