Sunday, November 1, 2009

To Ski ? or to Climb ?

About two feet of snow fell in Boulder on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, much more in the mountains. But ofcourse its Colorado and on Friday it warmed up into the 50's and boulder melted out just as fast as it froze everyone in.

Snow Bike

Saturday :

Chris taking flight to avoid the Butters obstacle...

Hoping to get some weekend ski track leftovers Chris and I strolled up to Caribou to scope out conditions.
Not much up there yet but we made the most of it....Fast hard wind slab turns..I'll take it.

Cruising back down Boulder Canyon it felt like summer and when I saw people climbing I had to remind myself that climbing season wasn't over, I had to get out and climb the next day. The remainder of the drive I continued to swerve my way down the canyon, pointing out to Chris in the process, all the cool stuff we could climb. I guess I'm a good salesman, Chris texted me later that evening that he was down to go.
So this morning we headed up to the Bihederal, a popular sport and mixed climbing area not to far up the canyon. With its perched southern exposure, and relatively easy approach, I knew this place would work great.
Chris on the 3rd class approach

tying in

I felt that these were some of the best shots I got of Chris pulling the crux on Puff Daddy 5.10a
Pretty Sweet!

Nice work Doody!!

Nice view of the Bihederal from the road. Climbers visible high on the wall.

Peace, Jason

Monday, October 26, 2009

East Portal RECON

Chris, Butters, and myself headed up to the train tunnel on Saturday to do a little recon on the snow conditions.

After about three and a half hours of hiking we finally made it above tree line and saw that there was not much filled in just yet. Looking at the SW ridge extending from Frosty Mt.

With the daylight we had to spare we decided to drink a beer and refuel our motivation levels. While drinking our lunch we spied two mini couloir's that looked quite interesting .
Chris and Butters scouting out the mini couloir. Our line is the longer of the two vertical snow ribbons.

Although short it proved to be a pretty exciting descent. I think Chris measured it at about 42degrees. Steep, narrow, and fun!Yea! Butters first Couloir!

Felt good to slide on snow again.

Looking back on the peaceful prairie.
Peace, Jason

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back at it !

I feel that its about time I catch up on some writing. Unfortunately when my adventurous friends as well as working buddies got laid off last April so did my blog. Having to work full time at the couriers left me searching for energy and motivation, not only to keep up with the weekends activities, but also my new blog. So I'm back, and determined as ever to document as much as possible this winter season.
This summer went by way too fast! From awesome climbing adventures in the Park, Lumpy Ridge, and my new favorite place, VEDAWOO ,( Thanks Cory )
I feel the need to hold on a little longer to one of the best summers Ive had yet in Colorado.

But winter is approaching quickly and its now time to sharpen those edges,wax up the skis, and check those batteries in your beacon.....Lets get it on!!

Peace, Jason

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Adventure Royal

Alpine season is back!! Here are some great shots of our little adventure in the Indian Peaks.
The alarm clock went off at 3am, in the car by 4am, and riding my bike with my skis on my back by 5am. All well worth it to catch a glimpse of a little early morning alpen glow.

With snow coverage being awesome our options on what to ski were plentiful. We finally decided on Queens Way, a snow ramp on the north east face of Apache Peak 13,441 ft.
The line follows the strip of snow going up the middle of the photo.

Approaching Queens Way; Great views of Navajo Peak and Navajo snowfield.

Evan, Chris , and Rob kicking steps up QW.

Rob topping out on QW.

Colder temps and wind kept the slope from changing into corn. The turns were still sweet and the lower half of QW corned up really well. After descending QW we realized that south facing slopes were actually in perfect spring condition, although it was already 1pm, pretty much the cut off time during regular spring ascents. Due to the cooler temps throughout the morning south facing slopes had taken longer to set up and were now calling our names....One more for the road....

We had eyed this south facing couloir on Shoshone Peak while on Queens Way. Evans glove is actually pointing at it.

So we climbed it.....The larger of the two strips of snow being split by the rock buttress. The couloir on the left looks really interesting....maybe next time...

And then we skied it......Evan with the shot of the day....

Peace, Jason

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rocky Mountain Cement!

