Stormy Sunday

Skinning in a snowstorm

Over the last few days a series of northwesterly storms has pushed through Colorado and into northern San Juans. It would have been easy to miss this round, since the weather forecasts underestimated the snowfall amounts and it didn’t snow much at all down in town. But snow it did in the high country, dumping in excess of 20″ of fresh powder on the northern side of the range!

Colorado,San Juan Mountains, skiing
Skier: Don Moden

Yesterday Claudia and I plowed a trail through the deep powder up one of my favored mountains, but after all that work we only had time for one run. So this morning Jeff, Don, and I headed into the howling storm to take advantage of the skin track and lap a couple more lines.

Colorado,San Juan Mountains, skiing
Skier: Jeff Skoloda

Incredible snow… All that fresh powder was pretty reactive, so we stuck to the trees where it’s a bit safer.

Colorado,San Juan Mountains, skiing
Skier: Don Moden

Remember to always check the avalanche report before heading into the backcountry!

Powder Foraging

Backcountry skiing in the San Juans, Colorado
Skier: Adam Fisher

During the last several weeks the snowstorms that have been flowing though northern Colorado have barely made it down south to the San Juans, with a few inches here and there, all mixed up by strong winds. The high country is wind blasted, but there’s some good powder stashes to be found in the trees on northern aspects.

Backcountry skiing in the San Juans, Colorado

Adam and Parker and I managed to find some good fluffy lines to ride today!

Backcountry skiing in the San Juans, Colorado

More Powder Shots

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Jeff Skoloda

Here’s some photos from the last several days of playing in the San Juan powder. So nice lately…

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Claudia Brauer

Claudia is fast becoming a powder fiend, stepping it up a notch or two every time we go out!

sundog, Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December

A sundog over Red Mountain #3, December.

The storm broke on Monday morning with a glorious sundog to greet the blue skies. This was the first sundog I’ve seen in Colorado! Always an awesome sight…

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover
skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover
skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover

Remember: don’t forget to study the avy report before heading into the backcountry!

Playing in the Powder

Scott Kennett, skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Scott Kennett doing what he does.

The snow keeps coming here in Colorado! I’ve been getting after it lately, splitboarding just about every chance I can get. My lack of recent posts here is simply due to a lack of good photos to share; we’ve mostly been skiing in the trees where the avalanche danger isn’t so severe. On tap: more snow, more riding, and perhaps even a hut trip next week! What a great winter so far…

3 Feet of Powder!

Snowy Trees, Colorado

Winter continues to produce here in southwest Colorado; the last series of snowstorms dumped another 3 feet of snow across much of the San Juans! On Friday and Saturday we scored some fantastic powder days at Wolf Creek ski area in what is becoming an annual early season pilgrimage. I could be wrong but I think that right now Wolf Creek and the San Juans have more snow than anywhere else in the country! Pretty awesome for November in Colorado. To see how much more snow there is this year so far, compare these photos to how bare it was at the same time last year!

Backcountry skiing, San Juans, Colorado

On Monday the storm broke and we enjoyed a glorious bluebird day up on the pass, where Claudia put all her recent powder training to good use. I continue to be impressed and excited about her skiing progression; she’s definitely getting the hang of skiing powder!

Happy skier, Colorado


The snowpack is very reactive right now so we chose mellow routes to ski yesterday. Remember, always read (and take heed of) the avalanche reports before venturing into the backcountry.

Early Season Stoke!

snowbow, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, Red Mountain Pass
San Juan Snowbow : Prints Available

As clouds of snowflakes blow by, the sun shines through creating a strange luminescent snow-rainbow effect.

This morning Jeff and I went back out to enjoy some more of the early season powder. The last few days of snowstorms dumped a good amount of new snow in the higher San Juans, and the snowpack is now noticeably deeper than last time we went out.

Skinning up a snowy ridge.

Full-on winter conditions up high, with a cold wind and poor visibility in the foggy/snowy clouds.

Mountain in the mist

Next step: bootpack up the left side of this mountain.

Upon reaching the top of our line, we waited as long as our patience could stand for the clouds to clear, but it seemed that the cloud was stuck on the mountain top. Finally we just had to go for it despite the poor visibility.

Skiing in the San Juan.
Skier: Jeff Skoloda.

Skiing in the San Juans, Colorado

The lower we went, the better the visibility and the deeper the powder! Eventually we were arching high speed carves down the open basin.

Ski, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, November

Not too shabby for the 1st of November! I hope it keeps snowing until June.

First Turns of Winter

Frosty Aspens

Last night I pulled my splitboard out of the attic in anticipation of the first turns of winter. As we drove up the pass this morning everything was covered in frosty snow… what a glorious morning! I had to pull over and take a snapshot of the frosty aspens.

Hiking Up in the Snow

The snowpack looking a bit dubious on this southern slope on the way up.

First Turns of the Winter

Fortunately the north facing slopes were filled in with powder and looking good! Here’s Jeff getting in the groove. We just did one line but damn it was satisfying! I’m hoping for a good winter this season here in the San Juans after the last two crappy ones…