Archive for the ‘powder skiing’ Tag

Skiing the Red Lady Bowl on Mt. Emmons

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Tuesday’s shots are from Sunday . . . while much of CB was at Crested Butte Mountain Resort enjoying four inches of new snow and checking out the Al Johnson, a couple of friends and I headed up Mt. Emmons for a backcountry run. Temps were chilly on the valley floor and the upper end of the valley seemed a little hazy Sunday morning. The day warmed as we climbed Mt. Emmons, but it wasn’t until we got above treeline and could see to the southwest that the haze made sense–the Ohio and Gunnison valleys were blanketed with clouds. Today’s first shot is looking southwest, across Splain’s Gulch, out past the Anthracites and across the upper Ohio Creek Valley (covered in clouds), across to the Castles.

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The next shot is looking south at Whetstone, Axtel and Carbon, with the Gunnison low country shrouded in clouds and the San Juan’s a thin line of white in the far distance. On the left-hand side of the shot, you can see the Trappers Crossing roads in the dark timber and CB South on the valley floor way back on the left.

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Today’s third shot is of Allen Hadley making powdery turns down Red Lady Bowl, with the town of Crested Butte and Crested Butte Mountain in the background. There were five-or-so inches of nice powder on top of sun crust, so while there was a firm base underneath and the scrape-ity-scrape-scrape soundtrack of our turns didn’t seem right with all the powder that was blowing up around us, it skied just fine almost all the way back to the parking lot.

Looks like we’re in store for more sun and pleasantness today before seeing snow the next couple of days. Have a really good day and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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Basking in the Afterglow of Another Excellent Crested Butte Weekend

Are you still grinning from your weekend?  You probably would be if you would’ve been in Crested Butte.  With saphired-skied, gorgeous days, no wind and temps in the high twenties, but a bright sun warming you to the core, just stepping outside was a revelation in mountain beauty.  Even with four or five inches of new on the mountain, I laid low on Saturday to recover from what had been a grinder of week at the office (yes, even ski town jobs can knock the stuffing out of you), but did make it down for some Big Air on Elk Saturday evening.  That show is a bigger and bigger spectacle every year.  There were plenty of thrills and spills as usual, but I think my favorite part was when Gabe, the event organizer, got up on the high point of landing jump and sang the national anthem.  Among his many talents, that dude’s got some pipes! 

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Sunday, it was up and at ‘em to get back to the basics of why we live in a ski town . . . I had a backcountry ski planned (suburban dads get nine holes on Sunday, ski town dads get a ski) while the wife and daughter passed on a quiet morning around the house to head to Crested Butte Mountain Resort for their turns.  It sounds like they had a great day ripping it up on the steeps, which made me happy for them and left me feeling a little less guilty about the pleasures I enjoyed in the backcountry.  Today’s first shot is me skiing one of the ridge lines between the climax chutes—it was the coolest backcountry run I’ve had a quite a while.  Not only was the setting huge and pristine, but the powder was soft, consistent and blowing all around me on the run down.  I didn’t have cross too many tracks, either.  Fan-freakin’-tasistic stuff.  Steve Lawlor was the trigger man for the first shot (thanks Steve!), so it was only fair that I returned the favor for the next shot . . . soft, creamy, if not powdery turns, right down to the valley floor . . . did I mention that it was good run?  We hit it pretty good.   

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Today we’re forecasted for mostly sunny skies and a high in the low forties, but tonight, look for snow showers that are supposed to continue into tomorrow, further whitening and softening the ski runs.  With Wednesday and Thursday predicted sunny and pleasant, this forecast looks just about perfect for our first week of spring break.  A bunch of sun with some snow to give our not always-so-comfortable-in-the-powder visitors a taste of the good stuff–yep, perfect.  Judging by the license plates I’m seeing around town, Texas schools are on spring break this week, with Oklahoma showing up next week.  Should be a very fun couple of weeks. 

Have an excellent start to our week out there and if you haven’t made it to CB yet this season, maybe take your coffee break this morning and check into the deals that can get you and your crew here before April 6th.  And if you have been here this season, why not come back and enjoy some more?

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Phat Powder Weekend at Crested Butte Mountain Resort!

Hi All and welcome to a snowy Monday morning in Crested Butte!  We have an inch or two on the powder cam as I put together this post, with snow forecasted through Tuesday night . . . the extended forecast looks like it has some white potential as well!  So how much snow do we have in CB at this point?  A bunch!  It snowed again all day Friday, putting another eleven inches on the powder cam’s tray before it was cleared at 4pm (today’s first shot) . . .that and another inch or so put us about 33 inches by the time the snow cleared off.  If it hasn’t happened by the time you read this, we’ll be over the three feet mark for snow in the last week!

