Soft, Floaty, and Fun at Vail Pass

I headed up to Vail Pass for some fun skiing yesterday. It was my (as well as Lauren’s) first time there; I’d never gone because the multi-mile approach to anything always dissuaded me. Here’s the cast of characters on the way in, in alphabetical order.


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Geohashing Lowry

This morning at work I checked the geohash map out of habit, and found that today’s point was less than two miles from home. I of course had no choice but to go as soon as I got home, which is exactly what I did. As soon as I got back from work, I loaded the point on to my GPS, aired up the tires on my rattletrap of a cruiser (because I felt like it), and was off.

Unfortunately the point was in the middle of a soccer field in Lowry that was occupied by a few children and a mother. To avoid looking like a total creeper, I didn’t take any photos, rather I just rode through the spot without stopping. Here’s the track:

I managed to do it without crossing my tracks, which is worth a Tron achievement in geohashing lingo. I did manage to take a photo of my shadow, as seen here:

Really this was just an excuse to get out for 20 minutes of light exercise, which was nice since I’ve been sick for the past few days. Tomorrow I’m heading to Vail Pass, so there should be a few decent photos coming.

Becoming Educated in Crested Butte

As most of you are aware, I’ve been skiing and climbing in the backcountry for a few years. At first I didn’t know all that much about snow and avalanches, and looking back I’m fortunate that I didn’t do anything TOO stupid. As time went on I’ve learned more about avalanches, largely thanks to Friends of Berthoud Pass with their very inexpensive avalanche safety class. Despite hearing that it would be mostly review given my level of experience, I decided it was finally time to take an AIARE Level I course. Lauren and I settled on a three-day class with Crested Butte Mountain Guides in Crested Butte over this past weekend. I only took photos during the field sessions for obvious reasons, and if you want a full-course synopsis you can look here, as I won’t be going over the whole thing.

Friday’s field sesion consisted of checking beacon function, followed by performing beacon searches. As you can see, it was snowing. Jayson (lead guide and owner of CBMG) would later inform us that according to remote instruments, every time we went out into the field it was snowing at a rate of 3″ per hour. Continue reading

Valentine’s Weekend Skiing

As you’re all aware, this season has been particularly dry for the Front Range of Colorado; this is a major contributor to the near-total lack of blog posts as of late. It seems that our luck may finally be changing, as has been the case with the past several El Nino years. Saturday and Sunday at Loveland were excellent; there are only a couple pictures, both from Sunday, both of Lauren, and she’s really coming along with her skiing.
On an unfortunate note, Charles was unlucky enough to find a patch of ice on I-70 Sunday morning, resulting in the following:

Apparently at least three people made their way into the guardrail that day, in the same spot.

Although I’m busy with studying at the moment (and for the next two months), things should be getting back to normal around here.