A Taste of Haines

My buddy Mikel is working on the official video, but in the meantime here’s a quick cut of some of my own GoPro helmet-cam footage from our recent heli snowboarding trip in Haines, Alaska. The title of this video could also be: Steeper Than It Looks. 😉

On many lines in Haines the terrain oftentimes rolls off over knolls and you can’t always see what lies ahead. Sometimes the guide would be below on the walkie-talkie guiding us to the correct spines to drop in on; but mostly you just take it as it comes, making split decisions along the way. So much fun!

Heli Bumps in Haines, Alaska

Alaska, Haines, Takhinsha Mountains, skiing

Unknown skier skis a spine in Haines, Alaska.

Alaska, Haines, helicopter, Takhinsha Mountains

Alaska, Haines, Takhinsha Mountains, skiing

Bernie from Austria skies a spine on ‘Hangover’.

Alaska, Haines, Takhinsha Mountains, snowboarding

Snowboarder: Bert Shultes.

Alaska, Haines, Takhinsha Mountains, snowboarding

Snowboarder: Bert Shultes.

The glaciated and snow smothered Takhinsha Mountains near Haines, Alaska are amongst the most impressive mountains on Earth in the eyes of a skiier or snowboarder. In March 2016 I joined three friends for a week-long trip to Haines to go heli snowboarding in this legendary big mountain riding mecca. With perfect powder and stable avalanche conditions, we scored 4 days of good weather and a total of 18 lines — each line between about 3,000 to 4,500 vertical feet. The trip was a lifelong dream for me, and a pinnacle in my 20+ years of snowboarding!

>> SEE LOTS MORE PHOTOS HERE! <<

Ouray Powder

Colorado,San Juan Mountains,skiing, aspens, powder, January, Don Moden

Skiing deep powder in an aspen forest – January.  Skier: Don Moden.

Colorado, and most of the west for that matter, has been getting pounded by a powerful winter storm these last few days. This last weekend we did a quick trip to Ouray to catch up with some friends and get out for some backcountry powder turns.

Backcountry skiing in the San Juans, Colorado
Skier: Claudia Brauer.
Backcountry skiing in the San Juans, Colorado
Skier: Don Moden.

Although we were both a bit sad to leave, after two great days of skiing we hightailed it through the blizzard back to Crested Butte, where two feet of powder blanketed the Butte by Monday!

One Fine June Day

On Wednesday Claudia and I went for a ski in the morning, and a wine hike in the evening!

Mt. Sneffels, Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, Gilpin Peak, Potosi Peak, June, 14er, panorama

Looking at the south side of the Sneffels Range in early June.  Mt. Sneffels (14,156 ft.) is just about in the center; Gilpin Peak to its left looks bigger from this perspective but only because it’s closer. Potosi Peak is off to the right, and the town of Ouray way down the right side valley.

Ouray, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, panorama, June

Enjoying some wine from a nice vantage point over the town of Ouray (7,792 ft.), San Juan Mountains, Colorado – June.

Mayuary

Colorado,Red Mountain Pass,San Juan Mountains
Frosty Ironton : Prints Available

A frosty May 23rd morning that looks more like February or March!

Colorado,Red Mountain Pass,San Juan Mountains, skiing

Skier: Claudia Brauer.

During most of May, storms from the southwest have been lining up back to back pushing moisture into Colorado. Though it’s been raining quite a bit in the valleys, all that moisture has fallen as snow in the mountains, where it has often felt more like February than May in the mountains! We’ve been enjoying some great powder lines during the last few weeks; see more ski photos below! Continue reading “Mayuary”

May Powder Day

Colorado,Red Mountain Pass,San Juan Mountains, skiing, skinning, hiking

Skinning in paradise.

A spring storm rolled through Colorado over the weekend, dumping a foot of fresh powder on the mountains! We skied/snowboarded two very nice lines in a row on Monday; the first one (shown below) was from the high point in the photo above.

Colorado,Red Mountain Pass,San Juan Mountains, skiing

Skier: Don Moden.

And more storms are in the forecast! Winter’s not finished yet here in the San Juans!

Pristine Spring Snow

Colorado, San Juan Mountains, Sneffels Range, skiing, Yankee Boy Basin

Skier: Don Moden.  Mt. Sneffels in the background.

Despite a relatively low snowpack this year here in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, the spring skiing/snowboarding has been fantastic lately — in large part due to the pristine snowpack free of the dust pollution that typically blows into the mountains from the desert southwest every spring. So far this year the dust storms haven’t hit the San Juans (knock on wood), so the snow remains smooth, white, and shreddable!

See lots more photos below from recent lines this last week. Continue reading “Pristine Spring Snow”