Colorado Backcountry: Loveland / Arapahoe Basin

Last Saturday I started off at LP again super early, with a couple inches of new snow I knew it would get tracked fast. Around 6:45am I got my first lift up and decided to take one of the less traveled lines back down to the east portal switchback. Made my way over to the Elevator drop and hucked myself off, landing was ok but filled with crater holes from previous hucksters. Did laps over and over and even found some stashes of pretend-a-fresh way off the beaten path. I was pretty surprised because the crowds were not really out in force today. Around 10am I met up with this skier named Aaron, we decided to get a lift up to the summit and hike back onto the ridge. After 20 minutes of hiking we were near the top of Widowmaker ready to drop, lots of good snow and untracked pow up above treeline. Be careful with the Avy danger. We boot packed up the couloirs a few times for some sweet turns down.

Sunday I rode up at Arapahoe Basin and it was pretty sick. The lower East Wall is open and the shredding is tight. Lots of drops and rock bonks, the bowls above treeline had some nice loose snow and there are tons of cornices to huck off of. I rode with Krissy for the 2nd half of the day and we tore up the moguls on Pali face. Tons of rocks over here, I'd stay closer to mid-mountain. I gotta say, Krissy f-ckking kills it in the moguls. Everyone always looks at me stupid when I say I love the moguls. Spent some time in the terrain park early in the day and they have a few features up and going. When you first enter the park you have a choice of a small boot or a small shotgun rail. A bit farther down you can hit a nice hip jump or longer trap box on the left. Once you get into the Lower Rail Yard you have a bunch of boxes to choose from, a long shotgun style rail and a bunch of kickers. Abasin crowds weren't very bad at all, but the traffic on the drive home was insane.

Colorado Backcountry: Loveland Pass

Again this weekend I meet Mike up at LP hella early to get some lines in before the mass crowd of gapes. We got to the east portal switch back around 6:30am and started hitching. We must have gotten 10 or so laps in before anyone else started to show up. We sessioned some of the hidden stashes all morning and once the crowds waiting for pickups started to get too big we shuttled using Mike's truck. Ret, Mike and I spent another 2 hours doing laps where ever we wanted switching off the driving. The snow wasn't the best, but we were still able to find plenty of hidden fresh. Around noon, Mike and I broke off to dig a snowpit near the Sheep Creek avalanche path above Loveland basin. We dug a 8 ft deep pit roughly 11,600ft, 32degree slope angle, N-NE. We did shear and compression tests and found a very weak layer roughly 8-12" before the surface. Many layers below this, including almost 3 feet of depth hoar. We saw many skier triggered slides and natural point release slides around the Widowmaker and Loveland Ridge. We decided to stay around treeline. Mike took off after we dug the pit and I did some more laps up on LP.

holy fukkin crowd batman

Colorado Snow Conditions: Winter Park/Mary Jane

Mary Jane Pow

Yesterday I decided to take the day off after watching this storm on the front range. Watching it all day it didn't really look like it was going to pan out and most of the weather reports had it breaking up and heading south. Up at 5:30am Wednesday I was hitting refresh over and over waiting for the snow report website to update. WP/MJ was reporting 14" at the base at 6am, and it was snowing hard. I got in the truck and went toward the pow, upon arrival at MJ I was pretty much the first car in the lot. Got my gear ready and started boot packing up under the Challenger lift. The pow was super deep, the kind where you forget what board your riding cause you don't see it much of the day. After hiking til 8:45, I dropped into Sleeper to completely untracked powder, made my way back down to Challenger lift and got second chair. Rode the front side of MJ most of the day, knee deep most of the day everywhere. It was snowing very hard all day and by 2pm we had another 6" fresh snow. After a quick lunch break I was over at Timberline doing laps in the trees, the snow here was even deeper. So deep sometimes you'd choke on that shit. Loveland Pass Saturday.

Colorado Snow Conditions: WP/MJ/Caribou

Saturday I rolled up to MJ to get some laps in before the mass crowds of drones showed up. Went straight back to the Timberline lift and dropped into Larkspur. Down in the bottom of the bowl in the trees there is always hidden stashes of powder and I found a good amount. Did 5 or 6 laps here and decided to head over to the other side of Parsenn Bowl and do the long glade runs back down to Sunnyside lift. The snow over here wasn't as good, but I still managed to find some pretend-a-fresh. MJ got 8" new snow earlier in the week and you'll have to search to find it. Around noon I decided to bounce and head over to Berthoud Pass, I was surprised to see the lodge jump still built up. With some new snow on the ground it was nice and soft so I sessioned for an hour or so. Trying to beat traffic I left the BP summit around 1pm and made my way toward Nederland. I took the new Central City highway and it drops you straight onto 119, from there you can head into Nederland. Guru's of Nederland was throwing a nice rail jam straight in the center of town but it didn't start til around 7pm. I heard rumors of some jumps and rails setup on Caribou so went to check it out. After a short hike back from the lot you have a choice of a step-up, smaller wind lip, couple of rails, a big ass kicker and a little jib box. It was getting dark, so I made my way back down to Nederland to watch some of the rail jam. They had a trap box and long step-up box setup.

Loveland Pass

Colorado Backcountry: BP/LP

Saturday morning Red and I met up for some shreddin up at Mary Jane. No real new snow in a while we went straight for the Timberline lift. Crowds weren't too bad until about noon, we did laps here and in the bowl all day. Down on Larkspur we found some almost fresh powder in the trees. (look here for stashes) Bored of MJ and the gapers we decided to head up to BP for some hiking and booter hittin. We made our way up the west face to this nice sized booter about midway, messed around here for a while and decided to hike the summit and drop into Current Creek. Surprised we found some nice untracked lines back down to the highway.

jp_lp

Colorado Snow Conditions: Copper Mountain

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Went up to Copper (again) on Saturday and it was pretty sick. No real new snow in a week and half, I was still able to make some fresh turns. As soon as the backside opened up I dropped down into Spalding bowl for some quick laps. Near the Resolution lift the snow is getting really thin, so I decided to make my way back towards Tucker Mountain. From the top of Union Peak near the top of the Mountain Chief lift I started hiking along the ridge line towards Tucker Mountain. After about 20 minutes I reached the resort boundary and decided it was time for a smoke. Chillin right at the top of "The Nacho" I started my descent, I was able to do 3 or 4 laps here with all fresh turns. Copper had the Tucker Mountain snowcat up and running so I took a few laps on that as well. It picks you up just above the base of the Mountain Chief lift and takes you to the drop off spot at the top of Tucker Mountain. The Fremont Glades were off the hook. Lots of pow.....

This week should be pretty straight for shredding, most resorts north of I70 got 6-8" of fresh. Eldora near Boulder got almost 2 ft over the last 2 days. We need more!

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