Colorado Backcountry: Doug Coombs Legend


First I need to start with some very sad news, yesterday Doug Coombs and another skier were killed in the mountains above La Grave, France. Doug founded Valdez Heli-Ski Guides out of Alaska in 1993 and has made an immeasurable amount contributions to the backcountry, Alaska skiing, skiing in general and Alpine guiding. Please join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to the families involved. Another fallen great, reminds me of when Criag Kelly died. These guys are legends and will never be forgotten! R.I.Pow

More About Doug and Accident Details:

"Coombs was extremely well known at la Grave which he had made his second home. Star of numerous extreme skiing movies, twice the World Extreme Ski champion he had founded and subsequently sold Valdez Heli Ski Guides and operated Steep Skiing Camps Worldwide. He is survived by his wife, Emily and young son David. Prophetically Doug had once said that he imagined the slopes under the majestic peak of la Meije "would last a lifetime".

La Grave is a vast off-piste area with two main itineary routes and countless other routes. It is a worldwide mecca for off-piste skiers, in particular from Sweden and North America. Avalanche accidents and falls are relatively uncommon but have killed some well known and popular figures. In April 2003 German guide Philip Jaerschky was killed by an avalanche in the couloir de Chirouze In April 2004 Romain Berger was killed by a slide above the Trifides couloirs while praticing for the Derby de la Meije. A Spanish guide was killed by an avalanche on the nearby Tête de Sainte Marguerite on Saturday.

Colorado Backcountry: Broke My Back


Sorry for the lack of updates lately, it's been a painful month. On the 9th I fractured two vertebrae while riding up at Mary Jane and haven't been on the board since. I'm off to see a back specialist from Alpine Spine clinic next week, hopefully they will be able to give me a better idea of the seriousness of the injury and recovery options. Every season I usually end up with two fairly serious injuries resulting from snowboarding as much as possible. This year it was the MCL and multiple compression fractures, last year it was broken ribs and dislocated shoulder. The year before all that, it was more broken ribs and torn rotator cuff. You get the idea.. I figured that now I'm a gimp for the next month or more, I'd post a blog entry regarding some of the sites I dig and check out on a daily basis. To all the remaining soldiers out there, keep killin' it and I'll see you in a few more weeks.

Blogs:
120daysofpowder.com
ski-blog.com
coloradoviaalex.blogspot.com
heavywinter.com
cyberhobo.net

Community:
sacklunch.com
biglines.com
tetongravity.com
snowfilmer.com
coloradoski.com
backcountrymaps.com

Weather/Avalanche:

Project Update: BackcountryMaps.com & Tech Side Blog


http://backcountrymaps.com is a new project we've been ramping up and working on. We have a few more features too code before we can open it up for the world. The site is currently in preview mode, allowing users to navigate waypoints, view featured maps, and overlay custom data. Our target is to have a few beta members using the site within the next two weeks. Check out the newest posting on Google Maps Mania Blog regarding our work: Google Maps Mania

http://weknowsnow.com/blog/techside.php is a quick blog I put up as a place to dump code snippets, ideas and howto guides. This blog has some good hints for any web developer. Check out how we do the things we do in web land.

Colorado Backcountry: Steamboat Springs


Check out Wil's post @ 120 Days of Powder: Day 52: Lost…

Colorado Update: Eldora, Berthoud, Mary Jane


Location: Berthoud Pass - West Summit - Plunge & Lift Gulley

02/18/06 - Mary Jane - Around 11am things really started to soften up and get fun. Ran into my buddy Mark who I hadn't seen in a few years, we decided to hangout the rest of the day and kill some moguls. Surprised at how few people were out for the holiday weekend, we didn't wait more then a minute in any lift line. Sunny and bluebird most of the day. Temps high 20s.

02/18/06 - Berthoud Pass - West Summit - On the way up to Mary Jane, I was very early as usual and decided it might be a good idea to hike a few laps up the west summit of Berthoud and hit the steeps visible from the road. A couple of inches of new snow the night before made it a dust on crust situation but the riding was still good. I did 4 laps on the steeps, fresh almost spring like turns each time. Sun was shining and snow was getting looser and looser each lap. Overall, snow was very stable in the morning on north facing 35 degree+ slopes. Left to finish the day at Mary Jane. 10:30am

02/12/06 - Eldora Mountain Resort - It was bluebird and zero wind, I was looking for a day at the resort away from the I70 madness. Eldora is a quick 30 minute drive up from Boulder, 700 acres of shred and lots of snow. I was greeted with a 65" base and very quick lift lines. The sun started to loosing up the snow and it turned out to be a great day riding the lifts and listening to the ipod. Can't beat Eldora for snowboarding close to Boulder. Next year I might get a season pass to this spot.

Colorado Backcountry: Berthoud Pass & Peter Rabbit Hut


Mike, Alex and I got up to the Peter Rabbit hut after work on Thursday. The sky was clear and it was pretty warm. We geared up and started hiking in the wood and beer. Mike was already at the hut getting things in order for our camp out. We started drinking and cooking dinner when the clear skies faded and a small storm front came through. Wind and snow, plus very cold temperatures - we hoped it would dump and make for good riding on Friday. Outside temp was around -10 degrees and we had a nice fire raging inside the hut to keep us warm. A few hours later the fire ran out and we awoke to freezing temps inside the cabin. We started up another fire, cooked breakfast and planned the days attack. Still windy and snowing we set off to hike up to moonlight bowl and find some turns. High winds on the ridges kept us lower and we ended up doing some laps in the north facing trees behind the hut. Mike and Alex stayed and camped out Friday night, with the fading weather and conditions I opted to leave Friday and head back out Sunday for a full day of riding. Overall the trip was a lot of fun and a success, we got some sweet winter camping done, good backcountry powder lines, some drinking and a few good pics.

berthoud booter lines

After a good amount of drinking things go quickly out of control and out comes the voodooo! You must dance and praise the cabin voodoo or all your backcountry trips will parish.

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