Today was a beautiful Colorado day. It felt more like April then November. The snow was very soft, starting to get mushy in the sun and a little more hard pack in the shade. I took Shea to one of our favorite areas to see if we could get an idea of how the snow is looking for skiing.
After finally deciding that it would be a better idea to not deal with glob stopper on my skins, I decided to take out my three pin XC ski set up. They are much lighter weight than my splitboard, and my alpine skis are in the shop getting new bindings at the moment. Boy was I glad that I made that decision. It was gloppy for sure.
Thinking it was probably a better idea to not drive down the snow covered dirt road to the gate, I parked in the pull off and we headed out. The road noise from I-70 was more than annoying, but as soon as we turned the corner into the gulch the noise melted away and the solitude was welcomed.
Last winter I didn’t get out much, I was working three jobs and on my days off I just wanted to sit and do nothing. Now that I have my schedule figured out and I’m comfortable with it, I am ready to get my butt out and start adventuring again. And in the meantime fix my hip so that I can run again. It felt great today to be out on a solo adventure just enjoying the day with no real goal in mind.
We followed the skin track until it banked left and crossed the creek and then set off on our own because I wanted to get a good view of the area that we ski from the other side of the willow field. Ahhh willows. What a pain in the ass. There are a lot of willows in up here. Usually when I come up here they are covered in feet of snow. Today – not so much. We waded through them for awhile and tried to stay high enough out of them when we could.
And finally… ta da! I could see the main gully I was looking for. The snow on the south-west facing side was mushy glop grossness. But looking to the gully in the shade facing east, it was covered in snow and I couldn’t see too many rocks jutting out. There was one other skier with his dog across the creek but he didn’t seem to be skiing at all maybe just checking it out like I was.
I decided to cross the creek to go check out the snow. Unfortunately it was still fairly gloppy over on that side too, but less so and definitely more snow then the south facing side. I was happy to get some pictures and then start heading back down the gulch. Now I know that it’s not ready to ski yet, but it will be soon! And on the positive side, Shea and I had a great day!