Batteries expired….that’s what my camera told me about the wind chill.

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I blew off ski racing training on Thursday so I could have a powder day instead.  We managed a few new inches on the mountain but the real story was the wind and the wind chill.  It was howling from the due north all day long.  So much so that it really changed the landscape of the ski mountain for a few days.  It took me a few runs to find the best snow on the mountain as the wind made for a challenging day.  The best snow was not found on the top but mid mountain.  All of the runs up top had very firm snow packed in between the moguls and the groomers were even in rough shape as the wind made them bullet proof.  However, once you moved to mid mountain and below things got progressively better almost to the point of a pretty good powder day.  I skied runs like Spring Pitch, Aztec and Super 8 on the Ruthies side.   You really had to stick to the eastern facing slopes as those were wind loaded and soft compared to the rather tricky western facing stuff.  Areas like Back of Bell in the trees and Dumps were the calls for the day.  I did manage to rip off a few shots before my camera called it a day because of the cold.

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The sun did pop in and out starting late morning adding some visibility to the challenging slopes of a wind loaded day.  Here is a shot of the gondola from Pump House.

 

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Take from Gretl’s right after I skied through the worm hole off of FIS.  This was one of the eastern facing slopes I was telling you about.

 

 

 

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Another eastern facing upper mountain run.  I quickly retreated lower on the mountain after I took this photo.

DSCN0337 I stuck to skiing near the trees for this shot.  I can’t even remember where this was.  One thing to note however was this was taken around 11am.  Yes, I got freshies that late in the morning and you can too if you look around a bit.

 

After I took those 5 shots, my camera was done for the day.  I sure wish I was able to show you how good the mid mountain runs were.  The best run of the day was skiing down the skiers left of Aztec and Spring Pitch all the way down to the 1A chair.  Boot deep and fairly fluffy given the amount of wind that was lacerating the rest of the mountain.

Next week I have some slalom race training in hopes of getting ready for an upcoming Town Series race next Saturday.  Tune in….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.