Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Skins

Lotta action at the local hill.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Huntington Beach

A quick business trip to Southern CA allowed me to spend a few hours at the beach while waiting for my flight home.  I got in my first run of 2015 in short sleeve weather.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chipping Away

I headed up to Glenwood Springs to this years version of The Heathen Challenge, and had a blast.  Last years race was tough for me, I pulled out the hose from my hydration bladder on the first climb and struggled to not finish last after dehydrating and having no more food.  My time this year improved by only 9 minute per the results, but in actuality we mistakenly put on a couple more miles off route, so in actuality I improved 30+ minutes, so for that I am very happy.  No more looking over my shoulder this year to avoid a DFL.  I did a recovery ski up in the La Platas for ski day # 23 this season, on some familiar terrain and the snow is holding up there.  We could certainly use some cooler temps and more snow though.  
I'll post photos and videos of the race once they are available.  Most of the stuff floating right now is on social media and it's a pain to transfer.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brighton & Early

Three skin ups at Brighton outside the boundary of the Great Western Chair on some fresh Wasatch powder.  

 A view of the packed powder inside of the boundary.
 Salt Lake City had an inversion from the quickly melting snow down in the valley.  Where it was dark and gloomy down below, up above was all blue skies.
 Solitude in the distance.
We have no immediate plans to move back to an urban area, but if we ever did SLC would be one of the few places we would ever choose.

Monday, January 12, 2015

La Plata Exploring

One day in T-ride for so more laps and then the other closer to home in the La Platas.  I was on the race skis so I stayed mostly on steep jeep roads.  I go to day 20 for the season in skiing which is good considering the late start we had and the warm weather this last week.  

 When I got home the little one wanted to go looking for polar bears.  She apparently saw a bunch of them hiding in the shadows!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Hesperus International Ski Resort

50F temps during the day this week, but the local ski place is holding the snow.  

Good news is that temps are going down and we have some more snow on the way.  I'll probably have to head to Telluride or Wolf Creek this weekend as the local big hill - Durango Mountain Resort does not allow uphill skiing.  The only one in all of southwest Colorado to NOT allow it.  

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Local Hill

Ski Hesperus uphill skiing is back in the rotation.  It's so nice to have something so close and easy to get to.  That little black dot to the right of the red roofed building is my Jeep.  Got in 4 runs, ~700 ft. vertical each of pretty much straight uphill.  

Monday, January 05, 2015

Family Ski Day

 We headed up to Telluride for a family ski day.  The little one got her first day at ski school and her mom skinned up the resort in the morning.  I did a later skin up from Carhenge and found a nice 2750 ft. of vertical going that route.  The normal route is ~1700 ft. with an option for about 300 more.

What a great resort.  I'm impressed.  

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Parrot Peak P-Funk

I've been fighting the flu and then a head cold so the adventures have been stunted in the last week.  I got caught up on work, which strangely enough my ability to get sick and allowed me to spend time catching up on reports.  I was able thought to head up Parrot Peak in the La Platas and follow a near tracked out path.  
 Quick access, insanely steep and a relatively safe ski for someone alone.  
 My skinny Maestros had a lot of room in this track.  When I got home the ZAGs were sitting on the doorstep courtesy of USPS.  Hoping to get some use quickly, but the throat is a bit raw today so maybe I'll do some more work.  Weird how that happens.   
This link is mostly for me, but I also thought I'd share.  This is Parliament-Funadelic in their heydey complete with a James Wesley Jackson standup for the intro.  I vaguely remember his standup bit - can't remember where, but it certainly fit the time period.  The Capitol theater has released a bunch of classic concerts for free on youtube and this one is just perfect if you need 3 hours of background music.

ZAG Millet UBAC Ski from

This is the ski I won from  (yes, that's co not com).  Skimo is an online retailer for ski mountaineering products.  It is a mom-and-pop internet retailer, so supporting them supports someone local, although they may not be local to you.  ZAG is a French back country ski manufacturer and this is one of their coveted skis.  This one is branded with Millet the French ski clothing company and this is a special edition between the two brands.  I bought a Millet jacket from skimo and got 'entered' in this drawing just for making a Millet purchase.  Millet showed up to the Irwin Ski Race and I got to see their full line of clothes and as one might expect it's like most European sports companies and ahead of the American market.  The American market is too focused on selling stuff to urban folks of a wider cut in big box outlets.  But I digress...

