THE SNOW IS COMING DOWN!!! GET YOUR FAT SKIS OUT!!! FIND YOUR SKINS!!! BEACON, PROBE AND SHOVEL!!! ABS PACKS, UNITE!!! ITS PILLOW BOUNCIN, POWDER PUMPIN, DEEP LOVIN FUN TIME OUT THERE!!!
Check it out!!!!
Conditions are awesome! Check out the snowfalls! Every mountain is reporting powder! Makes me so bummed out when I’m stuck in a bathroom grouting tiles all morning and touching up paint jobs. Its like my dad used to say: “Hey, I could be fishing right now…” …except…I’m not really wishing I was fishing right now…
Well, unfortunately for me, I had to work, and I didn’t get to ski all of that powder today. And, unfortunately as well, non of those mountain are even in Colorado. …They’re not even close. Not even a day’s drive away. Hey Washington, good job on hogging all the snow. Share? Over a foot at most mountains each day, and you can’t spare an inch or two?? …is it a hipster thing?…
I’m gonna tell you something. I’ll be straight up. I’ll be honest. I won’t bull…..and I won’t even get emotional. Here is it: Colorado is hurtin’ right now.
Spending the day at Keystone yesterday was an eye opener for just how poor this season’s snowfall has been this year. Its funny how you look up at a mountain covered in snow and picture this 30 foot deep pile of powder and start drooling all over the steering wheel. I can tell you it gets me all hot and heavy for sure, but unfortunately I think yesterday was more about the complete opposite.
I had my doubts for a few days now when I’ve been keeping my eyes on Mt. Evans from a distance, and a couple of the other 14′ers popping their heads above the Rocky Mountain skyline. (I’ve been hoping to get up there this spring for some backcountry skiing and shenanigans). Usually this time of year they’re easy to point out. “The tall white ones”, is usually a decent enough description of what peaks you’re talking about. Being above treeline, that’s exactly what they are. But, as the weather’s been climbing into the 70′s each day on the front range, and a severe enough lack of snow as it is, I find myself pointing out, “The white…brownish..muddy looking kinda summery tear-jerking prematurely melted…sad ones…”. It’s had me nervous, but still, no reason not to go skiing! So, we jumped on I70 and made our way up to 9280′
I took the exit at Loveland Ski Area and took a peek at the brown dirt showing through the snow towards the top of the mountain …directly above where we all plow headfirst through the granite and out the other side. As I turned the corner to start climbing the pass I could’ve cried. Where’d the snow go?! Wet slides everywhere. And to make it worse, DIRT. I could’ve sworn I’d even seen the grasses mocking me as I drove by with their stupid little tint of green. Thats a summer color grass, take it the f*ck off for a couple more months…
Incase you’re not from the Colorado area, this is the time of year people thrive out here. Feet of snow, awesome DEEP avalanches to get caught in, hippies on both sides of the road with their skis in one hand and a raised thumb in the other….maybe something green in one hand and a thumb in the other…either way… Right now? Nothing. Exposed grasses laughing at every car driving by. Get back to sleep grass, its not your time yet.
And, incase you didn’t know what THIS picture was, (Non-Coloradian), this is the southeast side of the pass. Just 3 weeks ago I had some friends in town and wanted to show them the joys of “backcountry skiing”. Since getting in the car and letting gravity pull them down a mountain on their skis is usually the most amount of physical exertion they’re willing to put into getting their fix, this was the only way I could think of. Regardless, this is still a mountain that was full of waist deep powder, and fully corniced less than a month ago, with 3 perfect sets of tracks compressing the snow into the grass that’s laughing at us in this picture right above.
Aaaannnnd there’s your view looking south at A-Basin’s “East wall”. The spot boot trackers and powder hounds wait all summer, fall, and winter long to see open up. Complete boner-pants material this time of year, haha. But, this year, not so much. I think my spandex will do just fine.
We eventually made it to our destination at the thriving metropolis of Keystone, Colorado. Now, I knew that it would be bad, but I didn’t know it would be THIS bad. And when I say bad I don’t mean that conditions were horrible and that I core shotted the world under my skis. In fact, the groomers were kinda fun! Soft, slushy in spots, and the lines weren’t half bad at all. …but when I said bad I mean this:
A BEAUTIFUL SHOT OF INDEPENDENCE MOUNTAIN, AND INDEPENDENCE BOWL! I brought my skins, you comin’ with? I couldn’t believe it! Now, I know this has been a poor year out here, but this all goes back to my 30 foot deep/steering wheel drooling/boner pant material dream I have each time that I see a mountain covered in snow. I see these peaks at Keystone and am like a little kid thinking if I dive deep enough I’m gonna end up in China. Feet and feet of powder, living my dream, and nobody’s stopping me…and today, I’m all grown up with the realization that snow CAN melt. China’s not there after all…and, theres probably some grass up there too, trying to turn green just for me…
I was reading an article stating that this year’s drought has been the worst since the early 80′s. I didn’t get much into the rest of it because it was talking about farmers and yudda yudda…well, I don’t farm and can’t control the town’s water supply so I guess I don’t worry enough to read about it. It DID go on to talk about the beetle epidemic happening the last few years, and how its going to make matters worse, and to expect more fires and rapid spreading of the carnage this summer because of it. (Just kind of interesting to me, that whole beetle destroying entire forests thing). I lived in Morrison, CO in 2009-2010. I started noticing the beetles then and took a curious interest in it. I then, moved to Seattle in August, 2010, and didn’t move back to Golden, CO until November of 2011. Basically a year…but I drove down I70, and that forest the used to be on the south side of the highway, was almost completely GONE! One year, a whole mountain’s worth of trees, done. So, if you’re not interested in that, I don’t know what does interest you. If you ask me, its interesting.
Anyways back on track here. But I guess this whole topic goes to express how sad this spring’s backcountry experience will be. I’m sure, there will be some good days. 1 or 2..but having ski’d almost every month of the year last year in Washington, I was surely hoping to have another endless year of skiing. The powder isn’t falling, the snowpack is gone, and its looking like this season is almost over come the middle of March. Time to head to the northwest? Well, actually I’ll be there on a remodel job next week! Look at that, this whole conversation and I’ve forgot to mention (or remember, actually) that I’ll be able to have my share of the goods next week! Pack the important parts…tool belt (check), saw (check), measuring tape (check), ski boots (first thing I packed), boner pants (check). I’ll let you know how it goes!!
Oh! One more thing, then I’m done. Curious about the resorts and how they fared this season? Apparently last year’s record snowfall booked everything up almost completely this winter before the season was underway. And, most people didn’t cancel once they realized the snow was non-existent. Thats all! Very, very, detailed and informative paragraph. And yes, I do autographs.