Worth the wait
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” After taking nearly a week off skiing because of sickness, I was more than a little excited to get out on the slopes Saturday.
There’s nothing quite like laying in bed for a week while it dumps outside. So even though the snow report said 2 new inches Saturday, I went out like it was a powder day ” same excitement, same morning readiness, same 8 a.m. wake-up call after a late night.
Amazingly, at Highlands, it was as if no one had been skiing all week. Patrol dropped the rope on the bowl just before 10 a.m., and we went straight to the top.
I figured that as long as we were pretending it was a powder day, we might as well ski the gut. So we dropped in on what essentially was bottomless, untracked pow. My questioning, furrowed brow lasted less than a second as we blasted Ozone.
Next, we hit one of the early Y-zones. Mostly untracked.
Then we figured the Fundeck gate area would probably be good, and after eyeballing a good line from the bottom, we again hit up a long bowl run.
For the last run of the day, we figured we might as well go to the top. So about 1 p.m., we started down G-6, which was a bit tracked by that time, but still soft and smooth.
Maybe it’s good to have a break, just to get psyched up. Then again, maybe not. Supposedly more snow is on the way later this week.
The Aspen Skiing Co. reported no new snow on local slopes over the past 24 hours as of about 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report for the Aspen zone on Monday, Jan. 14:
The avalanche danger is considerable on north, northeast, east, southeast and south aspects near and above treeline. Pockets of considerable exist on southwest, west and northwest aspects on steep cross-loaded slopes near and above treeline. Natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered ones probable. The avalanche danger below treeline is an overall moderate. Human-triggered avalanches are still possible here.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.