TBT: Crystal Peak – North Face – then & now

Crystal Peak will always be special to me. Back in April, 2006, my friend Dave Bourassa asked me to join him to ski the north face. When we arrived to the summit, the line had not yet softened. So, we had to bide some time for better conditions. Just below the summit sits a wind drift feature that typically forms and is a good place to seek shelter from the wind. We sat there for quite some time waiting for the sun to do its work, chatting. It was then that I confided to Dave that I was thinking of skiing all of Colorado’s fourteeners. I hadn’t skied a single one of them, yet though, and questioned whether a goal like this was even possible for me. So, I asked Dave if he thought I could do it, and he said he knew I could.

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Guest Post: Skiing in Niseko, Japan

Incredibly cold air blows in from the plains of Siberia, sucks up moisture from the Sea of Japan, remains freeze dried as it wraps around various volcanoes and then dumps around 500“ of snowfall Mt. Annupuri, home to five ski areas. Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu, and Hanazono are all under the umbrella of Niseko United and off to the side is Moiwa, the little family resort that rocks.

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TBT: Flat Top Mountain (21 May 2016)

If you’re a backcountry skier in Colorado, you might have an idea of where the Flat Tops lie geographically within the state, but unless you’re an adventurous soul, chances are you’ve never actually skied there. Appropriately named after its flat mesa tops, this range is fairly remote and difficult to access most of the winter, especially without the aid of a snowmobile. The Flat Tops peaks have largely short vertical, but what’s there can be quite steep. It’s a range meant for the adventurer, for backcountry skiers willing to explore.

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Guest Post: Skiing in India – Gulmarg

“There’s skiing in India?” This is the number one question I got when telling my friends and family of my upcoming adventure. YES! There IS skiing in India! When my friend, Leslie from A-Basin, asked me to join her on this epic bucket list item she was ready to check off I really hadn’t the slightest idea where the skiing actually was in Kashmir, India. Nor did I care. Skiing with rad women in a wildly foreign country? I’m in. As the months unfolded before departure it became apparent this was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

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TBT: Peak C – CC Rider Couloir (14 June 2016)

The Gore Range is a bit daunting. Rugged and rocky, this range was largely devoid of precious metals and minerals that stole the attention of early miners. As a result, not many roads were built into this range, and access is more difficult than many other Colorado ranges. Many of the peaks are not named on topo maps, and Peak C is among them. Although it had been on my hit list for close to a decade, admittedly it took some research to find out exactly where that peak was, and exactly what aspect the CC Rider Couloir faced.

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Mountain Lessons: Summer Skiing Slide for Life

I looked down at Diamond Lake below. Then I looked ahead. Boy this snow is slippery, I thought to myself. I looked down at the snow that led almost all the way to the lake below. At least if I fall, I have a clean run-out.

One, two, three, maybe four steps later…. Woosh! One foot slipped, then the other. I tried to use my ice axe to self arrest but by the time I even had a chance to think about it I was flying down the snow on my back, with my backpack weighing me down. I could not flip over to use my ice axe to self-arrest.

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