So yesterday Ullr had a funny and decided winter shall return to the Aspen area. Spring-type weather has been threatening lately, but winter weather is still hanging on. With 8 new inches on the hill, I decided a change of venue was in order. I usually make my own personal hajj over to Snowmass a couple times of year and yesterday was another calling. Once the back areas of Snowmass fill in, it has some of the best expert level skiing in the valley. Yes, everyone talks about the Bowl at Highlands and the Dumps in Aspen, but for some of the best technical skiing we have, you can’t beat the chutes of AMF, Gowdy’s, Baby Ruth and of course….the Wall.
Being that it’s early April, there wasn’t a line or crowded run to be had. I underestimated the time it would take to get up on the mountain so I was not in line at my customary 9am. I was a wee late, but no matter, I didn’t have to share the mountain with too many people.
My first run was something I don’t customarily do but since the Sheer Bliss chair was running and the Big Burn chair wasn’t, that meant the Burn was devoid of anyone skiing it. I had the huge area basically to myself and I ripped off a couple of top to bottoms of untracked boot deep powder. I also forgot how long the runs are at Snomwass compared to Aspen or the Highlands. My legs were talking to me after a few of those.
The clouds were in and out all day. Everytime the sun came out for a moment, I would take a couple of photos. Here is the entrance to West Face Trees. If you stay in this drainage, you end up in Garrett’s Gulch.
The best wind loaded snow was in the Wall area and it was easily boot deep. It was not your typical spring, heavy wet snow, but rather, mid winter cold and dry snow. I couldn’t believe it was April.
This is the second pitch and one of the most popular parts of the Wall. This is Wall 1 and Wall 2. I’m standing between the two rock faces. This snow was deep and pretty fluffy considering the sun was out now and threatening to turn it into mash potatoes.
As I’m sitting here writing this blog, I had visions of skiing again today on Aspen. After a massive ski day of 5 hours yesterday, I’m just too sore to ski. I had an Aleve but that didn’t help. I even had a Red Bull. However, the day wasn’t wasted. Since it was near 50 mid valley, I took a couple of hours and de-winterized my motorcycle and went for a ride. It was so nice I ended up riding almost 70 miles.
There are two weeks of skiing left plus a couple of bonus weekends at Aspen. The snow keeps on piling up so I’m going to keep skiing it.