Guest Blog by David Downing
June 21st, 12,000 feet and 40 degrees at 7am. Sun cups. Sore feet. The pavement is actually visible this morning on the top of Independence Pass. This might be it.
Now 82 days in and I’m finally used to getting up in the pre-dawn hours. I’ve had a lot of amazing days this year. We were skiing powder at his same location two weeks ago.
The dogs are barking. Legs are sore from biking the two days before. I can still see the car 100 yards back. Getting 35mpg today, nice to leave the 4WD at home on a ski day.
|Our 2003 Toyota Matrix holds all our gear easily. Notice room for one more skier (had anyone else been motivated) with skis and packs in the car|
Skinning, more sun cups. Deeper sun cups. Dirt. Skis on back. Hiking. Up Snow Fence Ridge. Jess’s co-workers visible on The Griz. Cosmic! just over there … still seems like a long hike for a short ski. Single serving friends on the way up. Reach the drop in.
Cornice is small today. Drop in. Turns. Nice. Worst turns of the year. Still so much fun. Traverse. Climb. Hmmmm, should have taken the non-sketch way up. Dripping cornice. Snow warming. Bad choice, but safe this time. Learn.
Boots on dirt again. Up the same way. Feeling of satisfaction hiking a trail in hard plastic boots. Not sure why.
|View of the years final pitch? 4th of July Bowl on Indy Pass.|
Find snow on the west side. Where is our entrance again? There! Ski. Nice turns. Stop. More turns. Fun. A bit brown. Tree line. Funky snow doesn’t begin to describe it. This way? No! That? Maybe. Amazing that side slipping 400 feet through saplings can be the easiest way down.
Creek? No, a Colorado “River.” Ski it? No. Skis off. Last time? Lots of water. Shouldn’t be this high. Upstream. There? No. Mud! Bushwhacking. Cross finally. Wet boots. Feet feel nice.
To the road. Sandals out of the pack. Thumb out. 1. 2. 3 … 15 cars. Seriously, an empty school bus just went by. Joking. HEY GEORGER! Finally, ride with a friend. How cool. Nice chat to the car. CD, check. Volume, loud. Pick up the girl.
Farmers Market. Pesto, Mozzarella, Bread, Tomato. Lunch.
|Hmmmm, bread + cheese + pesto = delicious. The Aspen Saturday Market provides a great post-ski snack.|
Front porch. Wet boots meet sun. Feet sans footwear. Happy. Grass. Green. Temp, 78. Last day of the year? We’ll see. There’s always snow somewhere:)
|End of the day. Happy Feet.|
(Guest blogger profile: Dave Downing lives in Whitefish, Montana, where he is a freelance designer and owner of Ovid Nine Graphics Lab. Dave’s ski career began due to a lack of quality skiing video games for NES.)