Boot Tops to Snirt — Spring Skiing in Colorado

Post by blogger | March 31, 2014      

Wildsnow Field HQ sits on a mining claim from the 1800s. We think the claim was probably a “fake” deal designed to extract money from clueless investors — no gold or silver here that would ever be worth mining, just a bunch of crumbly slate that would turn to gravel as soon as you tried to cut it. Whatever the case, it’s private land now. Skin out, ski in. Spring boot-top powder is when we like it best. Mining? We go for the white stuff instead of the golden.

The silver fox mining the claim.

Silver fox mining the claim.

Inspecting the snow stake halfway up the peak.

Inspecting the avalanche forecasting data stake halfway up the peak.

Snow depth is 92 inches at the study plot.

Snow depth is 92 inches (settled) at the study plot. That's bodacious for Colorado.

Sheared off snow on top of wood shed to study layers.  Unfortunately a dirt layer was deposited by high winds before our last snowfall.  The dark layer below the dirt layer is storm crust.

Sheared off snow on top of wood shed to study layers. Unfortunately a snow dirt (snirt) layer was deposited by high winds before our last snowfall. The dark layer below the dirt layer is storm crust.

A foot of fresh on top of the snirt.  We skied conservatively down gentle slopes.

A foot of fresh on top of the snirt. We skied conservatively down gentle slopes, as the snirt is an unpredictable sliding layer.

Snow crawl on the south shed.

Snow crawl on the south shed. Another glacier in the making? Lou has been observing the snowpack for more than a half century, he says 'I am still amazed at what snow can do.'


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8 Responses to “Boot Tops to Snirt — Spring Skiing in Colorado”

  1. Charlie Hagedorn March 31st, 2014 2:01 pm

    Love the last photo. The tensile strength of settled snow is a perpetual paradox.

    May the snirt treat you kindly this Spring!

  2. Dostie March 31st, 2014 3:52 pm

    Spring is in the air. Even Cali is getting snow – finally!

  3. Tom March 31st, 2014 5:24 pm

    What, no mention of the boards on your feet?? They look like floaty Dynafits!

  4. Lou Dawson March 31st, 2014 5:42 pm

    Sheesh, everyone says they’re tired of gear reviews! But yeah, I have to say the Dynafit Cho Oyu is all-time, soon to be one of the great classics of modern ski touring. I’d happily travel the world with just that one ski. BUT… we have Denali here as well, waiting to get better skins for more testing under human power. Lou

  5. Scott Nelson March 31st, 2014 7:36 pm

    Wow, 92″, nice ! Hut looks great with all that snow around it, maybe all that structural engineering is finally getting put to the test this winter / spring (grin).

  6. Bar Barrique March 31st, 2014 8:57 pm

    You won’t hear me complaining about “gear reviews”, most of what gets reviewed is the stuff that is of interest to back country skier types, and, well if you do some reviews to pay the rent, I’m fine with it.
    That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the other posts as well. Keep up the good work.



  7. Lou Dawson March 31st, 2014 10:57 pm

    Thanks Bar! it’s full-time here for two people with a couple more working on the side. We’ll keep it coming. Lou

  8. Dennis Philen April 1st, 2014 7:09 am

    Thanks Lou and Lisa. You guys inspire me to keep living my mountain lifestyle. I have been reading your Blog blog like the morning paper for over 10 years I think. Keep them coming. Thanks again. 🙂

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