Skiing Arizona (in Colorado)

Skiing snow with dust layer

This morning I got out for some skiing/snowboarding with some visiting German friends of a friend of a friend. There is still a little bit of white snow partially covering up the horrendous Arizona dust that smothered our mountains these last few months, so the riding was still ok. Crossing the zebra patterned snow was pretty funky… the white snow smooth and fast, then the brown snow sticky and slow. At times it felt like riding down sand dunes. I’m afraid that unless we get another late season dump, the ski season here in the San Juans is pretty much done since the dust is already starting to ravage the snowpack.

Backcountry skiing
Skier: Peter Ehry.

Dust layer on snow
What an ugly sight.

4 thoughts on “Skiing Arizona (in Colorado)

  1. This just looks disgusting. Did your friends’ friends’ friends (:))from Germany mention anything about similar occurrences in the Alps? Well, maybe the San Juans will get lucky with one last final dump this weekend? We can only hope.

  2. Hey Justin, yes it is depressing to lose an entire spring riding season… two months of riding gone.

    Maggi and Peter (the Germans) did say that similar conditions do happen in the Alps, from sand/dust blowing from the Sahara. I forget exactly our conversation, but I think we were talking about the Dolomites at the time, which are further south than the northern Alps in Bavaria where they live.

    Also, in the early summer of 2004 when I climbed Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor mountains of Montenegro (former Yugoslavia, even further south), there was bad dust in the snowpack there (that was after a big snow season, btw). See the photo here

  3. Yeah, sorry about the dust, Jack. My girlfriend has been going nuts trying to keep it swept off the back patio, so it’s no fun here, either!

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