TBT: Dragons Tail Couloir Ski (April 2006)

Rocky Mountain National Park harbors some great backcountry skiing. Many of the lines are not easily accessible until Trail Ridge Road becomes plowed around Memorial Day weekend. But, thankfully the Bear Lake trailhead remains open all year and offers great skiing for those who are looking. Perhaps the most popular crown jewel of the area is Dragons Tail Couloir.

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TBT: Skiing Fletcher Mountain Northeast Couloirs (24 June 2016)

The calendar read that it had recently turned to summer, but there was still some good skiing to be had, especially if you looked in the right places. The Fletcher Mountain Northeast Couloirs are one of those places that hold snow late into the year, along with its neighboring Atlantic Peak. Although I have skied Fletcher from the west side, I had never skied it from the east, though it had been on my list for quite some time. I was able to rally my friend Natalie into joining me, as well as my friend Jess, who invited her friend Chad. We were a foursome that started early in the morning from McCullough Gulch Road.

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TBT: Skiing Tenmile Canyon (Feb 2006)

I’ll be honest, it was one of my first true ski mountaineering lines. This line in Tenmile Canyon – a line I don’t even know the name of and still have trouble trying to find exactly which one it was as I pass by it on I-70 – it was this line that gave me the thirst. This line gave me the craving. It was this line that started love for ski mountaineering. It was this line that brought me to where I am today.

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ACL Recovery Update: 3 months post-op

I always say that healing, just like climbing mountains, is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a few mental demons over the last three months. But, if any of them remained, I shooed their remnants away during my three hour bike ride. My pale exposed skin absorbed enough Vitamin D to last for weeks. The radiating smile on my face was proof that the ride was good for my soul.

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TBT: Loveland Pass – Widow Maker & Hippie Trees (1 May 2016)

From across the way at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the Widow Maker is easy to spot. It’s ominous avalanche path swoops across the mountain and calls to backcountry skiers who dare. But, it’s an avalanche path, which means it does slide. Skiing the Widow Maker on a pow-day in the heart of winter would certainly lead to grave outcomes. Yet, our day was in spring. Late spring really – the day after a cement-like snow fell and bonded quickly to the stable snowpack beneath it. The Widow Maker was a good choice for the day.

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TBT: Powder Skiing on Vail Pass

This past summer, while looking for photos of Radiobeacon Mountain, I came across this series of shots from then my good friend Dave Bourassa and I hit up Vail Pass on one of those perfect powder days in March of 2006. Back when I hucked like a mad woman, before I had 2 of my 3 ACL surgeries, before I had even met Frank, when I rocked the Volkl Mantra, and when some friends called me “Pink Pants”, for obvious reasons. I hope you enjoy the Throwback!

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Interview with Justin Ibarra of Colorado Adventure Guides

Based out of Breckenridge, CO, Colorado Adventure Guides is a re-vamped guiding company that focuses on various winter activities like ski and splitboard tours, nordic skiing, snowshoe tours, peak ascents as well as summer adventures like hiking, mountain biking, 14er ascents, and rock climbing. CAG also offers a variety of outdoor education courses. For winter, they offer Avalanche Awareness & Avalanche Safety, AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Certification, as well as Introduction to Backcountry Skiing and Splitboarding. During the summer, they offer skills courses in backpacking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Justin Ibarra is a Lead Guide and Instructor for Colorado Adventure Guides and Program Director of the sister company Colorado Snowboard Guides. Here, he tells us a little more about their story…

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TBT TR: Skiing Bear Lake Terrain Park (29 April 2016)

Rocky Mountain National Park harbors some fantastic backcountry skiing. Unfortunately, with the seasonal closure of Trail Ridge Road until around Memorial Day, much of the skiing is difficult to access. However, the Bear Lake zone is accessible all winter long and holds some of the best backcountry skiing in the Front Range that is not on the I-70 corridor with plenty of route options for both winter and spring. Although I had skied a few times in this area when I resided on the Front Range 10 years ago, I had long forgotten the specific lines in the Bear Lake “Terrain Park”. So, after a good sized spring storm late last April, I revisited the area with my friends Zach and Scott.

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TR: Lenawee Trail by Mountain Bike (20 Sept 2016)

The Lenawee Trail, although seemingly short on paper, is one of the better scenic alpine rides in the state of Colorado with a great descent. Many descriptions call this trail technical, but I would say it’s really only moderately so. It’s like an easier and shorter version of riding , but with a more exposure near the top. Overall, I give this trail two thumbs up, and I’d happily ride it again!

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