The steeps of Beav
Beyond the escalators, the chocolate-chip cookies and the famed groomers, you might forget that Beaver Creek has some pretty mean terrain.This weekend’s Talons Challenge reminds skiers of what Beaver Creek has to offer for bump-lovers, steeps-sliders and gluttons for knee pain.”A lot of people don’t realize Beaver Creek has the type of terrain that can essentially beat you up,” said Todd James, a ski instructor at the resort.The Talons Challenge asks skiers to do 13 black-diamond and double-black runs – 23,722 vertical feet – in one day. The 13 runs are steep, mostly ungroomed, mogul runs.”It’s pretty much an all-day event,” James said – although he said he’s heard of people finishing it in less than three hours.Saturday and Sunday are the only days during the season when skiers and snowboarders can do the Challenge without an instructor to win prizes and get their names on the Talons Wall of Fame at Red Tail Camp. Skiers who finish the challenge get a ballcap, a pin, a lanyard and a raffle ticket.Chris Lush, his brother, Dan, both of London, and their friend Mike Gear of Boston were doing the Challenge early Thursday – for fun, not for prizes. They were skiing the big bumps of Bald Eagle run – their second run of the 13.”We just wanted to do it, just for the challenge of it,” Chris Lush said.He said he hoped he would be sleeping well that night.”If we don’t, it’s a problem,” he said.Dan Lush said he likes the variety of the terrain, from steep runs to more varied pitches.”So many different types of bumps,” he said.Paul Kardosh of Chicago was also skiing Bald Eagle. He said the steep terrain offers a new challenge.”It’s not just making the same turns on groomed terrain,” he said.Skiers who want to do the Challenge should register at Red Tail Camp over the weekend, where they’ll get a run-tracking card. After each run, they should stop by the tent at Red Tail for a staffer to check off each run.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate, with pockets of considerable at and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger is moderate.As snows increase, keep an eye out for some tender new slabs to form on a variety of aspects and elevations. Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.
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A driver looking to squeeze one last four-wheel drive up Aspen Mountain discovered that it’s not the ascent but the decent that poses a challenge.