Some googling and reading indicated that there is supposed to be some a good skiing to the south and west of Notchtop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since spring is around the corner and the big lines might be ready to go in the upcoming weeks, Kelly and I decided to go for a hike and have a look around.
I’ve been meaning to put together an edit from this little jaunt for a while now, but just never managed to get around to it until now. This departure from our normal people-powered adventure was schemed up to satisfy two goals: to conduct some backcountry skiing recon in the Rollins Pass region, and to find something adventurous (but not too adventurous) to do with Kelly’s mom.
In contrast to January’s outstanding start to winter, February has been mostly dry, characterized by the fleeting dusting every few days in the northern mountains. Still, with a well above average snow pack, that’s really all we’ve needed to maintain great conditions. Coupled with some blood, sweat, tears and some insider info (thanks Alex) we were able to find some of the only remaining un-tracked powder in Vail. We sure did make the best of it.
Kelly and I went up to Hidden Valley for a quick lap in RMNP this morning. Finally the Avy Fx had settled down to moderate above and below treeline, so we geared up and went after some low angle white gold. We thought it would be pretty darn good; in fact it was the second time this week I found myself proclaiming the snow to be the best I’d ever skied – the first instance was Tuesday while the defending champion was that time the Meatheads won Best Powder for their Jay segment. So yea, best powder skiing I’ve had in nearly 5 years (best ever, probably) to include storm chasing all over New England plus various trips from back East to Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon and who knows where else I’ve forgotten. It was that good. And then we saw a herd of elk on the drive out of the park. Feast your eyes.