There are powder days….and then there are POWDER days!!

Extra, extra read all about it. In case you missed the teletype and the frantic Morse code that went out, we just got a powder dump that we haven’t seen since Madonna was a virgin.  If you also missed every weather forecast for our area in the last three days let me sum it up.  Yesterday we received 24 inches in 24 hours! Today we probably got another 8 inches or so and as of this writing, it’s still pounding out and we’re supposed to get another 6-12 inches tonight.  How does that translate to today’s skiing experience….get a load of this.

DSCN0088A little tree shot that I tried really hard to show just how much snow there was today.  This shot still doesn’t do justice to how deep it was today. The snow depth here came to my thighs!  I’m 6’4″!

I rolled up to the gondie just before 9am this morning and I was greeted to the largest line I’ve seen since opening day.  It stretched down the stairs and to the street.  I was surprised by the number of people in line.  Actually, I wasn’t, as this was the biggest powder day we’ve had in a long time.  To put this one day dump into perspective, I’ve been here 20 years and would put this in the top 5 of biggest days I can recall.  And I haven’t missed to many big days.  The line went fairly quickly and once up top, everyone spread out and normal service was resumed.

DSCN0084The skiing today was challenging and not for the reasons you would expect.  The hardest part of today was getting to the steep runs.  There was so much snow on the flats that you had to break through 3 feet of pow just to get to the good stuff.  To put this much snow into perspective, Pump House didn’t have enough pitch!  I had to ski straight down and not make a turn to get to Tortilla Flats.

DSCN0082The bottom of Summit around noon.  Pretty cut up but that was ok as it didn’t have enough pitch keep your speed.  Check out the sides of the run.  Deep.

DSCN0093Face of Bell.  Earlier in the day when this was untracked, you could just point your skis towards Spar and barely make a turn.  Face shots all the way down.

DSCN0079Looking up towards Ruthies about ready to go down Spring Pitch.

DSCN0092More Face of Bell.  Notice the poor visibility.  That’s because it’s still snowing so hard you can barely see your hand in front of your face.

DSCN0087More porn.

DSCN0075Even more gratuitous shots of our snowfall.

Today was one of those days we rarely see as we do get pretty good dumps but not at this level.  Keep in mind this is Colorado dry powder and not that nonsense they get in the Sierra or out East.  Usually the moisture gets squeezed out once it hits the Wasatch range in Utah and we will get a good parade of several snow days in the 6 – 10 inch range. However, every now and then we get one of these whoppers.  Tomorrow should be another truly outrageous day and I will be there with my Polaroid camera and flash bulbs to capture the action.  Stay tuned.

Over and out, BBB



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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.