A ridge of high pressure has built into our region over the last few days, yielding the best spring backcountry skiing so far this season. Reports are filtering in of descents all over Colorado. Near here, Bob Perlmutter told me he had a great day Saturday on Mount Sopris, along with friends he enjoyed skiing one of the Laundry Chutes on the north face of the peak.
On the fourteeners, a couple of individuals who are trying to ski them all have been doing well. I’ve always been interested in (and challenged by) backcountry skiing on Longs Peak, as it’s hard to find in condition for a complete ski descent from the summit. Sean Crossen and his crew were up there about a week ago and reported A+ conditions that allowed a perfect ski descent. Sean sent me a link to a webcam pointed at Longs. Things like web cams, fat skis and modern technique (not to mention guidebooks and info on the web) have made it much easier to do fourteener descents than it used to be. Nice to see that progression.
After stories of Sean’s success filtered through the rumor mill, at least one other group went up to Longs and nailed it. During my descents of the fourteeners, I caught the North Face of Longs in good shape and had a nice descent, but it took me a few tries to find it in decent condition. Wish I’d had that web cam back in those days! Simply amazing: you can sit at home drinking coffee at your computer, and be looking directly at the ski line to know for SURE if it’s in condition or not. Makes me want to ski it again!!