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How is the mountain skiing and riding?  In my last post I mentioned that wasn’t going to use words like “amazing” and “blower” unless I was putting together runs of turns with frequent face shots and visits to the white room, but Friday on the mountain delivered.  The next couple of shots will give you an idea of the scene . . . skiers and riders were getting their fill, no doubt. The little posse of local dads who had invoked their powder clauses that I hooked up with were hurtling down run after run of phat powder, literally choking on the snow and giggling like school boys.  Ski Patrol did a great job of getting the mountain open on Friday, as well, with rope after rope dropping throughout the day . . . I think we were open from the North Face over to Flat Iron by mid morning and the fun continued from there.

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On Saturday the clouds began to break up, leaving us with a gorgeous day for getting out and skiing more powder.  Late morning saw the rope drop on Spellbound and Phoenix . . . guests were stunned and locals were raving about the powder out there.  I wasn’t there for the opening, but probably within an hour and a half, I braved the NFL line and hiked to the top of Spellbound for my usual powder stashes.  Talk about fun, big, airy turns with sections of untracked, hitting-me-in-the-face turns . . . gotta love it.  The next two photos might help to give you a sense for how pretty it was—the above shot is looking across International at the peak and the below photo is of the snow-pasted trees and powdery conditions at the top of the Silver Queen.  Sunday was deep-blue skied, and sunny . . . another gorgeous day for getting out and enjoy great snow on the mountain if you had anything left in the tank after the past three days of rippin’ powder.

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Beyond the skiing, it’s just cool seeing this much snow stuffed into the valley at once!  Whether around the base area or around town, the snow banks are getting big and there is a lot of snow removal going on.  Like I mentioned, it’s snowing again this morning, so Crested Butte Mountain Resort is going to be skiing gooood again this week!

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Just for the record, in addition to thanking the Denver Broncos for a fun-to-watch season, I want to thank them for not making yesterday’s game a nail-biter.  It would have been a crusher to lose that game in the final minutes or seconds.  At least the way it went down, we had a decent picture of what was up by the first play of the second half.  And with the final score adding up to 51, that means that lift tickets are $51 today at the resort!  Hopefully that’ll ease the stinging wounds a bit.  Yeah, not really though, huh?

Have a really good start to your week and if you’re into skiing a skier’s mountain with super snow conditions, we’ll see you soon at Crested Butte Mountain Resort!

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It’s Dumping in Crested Butte!

It’s snowing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and is it ever gorgeous!  We’ve seen close to a foot-and-a-half of snow since the storm began and it’s still coming down steady on the mountain, with the powder cam showing another five inches in the last five hours as I post this . . . it should be looking very nice by Friday morning! 

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Today’s shots are pretty random . . . snow days turn into a blur for me, so making time for photos doesn’t always happen.  Our first shot is of a couple of guys talking things over along Elk Avenue this morning, when we only had five-or-so inches on the ground.  Road crews were pretty “on it” this morning, so I could keep it in two-wheel drive on the way into work. 

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Not too long after noon, the storm whipped it up a notch and seemed to be delivering a couple of inches an hour to the mountain.  I made it out for two runs off the High Lift and enjoyed some great turns through the Headwall trees.  Soft and untracked was the rule, and I was grinning and giggling down the steep alleys.  The above shot is of how hard it was dumping while we were riding up the High Lift . . . I love big dumping winter days.  I don’t have a shot of the Bronco’d out powder cam right before they cleared it at 4pm (a couple of coworkers who saw it said that it was at eleven inches), but the below image gives you an idea of how much snow was sitting there around 2:30. 

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When I got back to CB South this evening, the side streets were stuffed full of snow (so much so that I was glad I was in a pickup and not my Subaru) and my driveway was blown in with snow between a foot-and-a-half and two feet deep.  I’m not sure we’ve had a single storm deliver quite this much snow in the last few years . . . it’ll likely have the folks new to CB speaking in dramatic, epic and apocalyptic terms about it all.  And I understand—this is pretty cool.  But, really, this kind of weather is just business as usual (or at least as we’d like it to be) for this part of the world . . . this is why we have that fat boards, run 4-wheel drive vehicles (especially if you don’t want to wait around for a plow to run up your street), use snow blowers instead of shovels (and wake up early so that we can blow our way out of our driveways in time to make it up for first tracks), and use loaders and road graters instead of plows on pick-up trucks (it’s all about having the right tools for the job)—this weather is what makes winter great and life way cooler in the mountains. 

