I have been itching to get my new skis out on the snow, so we planned to ski either up in the Park or at Berthoud today. We ended up home last night, so we decided to get out and ski whatever we could in RMNP. Mother Nature was kind enough to facilitate our plans with six inches of fresh snow in town this AM and plenty more up high.
We skied in to our standby descent, the east face of Flattop. We’ve gotten our rear ends handed to us trying to ski this one before. The backcountry hasn’t been kind, or maybe we have just been terrible skiers. Or maybe it was the gear.
Apryle had a new pair of ski boots, Scarpa Magics, to replace her rear-entry boots from 6th grade. I had my new K2 Sahale skis. And we tore it up. Visibility was pretty poor; the weather alternated between full-on whiteout and scorching sun, but once we had skinned/snowshoed to the top of the snowfields the weather was failing fast. We skied down in deep fog, but skied like champs nonetheless. Turns out that trimming 40cm off of your ski length and adding a bit of sidecut makes a dramatic difference in my ability to turn. I feel like a decent skier now. Apryle did great as well…the new boots fit pretty snugly and seemed to help her turns more than a little.
Today was the first day that we got out in any real powder, and it was phenomenal. There were two guys skiing the ridge to our south, but at no point were we closer than a quarter-mile from them or anyone else. Imagine having the mountain all to your self….no crowds, no lift lines (of course, also no lifts) and beautiful deep untracked powder everywhere.
We dropped off the trail on the way down to ski a tree line that I would have never attempted before, but we both did fine. So we are skiers now. Bring on the ski mountaineering!