Another storm cycle is upon us.

I woke on Friday morning from my slumber and put my nose on the window to see how much new snow accumulated over night at the secret lair.  A few inches on the driveway didn’t even warrant having me summon my henchmen to shovel and when I checked the snow report, it said 2 inches.  OK, not too bad but I left the fatty powder skis at home as I didn’t need them to ski 2 inches.  Now fast forward 2 hours as I rock up to the gondola.  I overhear some folks talking in line that just had first tracks at 8am and they said they were skiing boot deep powder.  Being skeptical, I kept my hopes up but I was not counting on it being boot deep.  Once past Bell Mountain on the gondie, it was looking as if there was indeed about 6 to 8 inches up top.  Now, THAT’S a ski report that I’m glad wasn’t accurate.

DSCN0740My first run of the day was down Pussy Foot.  It was a cold 9 degrees F on top and the snow was that Colorado cold smoke that’s so dry it blows away like it was made from dandelion seeds.  This first run was just past 9am and you can see you have to get here early if you want the untouched stuff.

DSCN0741Second run was down Blondies.  As you can see, still opportunities for fresh powder along the tree lines.  It’s hard to see in the photo but it was snowing AND the sun was trying to come out and play.  It was a weird sensation but it sure was nice to be able to see in a snowstorm.

DSCN0757Later in the day it was still snowing and the sun had disappeared, but as you can see, the snow was still fairly deep.  A few tracks from previous skiers had corrupted the snow but this line down Glade 1 on Gent’s Ridge was still passable for decent skiing.

DSCN0756I took this photo farther down Gent’s in Jackpot near Bingo.  It’s starting to fill in here nicely and you can see the trees are spaced very nice for tree skiing.

DSCN0749I was looking for a shortcut through the trees into International for this little chute off the beaten path I know of.  Instead, I accidentally came across the most famous shrine of them all.  The Jerry Garcia shrine.  If you’re not familiar with our shrines, there are dozens of them spread across the mountain and there is even a book written about them.   We have shrines to people and places like John Denver, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.  The list is fairly comprehensive, get the book to seek them out.

DSCN0750This little tree stash is to the skiers right of Aztec.  You really have to pay attention to find the gap in the rope line to find it.  Once in, the trees are widely spaced and the snow is starting to add up making for some great tree skiing.  This area spits you out just above the Ruthies chair and if you find this area to your liking, you can do it again.
DSCN0742One last shot of the sun trying to come out while it’s snowing.  A strange phenomenon but something that happens here more than it should.  I’m standing high above the Dipsy Headwall looking at Chair 3.  You can see there is still untracked snow in front of me ready to be skied.  Yes, even YOU can get here early for those first tracks.

As I’m writing this, it’s pounding outside and here’s the bummer…I can’t ski it tomorrow.  With work on my schedule, I’ll hopefully get some of the remnants later this week.  The weather service is calling for 1 to 2 FEET of snow in the next two days.  Stay tuned for amounts and hopefully you have a spring skiing trip planned to come take advantage of our new found snow.

Do your snow dance, I’m out.










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About Bobby Schafer

My first introduction to skiing was at a little mom and pop ski area tucked into a small corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. This was my second year of college. After graduation with a couple of bachelor degrees firmly in hand, I would regularly find myself daydreaming at work of being the next Scot Schmidt or Glen Plake. After a year of working a 'real job', I had had enough and decided to pull the pin and find a ski resort where I could ski every day. I sold everything I owned, loaded my favorite K2 TNC's on the roof rack and started driving my old Cherokee towards the Rockies. I had no idea where I would end up and after a month of driving around, I found Aspen. I've now surpassed my 20th year here in the Roaring Fork Valley and still love this place as much as I did on day 1. I had a good run as I was able to figure out how to ski 5 to 6 days a week by working evenings. I did that for 17 years. Things have changed a bit now as I have a family and priorities change. I'm currently on the mountain a few days a week with one of them dedicated to skiing with my five year old son. With so much time on our four mountains in the last 20 years, I would like to share my knowledge and insight with you as you plan your ski trip to our mountains. I hope you can ski vicariously through my camera lens and enjoy Aspen/Snowmass as much as I do.