Monday, November 29, 2010

Colorado Early Season Skiing

After last season I came into this season expecting the worst from early season.  However, its been awesome! I was lucky enough to get out into Dry Gulch a several times in late October and early November. Dry Gulch is an area I have spent significant time in only in the spring, so its been fun to get out and ski some smaller lines.

10.30.2010 - Dry Gulch
 This being our first tour into Dry Gulch this year we didn't really know what to expect. We rounded the corner into Dry Gulch just as they sun rose, it was a beautiful moment, surrounded in sparkling snow as the high peaks became illuminated. We ended up skiing two lines. One off the saddle between the Citadel and Bethel into Herman Gulch and a second off the East face of the Citadel. The snow varied from styrofoam to  to wind slab pow to some down right awesome corn on the lower South facing slopes.

Erik with Loveland ski area in the background

Moonset over the Citadel

A mountain goat surveys the strange visitors to his world.



11.5.2010 - Dry Gulch
Going back we planned to ski the North facing trees of Trelease, an area I had never been into before. As soon as we started skinning up it became clear that the snow was going to be good. As soon as we started skiing we quickly realized how much better than man made groomer it was. We were skiing pow!




Brennan was here!

11.12.2010 - Dry Gulch
After the previous weeks gloriousness off of Trelease I couldn't wait to get back up there. It had supposedly snowed about a foot since our last mission, but gearing up in the parking lot it was extremely difficult to believe. Even on the skin up I wasn't that optimistic. However, as soon we took our skins off and rolled over onto the first pitch I realized it was even better than last time!

Brennan off the north side of the summit of Treleasse


Skier: Me       Photo: Brennan Metzler

11.19.2010 - Mine Dumps
The Mine Dumps are a small zone on Loveland Pass accessed from the top of chair one at Loveland ski area. They are awesome because they can be lapped starting from the base of chair one and back in an hour. The lap entails the following chair one, 20 minute hike over to Loveland Pass, ski, traverse to Loveland Valley, catch shuttle back to Loveland Basin. Awesome!! The mine dumps are almost exclusively east facing, which make this a great time of year to hit them while the snow is low in the sky. Ethan and I did a couple laps, one going farther south then we had ever been, which I am going to go ahead and say was a waste of time, but how would you know without looking right?

Skier: Me       Photo: Ethan Vimont

11.24.2010 - Steamboat
Today was opening day for Steamboat and it couldn't have been better: 6" in 24, 14" in 48, the best early season snowfall in 15 years, 960 acres open, and $30 lift tickets. Absolutely killer! The only thing less than killer was the weather. The drive over was some of the worst visibility I have ever driven in. Fortunately most other people seemed wise enough not to make the drive.

11.26.2010 - Mine Dumps
After good snow conditions in the Mine Dumps the previous Friday I was excited to get back out there. We skied the main east facing slope which was great. Didn't hit anything all the way down even in the trees at the bottom, which gets me stoked to go hit some of the tree shots slightly north of what we skied.

Skier: Rachel       Photo: Jordan Scheremeta

Skier: Me       Photo: Jordan Scheremeta

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