I had a Dynafit Superlight C-One binding mounted which seems perfect for this ski and went with a Coltex skin which are now available in the USA.  I have a Coltex race skin for the Hagans and with tacky it is the best skin I have owned.  
 Here is the ZAG next to my Maestro which is a bit wider than my Hagan Race, so perhaps I should have placed that next to the ZAG to show how much bigger this is.  Anyway, I do most of my back country skiing on the Maestro so this will be a big upgrade.  In the past I would use the Maestro with my TLT6 boots, but I'll probably set the Magico binding for my PDG boot now for superlightweight and wide fun. 

Not the ZAGs are actually backward in this layout - the ski tips should spell ZAG.  
 Of course I may never get to use this ski.  Someone has her eyes on it already.  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014


This concludes year 9 of the blog and next year of course will be No 10.  I've had a goal to include at least 100 posts every year and this one eked by.  Skied a ton the last three days, with 3 laps at Telluride (16.5 miles, 5300 ft of climbing, 3.5 hours if that interests anyone), some Molas adventuring and of course the old "go to" at Ohio Peak outside of Silverton.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Powder Day!

Day 12 of skiing this season.  Molas Pass outside of Silverton, CO.  

I also got a nice surprise last night to close out Christmas.  I won a set of ZAG UBAC skis from  How about that?  Check out if you are interested in the sport of ski mountaineering or just want lightweight goods for back country skiing.  I can't wait to get my hands on these!

If you want a set of the ZAG skis, you will have to go to France or order direct.  Check out the ZAG website here.  My set will be branded with Millet, and I just love the Millet jacket I bought that got me entered to win these skis.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Back to Ohio

One of my "go to" back country ski places is near Ohio Peak to the west of Silverton.  The route usually has some tracks, but not much activity as people head elsewhere.  The start is just off US 550 and you start the climb up Road 825 then it morphs into a nice climb in the trees.  2200 or so feet of vertical, but much higher if you climb the peak - including Red Mountain which is near by.  With very, very high avalanche activity right now this is a great route as it is in the trees and mostly low angle with no exposure from slides above.  The San Juans are steep and full of hazard so caution is needed this time of year for sure.

Just looking around one the climb I saw 5 total snow slides.  Definitely something to watch out for.  That is why I like this place though, it is a safe route and not loaded with reckless chuckheads who may cause a slide.   I've skied that area shown above.  Scary.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Telluride Uphill

I visited Telluride over the weekend - day trips from Durango - and took advantage of their new uphill policy.  Basically they give you uphill access at Chair 10, ~1500 ft of vertical on mostly beginner terrain.  There are some steep options in the trees and one double black descent called Runaway Train as well.  I suspect there is more as the local had skin tracks all over the place.  But the price of a breath of fresh air, who can complain about free skiing?

A local told me this was the bridge to Oprah's mansion.  Tons of steel in this thing and it made me think that she can recycle all the steel cans she wants to (not likely she eats food out of steel cans...) but she will never make up for the carbon footprint left from this bridge alone.  It's so weird to see the display of great wealth spent on such a trivial item and it made me wonder if she has one of the LEED certified homes, which would be somewhat comical.  We are a people of excessive consumption.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Snowmass for Breakfast

I hit up Snowmass before I left Aspen and started at the Two-Creek Chairlift (which was closed at the time).  Great +3k climb to the top with a powder descent.  Great way to start the day for sure.  

Aspen and Buttermilk

Work brought me near the Roaring Fork Valley so I took a mid afternoon skin up Buttermilk and then headed over to Ajax for a night time skimo race.  I started well in the race, but near the top of my 2nd lap I lost a skin and bailed.  It was an hour long race and I got over-confident and did not pack a spare skin (or pack for that matter).  Lesson learned, but it was really fun and hopefully I can continue to make the Aspen Town Series Skimo Races.  

Wolf Creek Uphill

I was in Pagosa Springs last Sunday and wanted to skin up to the top of Wolf Creek.  I checked with the ski patrol there about it and they said uphill access was allowed all over the ski area, just make sure to stay to the sides of the runs and do it during operating hours.  Cool!  I got in 3 runs and then had to get moving on.  This place has the most snow in CO for all of the ski resorts here and it is easy for me to get to.