With the latest spring storm dumping up to 4 feet of wet snow in the Front Range mountains Evan, Chris, Butters ( his 1st gooney tour), and myself decided to head up to East Portal and scope out the coverage. Breaking trail took awhile, but after 4 hours we were finally above treeline. Good ol' Butters postholed the whole way..

Once above treeline the snow was quite deeper and halted Butters valiant effort to go higher. So Butters and myself decided to hang out and just take some pics of Evan and Chris skiing.

Good day to jump off stuff...

Butters first huck !!

And he lands it!!

The coverage was quite good, areas of what would normally be rock scree filled in nicely with this dense wet snow. Although difficult to ski it sure made for some good photo's..

Peace, Jason

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Its a Wet One!!

With a huge spring blizzard dumping up to a foot of the wet stuff on Boulder this morning just getting into work was an epic battle. Last week I was riding around in a t-shirt and shorts, but this particular morning I find myself putting on my mid winter ski gear ; minus skis and AT boots. With roads too dangerous to ride on, and the bike paths still not plowed and pretty much unrideable, it was definitely slow going. Thankfully Chris lent me one of his extra mountain bikes so at least I had fatter tires...But the snow was so heavy with moisture that even having a studded tire mountain bike wasn't cutting it....I'd say that the time I spent actually trying to ride was equal to the time I just spent walking due to occasionally unrideable areas. So with most of Boulder shutting down around noon, as well as buses stuck on I- 70, the couriers had no choice but to close early as well. With the 4 hours of work I actually did on a loop that consisted of riding, slipping, walking, wrecking, and carrying a mountain bike ( hike- a- bike) I did get first tracks on the Goose Creek bike path sucka!

Really wet snow makes it easy to park your bike though....
Peace, Jason

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Red Peak 13,189

To start off the weekend Evan, Aaron, Eszter, Chris and myself set off to ski Red Peak. North of Buffalo Mountain, Red Peak and Buffalo are the first major mountains that greet you as you exit the Eisenhower tunnel on the western side of the continental divide. With temps expected to reach the 60's in the mountains we were excited to get in some of the first real corn turns of the season.
After the delicate and tretrous approach, which included skining over a snow covered waterfall, we were finally awed when we crested tree line and were welcomed by the Gore range in all its rugged beauty. Hands down my favorite mountain range in Colorado.

Eszter and Chris kickin steps to the summit.

The Doc a few steps from the summit..Buffalo Mountain visible in the background.

Some more pics from our awesome 2,700 foot ski descent.

Back at the trail head Aaron in his surfing attire getting ready for a return trip to the Goodwin Greene hut with Eszter and Chris over the remainder of the weekend....Good luck guys, and please come back with all your toes...
Peace, Jason

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the Eva spring

With the Spring ski season right around the corner I have been itching with anticipation to strap the skis to my pack and start climbing the high peaks. No better way to kick off the spring season than to head out with the Gooney crew to kick some steps up the east ridge of Mt. Eva 13,130 ft, and ski Eva's South bowl.

Mt Eva in the distance, south bowl on left side of pic...

The girls get'in it done....

The challenge for the day: finding soft snow. With day time temps still at about freezing up above treeline the snow wasn't quite metamorphasizing into what we spring skiers like to call corn.
But the snow did turn into something ,not quite corn, but also not a concrete wind slab. It was actually soft...

The turns? Fast....Chris Miller check'in out a northeast facing bowl across the saddle. Of course we skied it. Chris got a great shot of Issac huck'in off a cornice that's just out of view.

Look'in back at Eva, and our fresh tracks, on our way to the top of the north facing bowl we were scoping from the summit.

Awesome late day back light highlighting our rooster tails.

Completely exhausted we skied back across the sketchy Fall River Reservoir, which both Aaron and myself post holed through( soaking us up to our knee) earlier that day on the approach.....Luckily enough young ninja sensei Sarah had brought an extra pair of socks which Doc and I split. 1st rule of being a snow ninja: always be prepared for anything....Good job Sarah!

Spring skiing definitely has some kind of spiritual hold on me. Get'in up high in the mountains, the solitude, fresh air, exposure, and friendships built in such awesome settings will always leave me craving for more.....

Later, Jason