Tag Archives: Backcountry Skiing

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. read more

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. read more

RMNP Blues

A cool respite from the blistering heat of summer…

When the Snow Gods give you lemons, you don’t even get lemon flavored snow.  You just get windburn and bullet proof wind-buff.  Eventually we found some creamy fluff away from the wind.

Honestly the skiing wasn’t great, which you’ll see in the video.  On the other hand, it was a really nice day for a hike, and a good excuse to play with cameras and work on my Adobe Premier skills… read more

Glacier Revisited

During their epic 2013 sojourn cross-country, Ziehl and Catherine had the pleasure of rolling through Glacier National Park.  Looks like a hell of a place…wouldn’t it be nice to visit some day? Flash forward to Thanksgiving 2014.  Kelly and I are sitting around the remains of a holiday feast surrounded by family.  My cousin Chris, himself an avid White Mountains hiker, asks whether or not we have any big plans for the upcoming winter.  ‘Not really, but we’re thinking about going someplace cool – nothing’s congealed just yet…’, we explain.  ‘You should go see Pete in Glacier!’ he quickly suggests.  ‘Pete? Who is Pete?’ I wonder, and ‘Where is Glacier, again?  I think Ziehl’s been there, maybe…’ My Uncle Terry and cousin Chris fill us in.  Pete was a regular dude, commuting in and out of Boston, just the same as everyone else ’round these parts until he’d had enough.  He and his wife Lisa pulled up stakes and moved out to the sticks: northwestern Montana.  In fact, they found land more or less surrounded by the National Forest.  The ‘homestead’  as they like to call it, is basically off-the-grid: well water, solar and gas power, a wood stove for heating.  They’re lucky to have a road that goes most of the way to the house; they snowmobile the last leg in winter and 4-wheel it during mud season. read more