Mount Guyot Ski – Swan Dive (14 June 2019)

Chances are, if you’re a backcountry skier who spots inticing lines, you’ve spotted Mount Guyot’s south face from US 285 as you pass near Fairplay. From this viewpoint, the modest 13,370 foot peak commands the skyline, and begs to be skied. The south face requires just the right conditions to be skied, and is not always “in”. But, the hidden behind on the north side of the mountain lies more moderate and ski-friendly terrain. The most popular of these is the Swan Dive, a northeast facing gully that plunges into the Swan River below.

Read more

TBT: The Citadel Ski (27 April 2018)

We met at our rendezvous point near Frisco with the intentions of heading over Vail Pass. But I-70 chaos struck. the pass was closed, despite the fact that it was a perfectly weekday, and no bad weather had hit the area in days. Thwarted, we came up with a plan B, head up Fremont Pass and do some touring out of Mayflower Gulch. Drift Peak was on my list. But, as soon as we exited the highway, we found traffic backed up on the pass again. Another accident most likely. Now it was getting late and we had to quickly decide on a Plan C. Citadel. The letters matched, so it seemed fitting, and none of us had actually ever skied it. Even better, eastbound I-70 traffic was smooth sailing.

Read more

TBT: Pikes Peak Climb and Cog (29 July 2012)

Pikes Peak has always been a bit of a favorite 14er of mine. I’ve hiked it multiple times, taken the cog, driven to the top, and skied off the top. It’s no coincidence that I saved Pikes Peak as my last peak when completing my 14er skiing project. So, when Frank’s sister and her kids were coming to visit from San Francisco, and Pikes Peak was brought up as something we could “do with the family”, I was in.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more