 

I’m not into using the much tossed about “amazing,” “blower,” and “epic” descriptions unless I’ve been skiing runs where it’s been putting me in the white room on turn after turn, but Friday on the mountain has the potential to live up to that.  And if this storm hangs in (or even if it doesn’t), the weekend’s going to be way soft and a bunch of fun, as well.   What’s even cooler is that with it being Super Bowl Weekend, if you wear orange on Saturday, your lift ticket’s only going to run you $48!  If that’s not enough, on Monday the window price for a lift ticket will be the combined score of the football game.  So if you like powder and like it value-priced (it’s not nice to call it “cheap”) skiing and riding, CB’s the place to be this weekend—we’ll see you on the mountain!

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Powder Day at Crested Butte Mountain Resort

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By the time the lifts opened Monday morning, we had over eleven inches of new snow on the mountain at Crested Butte Mountain Resort!  And it was eleven inches that skied like eighteen, I thought to myself as I blew through face shots, laying fresh tracks down that virgin blanket of white.  It was a really good day on the mountain, to say the least. 

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Today’s first two shots were sent in by Matthew Johnston (thanks Matt!) . . . skiers prepping and discussing their game plan for the day in the Mountaineer Square courtyard and the mob of powder hungry skiers and riders waiting in the Silver Queen maze to be whisked up the mountain to their powder day nirvana. 

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The storm in came in relatively moist, so wide boards, carrying good speed and heading for the steeps were tickets that paid big grin dividends.  In addition to the double-black diamond runs being really fun to ski at Crested Butte, with so many powder hounds fixated on making turns there, it left excellent powder skiing on the rest of the mountain, as well. 

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The moral of today’s last shot (and powder skiing in general) is that even if you can’t ski it like a superstar, it’s still good! 

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We’re under clear skies this morning, queued up for a sunny day with high temps in the mid thirties.  I don’t believe all the steeps opened back up yesterday, so I would think that the ropes will be dropping on more untracked runs today.  Get out there and get some!

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March Comes Roaring in with a Big Fun Powder Day on the Mountain!

Thursday’s turning out to be a very fine day on the mountain . . . we’ve had between seven and eight inches of snowfall since the lifts closed yesterday and it’s still coming down out there!  Gotta love it when March comes roaring in like the lion we’ve been looking for all season. Our shots are of Annie Dyar and Zach Ostrander blowing through the softness on a first-thing run this morning.    

The snow’s coming in with some wind (as snow storms often do), so the happy skiing and riding is in the trees today.   Zach’s putting up a tall wall as he slices and dices through the fluff along Jokerville. 

The above photo is of Annie laying a line through the wind and snow-maranged bumps on Upper Park.  Soft days like today are perfect for skipping a bump or two, as Zach demonstrates below. 

 

The forecast calls for the whiteness to continue through today and right on into tomorrow, with another five to nine inches in the forecast.  Whether you get out there today or are able to head out tomorrow, it’s going to be waaaaay fun.  Enjoy!

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Eight Inches of New Snow at Crested Butte!

If we gotta have Mondays, they might as well be powder days!  Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s calling eight inches in the last 24 hours and the Powder Cam is showing a solid six inches since the lifts closed Sunday at 4pm.  Today’s first shot is of a pull from the powder cam showing Ullr almost buried up to his horns with new fluff.  This morning’s photos are of a couple first-trackers making their way downCrystal. . .

 

Here’s Mr. Speed and Power just occasionally touching the snow.

And then we have Mr. TeleMan, fully sampling the goods out there. 

I made it out yesterday for a few laps in the Headwall neighborhood.  While it’s still fully early-season conditions on the entrances to Half Pipe, once past that section, things were skiing really nicely—in fact the Headwall Glades were skiing great!  A buddy and I chased each other for three laps through there, enjoying tight lines through the trees with good snow and not much in the way of surprises.  There’s nothing like playin’ slice-n-dice through the dark timber on the steeps to get the heart rate up and the adrenaline drip going.  Before we knew it, it was time to go pick up our daughters from yoga.  Yoga? 

 

Yep, it was the Yoga Rocks theButteweekend at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.  While I was out pounding my body, experiencing emontoinal swings that were careening between sudden fear and extreme thrills about every five seconds, my six-year-old daughter was doing gentle stretching, and getting her mind and body all centered and balanced at a free yoga for kids session at the Elevation Hotel and Spa.  What a good little kid she is.  I’d heard a little about the event, but was really surprised to see the Elevation packed with all kinds of visiting yoga-goers attending classes, perusing the yoga vendor tables and enjoying each other’s company.  While this shot doesn’t do the busyness of the scene justice, it was cool to see.

The morning’s snow showers are probably winding down—we have some pretty big chunks of blue sky over the top of us now.  But it’s looking like a great day to be out on the mountain, making turns in the new softness!  CB has a good chance for more snow over the next couple of days, so get out there and ski and ride hard, so that you, too, can enjoy the tired body and smiling mind sweetness of a storm cycle in Crested Butte!  Have a good one!

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