Another storm came and has graced us with a few more feet of snow within just a few days. 3 days. 3 different zones. 10 thousand vertical feet of pow! Enjoy the pics - they are mostly by Frank!
With last weeks storm dropping almost 4 feet in areas across the state we were left this week with some nice soft turns across the board. We are now starting to create a good base as long as some more snow starts coming in soon. Which is supposed to happen tonight through Monday! With all this new snow and strong winds the avalanche danger is still pretty high and lurking mostly on Northerly aspects. There were reports of a few slides this week with a couple of the incidents being friends of mine. Be careful out there folks. Now is not the time to risk it just for the shot. Always be on your toes, listen to the mountain. I constantly have to remind myself of that as well. The ole human factor. Something that can and will always be a major factor in decision making. Anyways, this week we stuck to low angle slopes and stayed off anything of Northern aspect. Some great turns were to definitely had!
They are forecasting for over a foot of new snow to fall by Monday. With it comes a lot more wind, cold temps, and a rise in avalanche danger. Back to Gnartica we go! Time to head below treeline and enjoy some more of that powda!!
It's hard to express how great it feels to be back into the winter season. Actions speak louder than words as my fellow ski partners and I have been trying to get out and enjoy it as much as we can and what a great week it has been. We had 3 waves of snow make their way across the state dropping over two feet in some places. A lot of wind came with it and the past couple of days the visibility has kept our tours short. Before this week we literally had no base besides some Northerly aspects so we have still been having to keep most of the skiing above treeline. By next week that will hopefully change as we are now starting to get a nice base in lower elevations.
The forecast for yesterday showed a break in the system for the first half of the day and so Gary Fondl and I decided to head to a local zone in the Gore in search of some fresh snow. Its always nice when you can drive 5 minutes from your house to the TH. Skinning from the truck we found ourselves grinning as we make our way through all the fresh new snow. Winter sure came fast.
We were just ahead of the third wave of snow and found ourselves in a perfect donut hole. The winds though kept ripping throughout the day with gusts up to 40mph.
A little over 4 hours from the TH we find ourselves on our summit and atop of our line. We didn't hang out up there long due to the howling winds and the next front nipping at our heels. A quick summit register sign-in and transition and we enjoyed over 1500ft of excellent turns.
As we made our way back down valley the everything got socked in and the flakes started falling. Great timing. We were able to ski/skin all the way back to the truck. It felt pretty damn good to put a decent day in again. 3000ft a day keeps the doctor away!
With a strong aroma of wood-burning stoves and an Artic chill in the air, it seems as if winter is finally here! After a relatively dry start to the season we are now starting to see a series of low pressure storms and precipitation make their way through and across the state. Along with it came a cold Artic air. With clear skies in the forecast today we chose a zone, grabbed out gear and headed out for some fresh fun. Cheers and thanks Greg for some awesome pics today!
Mostly clear throughout the day but winds howled with gusts of +60mph. The architect at work.
Then we made it to our zone. Especially with all the wind-loading we made sure to assess the new snow and stay somewhat cautious. We dug a small pit and did a few hand sheers in the lower slope and didn't find anything too reactive. We then did a first lap in the gully on the left of the below picture. Feeling good in the gully I decided to ski the main face in the pic. A bit steeper but we both talked it over and decided on me giving her a go. Second turn in and I initiated a small slide R1D1 on this NE face. Shortly after, Greg dropped the gully again and we assessed from there. We both decided to hike up and take a closer look at the slide. The slide was a soft 30cm windslab of new snow that slid on a pencil hard 5cm thick old Fall crust. The slope angle was about 36-38 degrees. While we somewhat expected that this might happen, we both felt the risks weren't that high if it did. It was a good indicator of how the wind has helped the new snow bond poorly to the old North facing Fall crusts.
After that we decided to keep it low angle the rest of the day. We ended up heading up higher to the summit bench and skied a couple more low angle lines before finishing off with one last ski down the first gully. A super windy day but it feels good to be in the doorway of winter!!
Next bout of snow is due to make its was through here tomorrow!!
After a day of running errands and being lazy it was time to get back out. I got a message from Scott Bellow a few days ago looking to get out and so we decided on a zone to ski and headed out. A beautiful day out for a couple of laps in the high country! We found some good turns but you could definitely see how the architect of the snow has been doing some work around the area. We didn't see any recent activity around the area but there is a crust formed and forming with the ever-so present faceting going on below. Oh Colorado. Thanks for the pics Scott!
This marks the beginning of my 14th month of consecutive skiing. After missing on two opportunities to make it 13 months of couloir skiing last month, I knew I had to get one in for November and she delivered very nicely!