The Bowl Blog: Springing into powder

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The last official day of winter (on the calendar) offered signs of prime spring skiing conditions to come. The past Wednesday was one of those sneaky “benign” powder days, with 3-4 in. reported. As I huffed and puffed my way across the fabled boot track, I wondered how the snow conditions would be leading into Spring. Deep thoughts. Breathe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I took a moment at the peak to kick back, take in the view and soak up the warmth, as the mid-morning sun warmed my mug. There weren’t many folks around. No rush.  Oh, do you like my new Rush A. T. boots by Scarpa? I know. You were checking out the Maroon Bells off in the distance; not the stinkin’ boots!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The newly fallen fluff was nice and light and just enough to cover up the scratchy crust underneath. G3 was skiing great, with just enough coverage for flight & soft landings in the bumps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

There was just enough snow to feel the float and shoot a little rooster tail off your boards; a fun mini-pow day. Thanks Winter! You were most exceptional; well above average. We’ll miss you, but Spring may be even better!

How would Spring skiing be in the days to come? Only one way to find out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Heading up the Exhibition lift this morning; shortly after Aspen Highlands opened, I noted soft groomers galore and stashes of of new powder off to the sides of the main runs. It was a snowy, blowy day yesterday & there may not have been too many folks exploring the exposed Highland Bowl. 5-6 inches of new snow was reported in the past 24 hrs. Time to do some re-con.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I love the 9:00-10:00 hour as it’s usually peaceful & serene; even on this powdery Sunday. Apparently a lot of locals have moved on to other spring activities like road biking or mountain biking in the desert. Personally, I’ll take the sweet spring skiing days while we got ‘em. When in Rome baby! Those who got the bowl today were like the cat who got the mouse. Meow! Speaking of cats, there was no noisy bowlcat running this early in the morning either; ahhhh. Catch it at 10:30 each day, if you need a short lift to the Main Gate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Watching this skier rip down Full Curl from HIghland Peak was more than enough to get my juices flowing as I made my way across the knife edge. Big sweeping turns indicated a nice new layer of the white stuff. That will be me in minutes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I was perhaps the 8th skier to drop from the peak & headed to G8, which I had scoped out on my half hour trek. So, there were a few other tracks on it. I wasn’t complaining! A half a foot of gorgeous powder had covered the remnants of the freeze/thaw cycle over the previous days. I enjoyed fabulous freshies all the way down the pitch. This guy (above) was comin’ in hot behind me & so was his buddy, who may have been racing in the Battle of the Bowls.  They slashed the face in a handful of turns!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Slash, boom, bam! This boarder slashes the stash and flashes a smile! It’s amazing how 6 inches of fresh snow can change one’s attitude; completely! The aerobic dues are paid on the hike. The adrenalin reward is almost always there on the ride down. It’s quite a fair system if you think about it! Are you in?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keep this one under your helmet. The lower Gs; G1-G4 usually get less traffic in general. They are often a fantastic call for your 2nd or 3rd lap when the rest of the bowl is getting hammered. Here I am, looking up upper G2 at about noon today. It was deeper; 6-8 in. in spots and flat enough to fly through. It was fun enough to laugh out loud!

Today was a small, but stellar powder day, on the first official Sunday of Spring. More snow is in the forecast for later this week. Deja vu; wooo hooooooo!

 

This entry was posted in Ski & Snowboard Schools on by .

About Erik Skarvan

After vacationing in Aspen with my family in the 70s, I made one of my best life decisions and moved here in 1982 on my 21st birthday. As a hotel/restaurant major, I worked local hotels, including the famous Sardy House (4 star Victorian B & B hotel) for over 12 years. I took time off to bike race full time, then embarked on a career in health and fitness, which I've been able to enjoy for over 18 years now with locals and guests from around the world. I founded Sun Dog Athletics "Aspen's Adventure Sports School" in '96 & innovated numerous adventure sports programs, including Fat Biking this past year. More at www.sundogathletics.com. I'm not that guy who skis 3 hrs. a day every day. But, I am that guy who gets in Highland Bowl 3 days a week, hiking and skiing it till my legs fall off! I love the incredible skiing, solitude, escape and spectacular beauty. It's a great pleasure and honor to share that through The Bowl Blog each week!