It Begins – A Mellow Day at Berthoud Pass

While some parts of the state have been absolutely hammered with early-season snow – Crested Butte for example – the Front Range has has a bit slower start. I finally got my backcountry season kicked off this past weekend, and was pleasantly surprised.

Sophie has had some pretty bad balling and clumping issues in the past, so I picked up a jacket and booties to help keep her happy. Long reviews short: the Ruffwear Cloud Chaser worked great but needs to be taken in a bit at the waist and have a pocket added for Sophie’s TX600 beacon, while the Ruffwear Polar Trex booties all fell off inside of a minute despite being sized correctly and tightened as much as possible.

IMG_9693

The weather was about as nice as could be asked for, to the point that I was skinning in a t-shirt until we were past treeline.

IMG_9694

The stats from my GPS put me at a bit under 4 miles for the day. I’d be surprised if Sophie ran less than ten miles around us while we skinned.

IMG_9699

Lauren is back to snowboarding primarily, and finally got out to the backcountry on her Never Summer SL Split. Another long review short: she’s a big fan.

IMG_9701

We took in our surroundings when we hit treeline, and went over our plan again – head up Russel, find a mellow spot on the Current Creek Bench to descend, and take a look at Y chute which had reportedly avalanched the day before. Everyone was still good with this plan, so we pressed on. I threw my skis on my back and booted the last few hundred feet up Russel, while everyone else skinned to the top.

IMG_9702

It got a bit cooler, to the point that I had to put a hat and softshell on to stay warm, but it was still about as nice a day as you could ask for. Sophie was plenty comfortable on the summit of Russel.

IMG_9703

IMG_9705

Sophie is ordinarly an excessively happy dog. Today was no exception.

IMG_9707

Moving along the bench went quickly, and Sophie continued to put in the extra miles.

IMG_9710

IMG_9715

Gary dug in the snow a bit and found the typical Colorado problem snowpack – slab over depth hoar. We had planned to keep our line choice mellow and this reinforced that decision.

IMG_9725

Barely visible is Chris skiing. We weren’t the only ones with this line in mind.

IMG_9728

IMG_9730

Here comes Gary, with Cody right behind.

IMG_9736

IMG_9739

IMG_9741

My running partner and I were color coordinated this day. I think we looked pretty great together, but I was just happy that she did so well skiing.

IMG_9745

Ski season is finally in full swing, and I’m looking forward to many, many powder days this year.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s