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Colorado backcountry skiing guidebookGET YOUR SIGNED COPY! After 2 seasons of research, and one year of a lot of writing and editing, Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Colorado, was released in October, 2017! Published by Mountaineers Books, a foreward by Chris Davenport, and featuring 102 routes, we think you're sure to enjoy it. Buy your copy here and we'll personally sign it for you!

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Latest Posts

Cronin Peak (8 June 2019)

Back then, maps called it 13,870′. Others called it “North Carbonate”. But, the Department of Interior actually officially named it Cronin Peak in May, 2005. Still, it took a handful of years for the name to really take hold. The new official name for this peak is to honor Mary Cronin, who became the first woman to climb all the fourteen-thousand foot peaks in Colorado, in 1921. After learning this, I wanted to climb this peak even more.

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Mt. Moran Skillet Ski – My Bucket List (5 May 2019)

Really, the best time to ski the Skillet is early to mid-May. But, Jackson Lake is not frozen enough to cross, and not thawed enough to row. But, as I mulled over the idea of the Skillet with our friend Hans, I learned something new. Hans had moved to Jackson from Colorado in 2014, but we knew him from skiing in Colorado. He told me that he thought Mt. Moran could be approached from the String Lake Trailhead via Leigh Lake Trail, and that the road to String Lake opened up on May 1st. He hadn’t known anyone who had done it. But, looking on a map, it seemed easy enough – a 5 mile, mostly flat, approach to the bottom of the route and then a 5500 vertical foot climb from there. This would be a long one, but I’ve done longer, harder, steeper routes with greater vertical before. Avoiding Jackson Lake seemed like the way to go.

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TR: El Nacho Couloir 5.11.19

It’s hard to be a skier and be upset when it snows, but sometimes the thought of a nice heavy freeze under clear skies sounds nice. It sure would make it easier to ski bigger lines in the alpine. So it was last weekend when Brittany and I set off to ski something off of “no name” ridge, the long ridge extending East of the Copper Creek drainage above the East river (easily seen from the ski area).

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Crested Butte Pole Pedal Paddle Race (28 April 2019)

Since the inception of CB3P, I’ve always thought to myself, “I should really do that race someday.” But, it always happens at a time when I’d rather just be backckountry skiing. And, I was also pretty terrified of the “paddle” portion as I have little river experience. But, after I was finally assured that the river section was indeed not too hard, especially if using a duckie, I decided that this year was the year I needed to do it. I even put it in writing, stating I wanted to do it on my 2019 Bucket List. See, that’s the thing. Sometimes just putting a goal in writing makes me want to achieve it even more.

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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.

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TBT: Rain Peak (6 May 2018)

I am not sure how Rain Peak became something on my list to ski. But, it did. I knew for years that there was a north-facing couloir that left short of the peak east of it’s summit. After viewing it from another mission on Keller Mountain, I knew that it looked like a quality ski.

I was on a “Brittany boot-camp” training mission to help myself prepare for my upcoming ski of Mount Rainier, so a 12.6 mile (4400’vert) slog through the Gore to ski Rain Peak didn’t phase me. Of course, I didn’t know that the trail leaving from Willow Creek Trailhead would have so many downed trees that would slow our progress significantly. Nevertheless, I managed to drag Frank along with me that day, on a mission he swore would be one of his last in the Gore.

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2019-20 AT Ski Boot Options- Dynafit Hoji Free, Atomic Hawx, Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro

Today, there is a dizzying array of AT boots out there, from featherweight models made for speed on the up, to downhill boots with a bit of a walk mechanism. While no AT boot can match the performance of a dedicated alpine boot with alpine bindings, the gap gets smaller all the time. Choices that you may want to consider for next season include the Hoji Free from Dynafit, the Atomic Hawx 130 Ultra XTD, and the Zero G Tour Pro from Tecnica.

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