Valentines x 3 = ?


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 15, 2009      

Where did we leave off the last blog post? Oh yeah, it was about manning up and making Valentine’s day happen. My approach this year, don’t mess around. Sure, I skulked out of City Market with a dozen red petaled plant stems (always funny to watch the other guys in the checkout line with their offering to St. Val, some of whom really don’t look like they’d clean up that well, but then, that’s what two hour showers and Irish Spring soap are for right? Take it from one who knows.)

Backcountry Skiing

Lisa, when every day is the best day ever.

Anyway, we have some friends who own a cabin up near where the goods are at Marble, Colorado. So I borrowed their digs for three nights since the combo of Val Day and Pres Day gave us an excuse to get away for three days instead of the usual two. For privacy reasons I can’t divulge the exact location of the place, but let’s just say that the best way to access it was via 4×4 and snowmobile, the wood stove put out enough calories to keep romance alive, and the skiing every day was the best day ever.

Backcountry Skiing

What's a hut without a woman? A lonely place I've been all too often. The better half can be seen in this photo peeking flirtfully around the door, perhaps expecting another dozen roses to flourish from the snowmobile cargo rack. Sorry about that, but I'll take you powder skiing?

Backcountry Skiing

Bacon and eggs next to the big window gazing over the Elk Mountains. Thanks Franz and Heather.

Key for memorable cabin trips is the food (so long as you already have a personal guide). My favorite breakfast, scrambled eggs and bacon. Best snack, haul rye bread from the artisan bakery (Grana) in Carbondale, combine with gruyere cheese and Swiss chocolate, topped off with fresh sliced apple. Dinner, keep it simple after the big day, dump soup from can, serve with sourdough bread from same bakery.

Backcountry Skiing

This is what Marble's most popular run looked like by afternoon Sunday.

This weekend in Marble I met a fair number of people who’d come all the way from Boulder of all places! That’s a long drive, to say the least. Everyone seemed friendly, locals (we qualify as we’ve lived here for two nights now) chatting up the out-of-towners even as we watched our personal stash being slashed. Oh well, we’ll have none of that territorial BS, now will we? To that end one reminder: If you ski Marble off the Quarry Road, park so you leave more room for passing cars and trucks than you’d normally think necessary, as the Quarry has a BIG truck and who knows what they’ll do to you if you end up blocking their way.

So, a Valentines getaway to remember. Colorado fluff, bacon, Romance, snowmobiles, trucks, fireside tea with a good book. Next year, a week?



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Comments

16 Responses to “Valentines x 3 = ?”

  1. bj February 15th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Huntsman’s ridge also got hammered, there were at least 30 people up there on sunday. i guess backcountry skiing is becoming a popular recession activity!

  2. Rob February 15th, 2009 9:24 pm

    My V-Day? Skiing in bounds, making sure I’m comfortable with my new skis-boots-bindings, eatings gobs of fresh roasted turkey with all the fixings (Loj Thanksgiving!), while drinking enough to deal with over stuffed lodge, cuddling a bit with a new, ahm, friend, and going to bed early enough to go ice climbing the next day. Note to guys “Hey, you’re welcome to come cuddle, but I have to wake up at 7 tomorrow to go ice climbing.” tends to be a deal breaker. =/
    – R

  3. Lou February 16th, 2009 2:58 pm

    My theory: Recession = even more support for websites since print advertising is so expensive, plus, even more people backcountry skiing and not bothering with expensive non-green (brown?) lift skiing. I hope my theory holds up, otherwise I’ll have to go to work at Wal-Mart.

  4. Michael Silitch February 16th, 2009 3:36 pm

    Sounds like a good long weekend. I have to remember to do that once in a while, or atleast every february.

  5. the dirtbag February 16th, 2009 6:39 pm

    I think you’re probably right Lou 😉 I’ve noticed even Outside Mag is getting pretty darn thin. I’ve been thinking I have to be moving back into the truck for the last six months…but it seems it’s a pretty good time to be creative on the Internets.

