The second half of January resulted in nearly 2 weeks of Crested Butte Avalanche Center forecasts with a rating of at least considerable. Even if you weren’t paying attention to the forecasts, the signs were everywhere and in plain view from highway 135 as well as the ski area- new slides every day.Read more
As I write this, we are between storms. Yesterday we woke up to a handful of inches of powder and the snow continued all day long. This afternoon, another burst will bring moisture that will last through Friday. The snow this season has been a welcome change compared to the dry winter of last. Most skiers will say last ski season was downright depressing in our neck of the woods. Admittedly, the season was pretty dire. But, it also had it’s moments.Read more
The meaning of words can evolve over time, and I want “bucket list” to be redefined as a list of goals can that can imply a shorter amount of time as well as a lifetime. So, I have created my 2019 Bucket List – a list of things I wish to accomplish during 2019. Some of the goals are things I have done in the past, but want to continue doing. Some are completely new. Some I’m already kind of doing. Others, I just have been wanting to do, but making a list like this public will hold me accountable.Read more
As a backcountry skier, I need several pairs of diverse gloves and mittens to keep my hands warm and protected through a wide range of activities and weather. My hands also tend to be on the cold side of things, so I seek extra warmth and high-performance moisture-wicking. On top of that, I seem to blast through gloves as fast as I can eat a pound of chocolate. It’s seriously hard for me to find a glove or mitten that can withstand my use for a year or longer. Yet, LEKI’s products have served my hands well for both durability and performance.Read more
As someone who has torn her ACL three times, the safety of the bindings I ski on is of utmost importance to me. I need a binding that will stay on through steep and technical terrain, which I can trust will stay on my feet when I need it most. But, at the same time, I also need the binding to release when it should to save potential knee injuries. I have never liked the thought of skiing a tech binding in “locked mode” for fear that it won’t release when I actually need it to. The Tecton provides a perfect blend of reliability and releaseablility by integrating a host of features.Read more
I’m very picky about my backcountry ski boots. Not only do I need a boot designed and engineered around a women’s foot, but I also need one that performs well on technical descents, yet is light enough and comfortable enough for long (12+ hour) tours. That combination alone severely limits the backcountry boots available to me. Typically, I lean toward a stiffer, slightly heavier, freeride-style backcountry ski boot. After demoing previous models of La Sportiva ski boots, my feedback was always, “It’s a nice boot… for someone else. I still want stiffer.” But, the release of the La Sportiva Shadow backcountry ski boot (the women’s version of the La Sportiva Synchro) finally brought a smile to my face. “Now this is a four-buckle touring boot I think I will really like,” I said. And I was right.Read more
Smart phones and the available apps associated with them have allowed for more more involved route planning than we’ve ever done before. Here’s our methods and secrets to route planning for backcountry skiing in zones that we do not know!Read more
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!Read more
My jaw dropped in awe of the pure ignorance of these backcountry skiers. I could not believe what they were doing, and that they had also put our group at such huge risk. This group put the College back in College Bowl.
We are lucky in Crested Butte. Most winter recreationists are at least aware of avalanche danger and basic protocol. We are not prone to the inexperienced travelers that you can often see at places like Loveland Pass and parts of Berthoud Pass. And even after spending quite some time skiing on Berthoud, I never saw anything like this.Read more