Paying the price
December 6, 2005
I paid $95 to go riding Saturday. It was worth every cent. After I carved a replica of the Royal Gorge into the base of my snowboard Friday while bombing tree runs at Snowmass, I had to get a tune. Not a huge deal, considering Friday was the best day of my season up to that point.When it continued to puke snow Friday night, however, it was a big deal. There was no way I was going to miss the biggest powder of the year, but there was also no way my board could handle another day on the slopes. On Saturday morning, I did the only thing possible to get back on the hill – rent a snowboard while my own board got fixed. I know, I know, there will always be more powder days. I could have waited until Sunday, when there was still plenty of good snow. It’s hard to shake a strong bout of the “freshy-itis,” however. The $40 for the rental – and insurance – and the $45 for the tune could have paid for about a week’s worth of groceries, or two tanks of gas. Whatever. I’ll walk to work and eat ramen. And know that instead of sitting at home Saturday, I was out riding two feet of pow – mostly in the trees, of course. There’s nothing like an untouched glade on a huge powder day.Plus, the $2 of insurance covered the gash I put in the loaner.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Aspen area is high on NE-E-SE aspects near and above treeline, and considerable on other aspects. Below treeline the danger is considerable overall on slopes 35 degrees and steeper.Any steep snow-loaded slope should be suspect at this time regardless of the mountain region. Areas that didnt slide in the last cycle will remain a problem for some time because those weak, faceted grains buried deeper in the snowpack will not change soon.Avalanche danger details provided by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.