TR: Berthoud Pass 3/27-3/28/2016
After spending the weekend in Jackson, WY the weekend prior with good stability and great snow, it was somewhat disappointing to return to CO and find considerable avalanche danger. But, that's a fact of life here, so it was time to go meadowskipping at the usual haunt.
I woke on Saturday to one of the most insidious problems facing backcountry skiers: the Persistent Hangover. It's a bit ironic that we backcountry skiers spend so much time focusing on making good decisions in the backcountry, yet make terrible decisions in most of the rest of our lives...
Arriving at the top of the pass at 11:30 or noon or whatever, the first person I found in the lot was Bloomfield. Perfect! We headed up the east side and ran into Ben, Kelly, and friends, who were the group I was supposed to meet up with 3 hours earlier. Even better! We decided to split into two groups, and given the unusual amount of snow holding on the west face of Colorado Mines Peak, Bloomfield, Ben, John, and myself decided to head to the summit. Here's Ben making birthday turns down the west face.
And John doing the typical telemarker thing.
(Sorry John, I didn't get any decent photos of you actually skiing.)
The snow on the upper pitch was good; dense, creamy, supportive (good for the thin coverage). But at treeline the snow got REALLY good. And deep. Bloomfield:
But a choppy spot got the best of him.
The following morning dawned clear and cold.
The skiing on the east side was so good on Saturday that we started off with another lap there. Bloomfield, then Rickyredpants.
We headed out on the 3 Creeks Tour after that. As expected, the first drop into Current Creek was the most tracked out, but still excellent.
Also as expected, our drop into Second Creek was completely untouched.
From our final skintrack, we got a great view of our autographs.
Then I broke my boot.
After a field repair, we were back in business and dropped into First Creek.
Where we found perhaps the deepest snow of the day.
OK, maybe Colorado pow skiing doesn't suck.