Colorado Spring Powder

Post by blogger | March 31, 2007      

Made a small expedition to Marble Peak, Colorado this past Thursday. The mountain was covered with a blanket of fresh spring powder. First run was cold smoke at the higher elevations and a bit cooked down lower. It was so good we had to do it again so we ended up with two car/summit laps of the peak. Slightly more cooked on the second run but still way more fun than the office. I’m super careful about what lines we ski on Marble, and usually don’t touch the central bowl mainline unless it’s firm spring corn. But today’s layer of fluff on a firm crust inspired confidence. Ski testing couldn’t get anything moving and the crust bridge remained strong, so after six other people skied the bowl with no incident (and the three of us skied the far left side for our first lap), we rated the avy danger as “low” and went for it. After practising restraint all winter it was somewhat liberating to finally drop the mainline.

Backcountry skiing Marble Peak
Lynn gets the goods on our second lap. That morning he’d mumbled vague words about eventually getting to work, but somehow he forgot about his schedule and did the second climb with us. Interesting how powder influences neurons. That would be a good study for someone’s PHD.

Backcountry skiing Marble Peak
Louie on the first lap, testing his camo gear. Nice to see other folks up there as well, including Adam and his friends from the Midwest who braved the Colorado highlands despite their lower elevation lungs. I always admire backcountry skiers who still go for it even though they’re not in the skiing lifestyle. Makes me realize I get too obsessed with the gear and my fitness, and just need to get out there and do it!



7 Responses to “Colorado Spring Powder”

  1. Clark March 31st, 2007 2:02 pm

    Hey wait a second, am I seeing a dropped knee in the shot of Lynn?

  2. Lou March 31st, 2007 2:05 pm

    You’re imagining things — what do you think this is, (grin)

  3. Lynn April 1st, 2007 1:48 pm

    Every once in awhile he allows tele skiers out with him. I just have to ski far behind and cover my face:)

    Actually I am always behind skiing down because the Dawson clan rips and my face is usually covered with snow after I crash.

  4. Wade April 2nd, 2007 8:25 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Appreciate the mention of Kevin and Me (lower elevation lung guys)! Had a great time skiing in such excellent conditions with Adam and your crew.

    Have to call you out on one thing, though. I think that driving 20 hours solo (Kevin) or flying out with the wife and 7 year old twins (Me) all for the chance to skin up Marble or Sopris is definitely “in the skiing lifestyle”.

    Our bodies may trapped in the midwest, but our hearts are always in the mountains with you, and anyone else whose lives are made better by spending time in such magical places.

  5. Lou April 3rd, 2007 6:11 am

    Wade, my point is only that you guys are devoted backcountry skiers and don’t have the advantage of living next to mount Sopris, which makes you tougher than those of us who have the advantage of living in a mountain town. More power to you!

  6. Wade April 5th, 2007 7:03 am


    I hope you know I was mostly just busting your balls with my comment, which is a time honred Chicago tradition! I actually owe you a tremendous debt of thanks for helping to make me a dedicated backcountry skiier.

    I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent pouring over your disintegrating guide books to plan the next outing. In a very real sense, your books have pointed the way for me and many others to follow.

    Once again, great skking and skinning with you, I hope our paths cross again.


    P.S. This actually begs the eternal BC Skiing chicken and egg question:

    Do we skin to get to great powder turns, or are the turns just a way to get back down to more high quality skinning?

  7. Lou April 5th, 2007 7:27 am

    Wade, sure, just some banter back and forth. Glad the books and such have been of help! Hope to ski with you again some day…

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