Big Snow, Ride Hard

“FIRE IN THE HOLE” is all I hear, as I keep walking up the steep pitch with my head down trying to keep the bone chilling wind off of my exposed face. I finally reach the starting point for my avalanche control route. I pull out the explosives, arm them, yell “FIRE IN THE HOLE”, and throw the charge over the edge into the starting zone of the avalanche path. “BOOM”, the charge goes off with a soul shattering sound, I peek over the edge to see the results. This time, just a big hole in the snow. The snow is coming down at 2" per hour rate, I know we are in for a HUGE snowstorm! This means lots of over the head powder turns, but also lot of avalanche control work. This was today, an EPIC day in Aspen.
Tomorrow, my day starts in the pre-morning darkness riding the chairlift to the top, 11,600’. It is a strange feeling riding up the mountain in the dark, looking down to the valley floor where most people are still snoozing away. After getting off the chairlift at the top, we will begin trudging through waist deep snow to find the sweet spot for our avalanche explosives. The Central Rockies is in the middle of a wonderful snow cycle, but with snow cylces comes avalanches. I am anxious to get up early and see what mother nature has brought overnight, today we recieved almost 2 feet of snow, and up to 2 more feet predicted tonight and tomorrow. This avalanche control work makes you realize your alive!
But so does Unicycling! And to think that just yesterday I went on a 2 hour COKER ride in the snow/ice roads.
All this story comes down to is “LIFE IS GREAT!” , get outside and enjoy it.

Re: Big Snow, Ride Hard

Nice! I remember a few of these rare occassions at Alta and Snowbird when I was living in Utah. My first day ever at Alta was literally chest deep after the canyon had been closed for two days. That was also my first “super deep western powder” experience, which needless to say I wasn’t quite prepared for. Thankfully the powder chops came over time, and the deep stuff kept coming too.

Thanks for such a great write-up Mike. I look forward to hearing about the rest of the storm around the campfire in Moab.

44" of champagne powder, great for the soul. What a dump, 40 hours straight of Colorados finest snow. I couldnt even get on ski’s or Uni today, my legs are spent. Avalanche control routes all day yesterday, Fire in the Hole! Besides the bomb blasts, all that could be heard on the mountain was the locals hooting and hollering with every turn. Tele turns were over the head, had to time your breathing so as not to choke on the champange powder. Hard to think of Uni riding when the skiing is this good, sorry. Although, I’m sure some of you had some great rides this weekend. Any tele skiers out there?

Mike that sounds fantastic. Yes I had a good ride this weekend, no not in snow. Beau was up at Tahoe for 2 days of boarding - his first chance to sample deep powder (which he loved).

Fire in the hole,
Nathan

The snowboarding must have been awesome for Beau, do you get up to the mountains and ski? Nathan, I’m thinking about upgrading to a new 36", is your Hunter working out for you? How would I go about getting one of those? Thanks and spin a few miles for me.

Yeah, or I will be if we ever get some decent snow! Eastern Canada (or at least the Ottawa area) is off to a terrible start. They’re calling for snow this week so it should get better for next weekend.

I’ll have to wait ‘til next month for the annual boys’ trip to Fernie for real powder though…

Tim