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About five AM, headed upvalley toward Aspen, halfmoon dancing in the sky, deserted highway. Making good time. Meet Brad Knotts and Peter Kelley up Castle Creek. Still making time. Up Hayden Peak in 3 1/2 hours (good stat for three 50-something guys, with a bit of moderate trail breaking). Perfect conditions. More than dust on crust; try powder on firm, cool air, sublime clouds moving over the sun. Thought about lapping the upper part, but knew the base at lower elevations would soften if we took too long — so we enjoyed one perfect run.
|Brad Knotts today on Hayden Peak, Colorado. Click photo to enlarge.|
|Peter at the summit of Ski Hayden. He and I have been backcountry skiing this peak together for about 30 years (with a few years off now and then). Nice to be up there with he and Brad today. Good skiers, good guys to be with in the mountains. Peter had a pair of BD Verdicts that worked quite well (mounted with Dynafit, of course). Click photo to enlarge.|
|Looking back at our tracks from an area known as the “lunch spot.” In the old days, when we’d take all day to climb (we were slower then), this was the traditional spot for a snack. Now we’re millennium skiers and stop for nothing but photos.
Recent cold front with a few inches of fresh snow made for terrific conditions. Probably back to variable by tomorrow at all but highest areas, but depends on cloud cover this afternoon and how cold the night is. Should become a nice corn surface in a few days unless we get more storm.
|Today on Ski Hayden.|
|Peter today on Ski Hayden.|
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.