Today Ashton and I went to go ski a peak in Big Springs. It’s one of the first peaks on lookers left that you can see from the parking lot. After about a mile of skinning up the road we started breaking trail. It’s wild how little traffic this area sees. It hasn’t snowed in almost a week and still no one has been more than a mile up the road on the left side. It’s so different than the Cotton Wood Canyons. The weather was pleasant, and there was no wind.
Eventually we turned left and started going up the ridge, and when we were in the thickest part of trees we heard some voices and after a few more steps saw three hilarious guys listening to Bob Marley and drinking beer while enjoying the view. At first we were really confused because we had broken trail to get there, and wondered how they ended up there. It turned out that they had skinned up an earlier ridge that they call “forever ridge” and had already skied down! We talked to them for a few minutes and then continued up the ridge. It was the steepest part leading up to the peak, and the snow was wet, but still really soft. It was wet because it’s warmed up quite a bit here the past couple of days, especially today. I was able to drive my moped in just sweats and I wasn’t cold at all. Very different from Monday when I was cold with tights, snow pants, base layer, long sleeve jersey, puffer coat, and then ski coat. It felt good to have things a little bit warmer, even if it meant the snow quality was decreasing a little bit.
After a few hundred feet the back of one of my skins began to come up. This probably happened for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t think I pressed it down hard enough at the beginning which gave it space to let snow in. Second, we were breaking trail up a steep slope with wet snow that was putting a lot of pressure on the skins to come off. I had multiple simple solutions: 1. My second pair of skins and 2. a voile strap. Unfortunately I didn’t have either and so after unseccessfully trying to get it to stick a couple of times we decided to turn back.
The first descent on my new skis was sweet! The Salmon X alp 170’s were way different than my Black Diamond Helio 105’s! They’re a lot more reactive, and way faster. They almost felt squirly under my feet in comparison to the stable helios. I also had a harder time staying forward and I wanted to lean back. That could have been because of the speedy nature of the ski, but either way they’ll definitely take a little bit of getting used to! Which tomorrow will be perfect for.
I’m going for 15,000 feet.
Yep, you heard that right. 15,000 feet.
I don’t know where exactly I’m going to ski, I just know that I’m starting at the Aspen Grove parking lot and I’m going to do laps all over the place. Backside of time? Sure, why not? Elk Point? Sure! I’m going to ski from around 8 am to 5:30 pm, and the I have to come back for a date. My plan is to stay in Zone 2 the entire time and see how far I can get. I’m hoping for 15k, but we’ll see. My new skis barely feel like a pair of shoes underneath me and they’ll be the perfect tool for the job.
I’m starting the day with Ashton, and then my Dad might come up in the middle, and I’ll finish it out with my roommate Kyle. Should be a blast, and the skiing on the North aspects should still be really good. And because it hasn’t snowed for a few days now, there should be skin tracks going everywhere. So I’ll probably just follow all of the skin tracks and it’ll make for an awesome day.
For reference the biggest day I’ve ever done previously is 13,000 ft. And that was on my mountain bike. My biggest ski day was 8500. So why 15k? 10k seems to reasonable. I want to attempt something that I’m not sure I’m capable of. Hence the big jump to 15k.
I’m going to make sure to stay hydrated and fueled, but I probably won’t need to eat too much. But I’ll bring a lot of food just in case.
Thankfully for my date we’re going to Pizza Pie Cafe, so I’m going to be able to sit down, and eat a lot after.
It’s going to be a good day.