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Colorado backcountry skiing guidebookGET YOUR SIGNED COPY! After 2 seasons of research, and one year of a lot of writing and editing, Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Colorado, was released in October, 2017! Published by Mountaineers Books, a foreward by Chris Davenport, and featuring 102 routes, we think you're sure to enjoy it. Buy your copy here and we'll personally sign it for you!

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Latest Posts

Mount Buckskin (17 May 2020)

As May continues, access to backcountry skiing in Crested Butte becomes more and more difficult. In contrast, areas around Fremont Pass, like Climax Corner and the headwaters of the Arkansas River, offer parking at the snow level – and skiing that’s a good bang for your buck in late spring.

I had had my eye on skiing Mount Buckskin ever since I skied Tweto a handful of years back. The northwest face of Mount Buckskin is intricate and intimidating, and doesn’t always go. But, we knew with the northwest aspect that we were likely to find good powdery snow – leftovers from a storm earlier in the week. So, we decided to check it out.

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Horseshoe Ski (14 May 2020) – The mountain whose journey nearly killed me

Life is not always easy. But I am a big believer that challenges are obstacles we must overcome. The greater the challenge, the more enriching to who you are as a person. The world has changed in these last few months and we are all presented with new challenges we had never imagined before, just like I faced after my accident. But, just as I dug deep to thrive in my recovery, we all must dig deep to thrive in a world that is different from what we are used to. Just like I have had to do during my recovery, we must adjust to a new norm, and be appreciative of what we do have. Don’t strive for things to go back to the way they were because that may never happen. Don’t let fear and negative energy fill you, though it wants to suck you in. Instead, look for the light and focus on the positives happening in the world. They are everywhere. Just like I recovered from my accident, we can recover from this Coronavirus too, if we remain positive, embrace ingenuity, and believe in ourselves. Here’s to us healing together!

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Sayres X-Rated Ski (10 May 2020)

I first laid eyes on Sayres X-rated in June of 2006 when I first skied La Plata Peak. Four years later I, along with my friends Lacy and Kim. decided that Sayres Benchmark might be fun to ski in mid-June. But, the line looked to no longer be in, and the bushwhack through the willows was intimidating. So we skipped it and went for La Plata once again. A month later, my friend Lacy would perish while skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Sayres Benchmark was beginning to seem elusive to me, and went a little by the wayside until May, 2018, when I skied it with my friends Larry and Dan. But, it had just snowed and we were a little worried about snow moving on X-Rated. So, we stuck with the mellower Grand Central Couloir instead. With a moderate spring like we’ve had this year, Sayers X-Rated seemed to be in order. Frank had yet to ski or summit the peak, so it was easy to get him on board.

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TBT: North and Middle Sisters Ski (17 May 2018)

The North and Middle Sisters had been on my hit list ever since my Pacific Northwest trip of 2013. During that trip, I was able to ski South Sister. After my friend Zach and I skied Mount Rainier in May of 2018, a storm was hitting the northern part of the Cascades. But, heading south allowed for better weather. It looked like I’d be returning to Bend.

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TBT TR: Mt. Aetna Ski (12 May 2019)

Last year was an even better spring for skiing. A stellar snow year made for great coverage. The one caveat was having to travel through avalanche debris leftover from a historic avalanche cycle that rampaged across our state during the end of February and early March. After a May storm hit our mountains, steeper lines slid out from the new snow on the hard surface underneath. But, mellower lines were skiing well as the new snow didn’t slide. Mt. Aetna is one of those mellower-style lines, but offers a long descent with relatively easy access. There’s a reason the Grand Couloir is a classic. I’d never skied it, though it had long been on my list. It was time to check this one off.

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TBT: Powder Factory (26 March 2019)

In late February / early March, one of the biggest avalanche cycles happened in Colorado that we have in recorded history. It was state-wide, avalanches causing havoc during the cycle and causing numerous access issues for the rest of the spring and into summer. Even as I was able to start hiking in the fall after my accident in July, we crossed avalanche paths that still had not been cleared. So, we patiently waited for the snowpack to settle. Perhaps I was overly conservative. But, I didn’t backcountry ski from when we returned from our ski trip to Germany and Austria on March 8th until March 26th. When I did finally ski, I met up with my two adventure friends, Larry and Zach for a little Powder Factory action. And it was good….

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TBT: Silvretta Tour Part 3- Weisbadener Hutte & Ochsentaier Glacier (28 Feb 2019)

The day before, we toured from Jamtal to Weisbadener Hutte. We had plans to potentially complete what most people call the Silvretta Tour by staying one more night at the Silvretta Hutte, just over the border in Switzerland. However, we knew that bad weather was on the way, and snow falling could make glacier travel difficult and dangerous, and we could have a challenging exit back to Galtur. So, we decided to jump the gun and skip the last night. But, that didn’t mean that we couldn’t enjoy a tour on the Ochsentaier Glacier before we departed, which beckoned us with it’s twinkly white from the Weisbadender Hutte.

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Bluebird Backcountry Ski Area

That’s right, paying customers will have to earn their turns at this new ski area, located between Kremmling and Steamboat. Many of Colorado’s other ski areas also started this way before ski lifts were a thing, with local residents hiking up hillsides to ski back down. It was only later that ski lifts and groomed runs became the norm.

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