TR: Skiing Mount Edwards (22 May 2018)

Mount Edwards is one of those peaks that even many backcountry skiers haven’t really heard of. Accessed from the same trailhead at Bakerville as Torreys, Grays, and even Grizzly Peak, Mount Edwards sits in the shadows of these classic peaks. But, Mount Edwards can hold its own, and the lines that it offers can arguably be better than what’s offered on its sister peaks. Certainly you’re bound to see less people on Mount Edwards too.

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Mount Rainier – Skiing the Fuhrer Finger (14 May 2018)

I have a long history with Mount Rainier. I was just 14 years old when our plane flew alongside her and I was mesmerized – so much that I decided I wanted to go to college in Seattle, just so I could be close to Mount Rainier. But, after visiting the University of Washington campus and being disappointed, I set my sights elsewhere and ended up in Boulder. Still, Mount Rainier hung in my mind. My dad and I eventually climbed her in the mid-90’s, fully guided with RMI. The famed Dave Hahn was our lead guide.

But, then became a ski mountaineer and my eyes gazed back to Mount Rainier. I needed to ski her. Two previous volcano-skiing trips to the Pacific Northwest were fruitful, but did not give ample opportunity for skiing Rainier. After missing last ski season due to injury, and coming back to a rather mediocre season in Colorado, I needed something. I needed a big goal, something that would be the highlight of my season. I decided that would be Rainier.

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Where to Find the Best Off-Piste Skiing in the Alps

The thrill of skiing off-piste into the great white wilderness is what the Alps offer best. Ungroomed slopes give the exhilaration which the tailored ones do not. Documentaries often show skiers and snowboarders descending huge mountains swiftly, jumping off the edge of a cliff, and disappearing into the powdery white.

The good news is that the Alps offer something for everyone.  While more advanced ski mountaineers can head for bigger lines,  people with little backcountry touring experience  – can also ski  ungroomed slopes. So, if you plan to visit a European alpine country anytime soon, read on!

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TR: Keller Mountain North Couloir (27 April 2018)

Keller Mountain is one of many Gore Range peaks that beckon backcountry skiers from CO-9, south of Silverthorne. A north-facing couloir strikes down from Keller Mountain’s ridge, and I studied this couloir every time I traveled between Steamboat and back. I meant to ski the Keller Mountain North Couloir a few years back while researching routes for our guidebook. But, the timing never quite worked out. So, there it stood – waiting. But 2018 is a good year for the Gore Range. And it was time to go ski that line that struck me during all those trips to the northern part of our state.

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TBT TR: East Partner Peak (Peak V) – 10 April 2006

East Partner Peak (Peak V) holds a special place in my heart. It was my first “Gore Range Mission”, and I skied it back in 2006 with some of my favorite backcountry skiing partners – Mark Cavaliero and Dave Bourassa. Since over 12 years have passed since we skied this route, I don’t remember exact details. In fact, only some of the details came alive when I started sorting through the pictures again. But, I do remember we started in the dark, and I remember it was a long day – probably the longest day I’d had in the backcountry up to that point. I also remember the exhilaration and excitement I felt exploring a new area on skis, and the potential for lines everywhere.

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TR: West Partner Peak (Peak U) – 25 April 2018

2006 was also the year that Dave, Mark and I skied Peak V together, otherwise known as East Partner Peak (look for a Throwback trip report later this week). That was my first Gore Range expedition and the last for many years as I undertook my goal of skiing all of Colorado’s fourteeners. Devoid of higher elevation peaks, the Gore Range sat waiting for me until I finished my goal. But, in recent years I’ve enjoyed exploring this unique and hard to navigate area. Earlier in the week, I had mentioned to Dave that Frank and I were hoping to head north for some skiing in the Gore Range as they were holding a decent amount of snow. Mark had the week off too, and it only seemed fitting to ski West Partner Peak, completing the Partner pair, with some of the best partners I’ve had in backcountry skiing.

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