  6. Jon F February 16th, 2009 8:12 pm

    It was certainly quite the weekend in the upper crystal valley. It truly is amazing to see how use of the area has grown over the past 7 or 8 years. It used to be that it was rare to run into another ski party; even on the weekends. It’s no wonder that our “personal stash” is “being slashed”, what with all the book and blog publications floating around these days (wink). How can folks resist a tantalizing photo of a fine BC run?

    Upon departure from yule around noon yesterday (first come, first served), we counted sixteen vehicles + a slick sled parked in some form or fashion along the road. Even places that used to be complete taboo to park in have become parking lots (mud g. runout – c’mon people!).

    It’s all bittersweet, I guess. It’s nice to see so many people out enjoying the BC, but it also hurts to see so many areas getting a literal slashing. The rules of the game seemed to have changed as well: lines that are usually reserved for springtime are now seeing lots of activity during winter. The mid-winter risk factor that many folks are willing to accept has been elevated to a perplexing level. Let’s hope that all stay safe out there.

  7. BC BOB February 16th, 2009 10:12 pm

    Right on Jon ! Lots of important stuff in that blog.

  8. Lisa February 17th, 2009 6:31 am

    Dear Sweetie,
    Thanks for the awesome Valentine’s weekend. It was perfect in every way. You’re a gem and I’m a lucky gal. Life gets better and better.
    Looking forward to our next outing.
    XOXO,
    Lisa

  9. Lou February 17th, 2009 7:23 am

    Jon, I don’t mind the level of use it’s gotten to. Plenty of snow still to be had, and the parking seems to be going ok since it mostly gets maxed during weekends when the quarry work seems to slow down. I’m probably mostly concerned about some of the lines that have become popular, the ones with dire consequences if even a medium sized slide falls. The first people on those lines are probably making conscious choices and that’s fine (though a burial in Mud Gulch would be difficult for SAR to reach safely), but it’s the people who follow thinking “hmmm, that’s getting skied, must be ok,” who are a tragedy in the making. Tricky stuff, that’s for sure. Main thing is, everyone, just park with care. Nothing wrong with getting out that shovel and enlarging your space a few feet to get you rig farther out of the roadway…

  10. dave downing February 17th, 2009 8:03 am

    Lou. you concern about weekday traffic is justified. Last friday we were car number 5 before the 10 o’clock hour during a greyed out, snowy day. Had to “enlarge” a space just so we wouldn’t have to park below a slide path that we couldn’t see the top of.

    As Jon said, it’s awesome that many people are out there. But it’s hard to motivate when you don’t know if you can safely park on a weekday before work. And even Huntsmans is getting filling it’s parking lots (both of em) lately.

    Perhaps a tram from Marble to Windy Corner is in order? 🙂

  11. TreeDodger February 17th, 2009 9:47 am

    Sounds as if someone needs to organize a Shuttle to the trailhead 🙂

  12. Greg February 17th, 2009 3:50 pm

    Jon F, when you say “the lines usually reserved for Springtime” are you referring to those under No Name? Is that why it got skied so little over the wknd? It was only skied by 4 people the whole wknd, from the Anvil alleys down the ridge to No Name. Or is there another reason skiers avoid this area despite it offering more consistently long pitches than the bowl? Curious.

  13. Jon F February 17th, 2009 5:20 pm

    Greg,

    The lines that used to only be done in springtime were the steeper ones, regardless of location. Northeast face of No Name is a good example. I was just making a general observation of some skiers’ behavior as of late, who seem more inclined (no pun intended) to hit the steeps mid-winter, rather than wait for the traditional spring consolidation. Seems to be a lot more risk these days with folks getting into exposed areas with limited, if any, safe zones. To each his own, I guess.

  14. BC BOB February 17th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Jon F. is right. Just driving up that road can be very risky. There are multiple avalanche run-outs that cross that road. Those bowls can be hanging by a hair trigger with no obvious sign from the road.

  15. Kim Gerald February 14th, 2010 4:30 am

    Hey! Happy Valentines Day everyone. Wish you all to have a very sweet moment with your loved ones.

  16. Lou February 14th, 2010 7:14 pm

    My bride and I are on a 5 day getaway, this is my first opportunity to use a computer, which means copious turns were had in a remote location. I hope all of you out there are having fun as well with your loved ones!

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