Friday, March 30, 2007

Fowler Hilliard Hut - March 11 to 13, 2007

Riders: myself, (met up by coincidence with Tom, Darin, Steve and Scott)

The 10th Mountain Division Hut System is great and I really wanted to do a second trip. Unfortunately I did not find any partners, but I still decided to head out by myself. There are always some people up there you can hook up with.

At the Pando Trailhead I got greeted by a few hundred dogs! There was a dog sled race going on. Man… those dogs were quite enthusiastic before they can start!

Picture 1: Dog Sled Race at the Pando Trailhead (Click to enlarge)

Picture 2: Panorama after the steep climb to the south and west (click to enlarge)

After 5 miles, 2,300 vertical feet and about 4 hours later I was at the hut.

Picture 3: First glimpse of the hut

Picture 4: A close-up

Picture 5: Another close-up

I went for a quick run in the northern woods and when I got back to the hut there was Tom, a guy I met last year at the Avalanche class. So the next day we headed out with 5 in the group to explore.

It was a really warm spring weekend, but the north facing aspects still held some pretty good powder until about noon. After that we switched over to "spring skiing mode" and enjoyed some nice slushy south facing slopes.

Picture 6: Scott enjoying some pow on the north facing glades

Picture 7: Steve

Picture 8: Tom

Picture 9: Myself getting some

Picture 10: Skinning with scenery all around

Picture 11: Waiting for the resolution bowl to warm jup

Picture 12: Darin with the big GS turns

Picture 13: Tom

Picture 14: Our marks in Resolution Bowl

Monarch Pass - Feb 25, 2007

Riders: Gary, Scott, Forrest, Vince, myself
(Photos by Forrest and myself)

Gary and Vince showed us the Monrach Pass area.

Snow conditions were great. With the avy danger rating of considerable we stayed off exposed faces and skied mostly low consequence stuff and trees.
We did Mt Peck (12,208 ft) on the way. That face form the top was great.

Picture 1: Skinning (Click to enlarge)

Picture 2: Forrest enjoying it

Picture 3: Gary getting some air

Picture 4: Still flying

Picture 5: Soft landing!

Picture 6: Scott in the skin trench

Picture 7: Skinning towards Mt Peck

Picture 8: and higher we go

Picture 9: Vince showing off his rock climbing steeze

Picture 10: Ready to drop in

Picture 11: Forrest

Picture 12: Myself enjoying the pow

Picture 13: and some more

Picture 14: Vince milking the last few turns

Forrest's trip report on TGR:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Butler Gulch Pow - February 17, 2007

Berthoud... No wait Butler Gulch + 18" pow + blue bird
Riders: Gary and Oliver

The original plan was to hit Berthoud. However that pass was closed and after a CDOT employee told us it's going to stay like that for a while we hit Butler Gulch. Good thing….. Because they did not even start bombing the Stanley chute until 12:30. By then we were already on our twenty third lap.... just kidding.

So while most of other people were stuck somewhere in front of the tunnel or waiting for Berthoud to open we enjoyed an awesome time. Butler Gulch does not really provide the longest verts, however when you lap it enough, you get plenty of good turns in.

Avalanche danger scale was on high, so we stayed on low angle stuff.

Picture 1: Skinning (Click to enlarge)

Picture 2: Gary Skinning

The snow was excellent and deep below tree line. Surprisingly soft after those 90mph wind gusts.

Picture 3: Virgin Powder in front of me….. I likey….. I am going to slay this now !!!

Picture 4: Gary enjoying it

Picture 5: and more…

Picture 6: and more…

Picture 7: Oliver wants some too

Picture 8: Oh yeah!!!

Picture 9: Cody; Where the heck is my path again? Why can they not just straight line this??!

Picture 10: Lunchbreak

Picture 11: Wind battered stuff above tree line

Picture 12: Yes, it was still a little windy above tree line

Picture 13: Gary surfing the wave

Picture 14: Some turns in the trees

Picture 15: Also Cody got some face shots…… plenty to be exact!

Picture 16: On the "Butler Gulch way out"
Please Forest Service, can you put in a magic carpet here??!

TGR post here: