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Notchtop Couloir

After over a year of ogling, I’ve finally managed to tick off a big line in Colorado.  Various recon trips, scenic car rides, and guide books had stoked my fervor to get after some burly skiing, and with Kelly’s encouragement to go do something crazy without her, I started poking around on the internet looking for a backcountry shred crew.

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It’s Like Melt-Refreeze-Sastrugi

Kelly and I went out for a birthday sojourn in RMNP and found some really exotic snow conditions. I really can’t describe it any better than I’ve done in the title. This weird substance didn’t dominate the slopes but it certainly injected itself here and there just to add some spice to our Flattop descent. We departed from Bear Lake at the lazy our hour of 11 AM and headed up the trail per usual, but rather than following the normal approach that leads directly to the bottom of the banana bowls, we decided to follow the Flattop Trail. It’s summed up best as the scenic route: it is not the direct route by any stretch, but the views on a clear day are second to none. In fact the approach, despite being the inefficient route, was the highlight of the day.

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Reprise

Ol’ Man Winter looks like he’s coming back for round two in the Rocky Mountains! With snow in the forecast practically every day of this week, we shot up to A-Basin for a quick refresher over the weekend.  Even after enduring a largely dry February and March, a 4″ reload did wonders for the slopes. The whole place was skiing better than we’d imagined.

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Notchtop Recon

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.

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