May 23, 2023
A stormy spring
I met my friend at the trailhead for a springtime outing skinning/skiing Quandary Peak. From the looks of the parking lot area, a few fresh inches of snow had fallen the night prior. Even at Quandary’s lofty trailhead—roughly 11,000 feet above sea level—the snow looked wet. But with any luck, things would be a different matter near the 14,271′ summit.
Continue reading “Skiing Quandary Bowl”
February 2, 2023
Chamonix and the French Alps
We arrived by train in Chamonix, via a narrow mountain pass from neighboring Switzerland. Chamonix was destination #2 for my brother and I—two Americans skiing in Europe for the very first time. The Ikon pass (one of North America’s two skiing “mega-passes”) planted the idea in our minds. Alterra added Chamonix and Zermatt a few years ago, effectively reducing the cost of a European ski trip by … not much at all. But never mind the math. Every avid skier needs to visit the Alps at some point in their life. And here we were.
Continue reading “Chamonix’s Vallée Blanche ski descent”
December 18, 2022
A cold start
We gathered just beyond the parking lot below Fremont Pass for day two of our AIARE 1 Avalanche Awareness course. I felt nervous and excited. But mostly I felt cold. The sun had yet to climb above the nearby ridgelines and the thermometer read ~0F. In light of this, our instructor had us start up the old logging road immediately. We’d stop a few minutes later, after warming up a bit, to begin the day’s informational components.
Continue reading “Taking an AIARE 1 Avalanche Awareness Class in Colorado”