Skiing Quandary Bowl

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.

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Chamonix’s Vallée Blanche ski descent

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.

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Taking an AIARE 1 Avalanche Awareness Class in Colorado

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.

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