Heavy Snow, a bi-polar Mother Nature, and Fun Skiing

We went back to some of our classic skiing above Aspen Grove today. Storm total was between 6 and 8 inches in the area, so we figured we were in for some good skiing. After the approach up the Alpine Loop road, when we started going up the gully towards the primrose cirque overlook the snow started sticking to my skins. The snow was super dense, perfect snowball snow, but it wasn’t so great for skinning.

We tried waxing my skins, but the snow was still piling up, making the progress slow and difficult. Eventually we made it to the top before a quick transition and dropping into the bowl. Only a few people had skied it, so there was still a lot of open terrain which was sweet. The skiing was remarkably fun despite the heavy snow! It skied so fast. I got 2nd overall on the Strava segment which goes down this slope without any intent of going for time. I was just skiing fast because it was fun.

On the second lap my skins didn’t have as many issues which was great. And on the third, the weather did a full 180 and it started snowing, and blowing hard, and it felt like it dropped at least 10 degrees. But then by the time we were at the bottom again it was warm and sunny. Kind of crazy.

Then we hiked up to the top of Betty’s bump and it was cold, and started snowing again. Mother Nature was a bit bi-polar today. While we were up there we also started hearing loud rumbling that we thought was maybe avalanches on the backside of time, but after it continued for several minutes we eventually realized it was actually just thunder! We skied off the North East face of Betty’s bump, and the snow was much lighter here and the skiing was really good! I skied the wind lip and it was awesome!

After cutting around to the East face we discovered that the whole thing had slid. It wasn’t super deep, but it was long, and big enough that it could’ve definitely taken you for a good ride. The mountains have been really reactive recently and we think there may we a weak layer after a few days of no snow last week. When I skied on Saturday, I think the reason it felt so good was because it was faucets and surface hoar, which ski really great, but they also create a weak layer.

Thankfully it’s not super deep and with a lot of snow on the way, and an incredibly deep snowpack it should clear up pretty quickly.

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