Double Whammy

Today was the best day of riding of the entire winter so far. We got two massive untracked lines, with a good foot of fresh snow on top, for a total of 5,000 vertical feet up, and 5,000 down. The perfect bluebird skies, cool temps, and calm wind didn’t hurt one bit.

Ski and snowboard descent routes
Our two descent routes of the day.

Skiing untracked powder
Paul McElrea hauling ass on his new fat powder skis.


Snowboarding helmet cam
Helmet cam photo while I’m screaming down the wide open virgin slope.

Exhausted skier
Paul exhausted after the first 2500 foot descent.

Backcountry skiing
Our second descent was a super long, steep, curvy gully full of even deeper snow than the first line.

Snowboard helmet cam
Another helmet cam shot, showing a nice snow wave I’m carving, with lots of fun untracked terrain ahead.

Skiing fast
Paul skiing fast again.

Creek crossing
Completely worn out at the bottom of the second line, we still had to deal with a nice bushwack along the creek, followed by a creek crossing.

Time to soak my legs in the bathtub, so I can get back out for some more turns tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “Double Whammy

  1. Livin’ the life, I see. Very nice. Man, it’s good to see all that snow down your way again. I wonder if you’ll get any more dumps before winter is all said and done?

  2. one day i’ll get a decent shot of you………
    thanks for a great, and exhausting, day in the backcountry.

  3. Wow. Amazing. Question: How dangerous is this, notably avalanche-wise? I’m from back east, an A+ skier, but never really been backcountry skiing. What’s the short answer on the danger in doing the above. And, hey, in any event: keep doing it. Amazing. Cheers, Stig Leschly

    1. Hi Stig, we all have avalanche training, carry avalanche transceivers and shovels and probes, and we have a lot of experience traveling in the avalanche-prone backcountry of the San Juans. We are aware of the recent avalanche conditions and forecasts, and we assess the risks and use our best judgement when choosing our lines, and we always use proper protocol during our descents, such as skiing in sight of each other and stopping in safe zones.

      So, the danger is relative. It is an inherently dangerous activity. With proper knowledge the danger decreases.

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