Colorado’s Record Winter — We’re Buried

Post by blogger | February 4, 2008      

It’s happening, we’re here, we’re healthy, and we have skis. A photo trip report from the last five days or so. Backcountry in Elk Mountains of western Colorado.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Wow, a rare actual ski shot of the blogmeister himself! Thanks to Jamie Caudill and his trusty digicam. And what would a WildSnow blog post be without some gear verbiage? In this case, that’s a new Cloudveil Koven Plus jacket, which uses “C-Chance” Schoeller fabric fabric that self adjusts to breath better when warm and close up for better heat retention when cold. It works, yet becomes quite noisy and stiff when the chill hits — but I like it anyway. The color is perfect. That’s a Cloudveil hat too (had to match the jacket), and of course an Avalung peaking out of my BD Alias rucksack. The goggles? Don’t ask. Off to Garts today to get some real ones — after I shovel our roof.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
This guy thought it was all rather tasty.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Louie lays it all down.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Wasatch, or Colorado? The latter, thank you very much.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Making sure a friend can get up the hill with borrowed skins that were too narrow, “skin chains.”

Colorado backcountry skiing.
As they say in photography “F-11 and be there,” or in this case, sort of there?

Colorado backcountry skiing.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Jamie and the boys were pretty excited about this shot.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Digging down to the spring at our friend’s cabin resulted in this bomb crater.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Jason finds the way of the aspen.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
This guy lives in the forest, mostly staying in the subnivian layer but coming out for sun once in a while.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
A telemarker makes it to! Josh ripped it up pretty good.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Another forest dweller.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Part time forest dweller.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Louie takes it easy for a moment.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Jason takes a moment of peace as well.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Yep. Jason and Chandler.


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16 Responses to “Colorado’s Record Winter — We’re Buried”

  1. Greydon Clark February 4th, 2008 2:07 pm

    Lou, cloth hockey tape works well for attaching misfit skins to skis (and when skin glue goes on strike) and it has better glide than rope. Also, did it make you a little queasy posting a photo of a telemarker?

  2. Matty Lipscomb February 4th, 2008 2:38 pm

    Hey Lou-

    Do you have real-world measurements for the 07/08 BD Verdict?

    I noticed that your measurements for the 07/08 Kilowatt were narrower than those reported by BD. Curious if the same is true for the Verdicts.



  3. Lou February 4th, 2008 3:08 pm

    Greydon, those are skin “chains” for traction — the skins stuck fine. Yeah, posting the tele photo required psychiatric session with Nick Devore as counselor.

  4. Arch February 4th, 2008 4:56 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I must say, I like the “F-11 and be (almost) there”. Kind of looks like Louie is pictured in front of a huge snow poster, or a TV screen. (You know, like the weather guys on the TV).

    As for telemarking. I started out with ankle-high leather boots on skinny Asnes MT54 skis with their wax pocket and nordic bow. It used to be a great set-up for light tours in Scotland and fun at the resorts too – you could ski right up to the bar; unclip the skis and saunter gracefully past all the disco skiers clomping around in their heavy alpine boots. Always had an AT set-up for when my ego and hips could take no more bruising, right enough.

    Anyway, I guess my point is this: having tried a modern tele rig for a year or 2, I don’t see the point any more. Kind of all the disadvantages of AT gear without the advantages. A wee bit like using my old Olympus OM4 “chemical” camera – nice feel, but pointless in this day and age.

    Now for the grovelling bit, Lou. When you were in Austria, I tentatively enquired about the possibility of acquiring a little green spoiler for an old pair of Dynafit Tour Lite 2 boots. You kindly said you would have a wee look in the workshop and to remind you on your return to the States. Any joy?! I tried e-mailing directly, but I think, rather like a good cup of coffee, I was filtered.

    Obviously I’m more than happy to pay for the part and for the postage – or to make a donation to a charity, if you prefer.

    Cheers and thanks for all the good info on the site.


  5. Jamie February 4th, 2008 5:22 pm

    Hey Lou, I was looking for the Koven Plus Jacket, but i couldn’t find it in orange, do you know of any website where i might be able to find it?

  6. cory February 4th, 2008 9:07 pm

    I’m glad you’re back. While I understand that you have to keep the companies happy to pay the bills, I was starting to suffocate under all the product reviews. I don’t want to see you go the way of SKI or SKIING.
    Epic winter to say the least. The last 2 days were spent in waist-deep, untracked love. Just minutes from the car…bliss.
    With the smile on my face and that depth of snow, no one could even tell I was on tele skis. While a couple of ATers were at the top bragging about how sweet their new set-ups were, I was stuck doing laps. Maybe someday my pockets will be as deep as the snow was and I’ll be able to spew about gear instead of doing all that pesky skiing.

  7. powderjunky February 4th, 2008 9:12 pm

    Great photos! I am glad to see everyone is getting snow! Check out for more skiing shenanigans.

  8. Lou February 4th, 2008 11:06 pm

    Cory, I think the way this is going to work is that every year from Christmas on through OR show will be a period of heavy gear coverage, then back to the usual variety for the rest of the year, with a sprinkling of gear but not too much.

  9. Ryan February 5th, 2008 12:47 am

    Great action shot of your boy on that first one. You did a great job of capturing the action and his body action really emphasizes the speed and shredding on the turn. Looks like a great trip, even if you were being stalked by winter borreal denizens.

  10. Lou February 5th, 2008 8:37 am

    Ryan, yeah, great shot, it was Jamie who took it, not me.

  11. Lou February 5th, 2008 8:40 am

    Arch, you can have my last two of those spoilers, but they have the clip ground off so you’ll have to rivet them in. If you still want ’em please email me using contact option in menu to left.

  12. cory February 5th, 2008 10:22 am

    Understood…It’s more a compliment on your trip reports. For me, that’s the goods! Stuff is just stuff. Obviously you’ve got a huge contigent of folks who love it, but for me, TR’s, customizations, tips, ethics, etc.

  13. Ian H. February 5th, 2008 11:50 am

    yea! im with cory! glad someone was feeling the same way i was..

  14. dave downing February 5th, 2008 11:17 pm

    goggles from garts…bad idea. trust me, i used to work there.

  15. andrew February 6th, 2008 1:52 pm

    Hey all, I’ve been up Williams Peak a few times recently, just wondering if anyone has done anything up the access roads behind New Castle (beauford rd) like West Elk. I’ve checked out the area a bit on google maps.

    I’m looking for nearby blue type runs with little avalanche danger. I typically stay in the trees. I live in New Castle.

    Thanks! Check out my little diddy on Williams @

  16. Lou February 6th, 2008 3:47 pm

    Koven Plus jacket, according to Cloudveil:

    “Those things went fast, but had one of our dealer service reps track down a store that had a few, Doc’s Ski Haus in Cali – 310.828.3492 – if you know the guy or want to pass that along to him through a comment, that would be appreciated.”

    As for testing, myself and partner used a couple today in fairly severe conditions, and they really do work. It’s amazing how well they breath when you’re warm, but close up and become a bullet proof hard shell when it gets cold.

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