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Northern Colorado Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
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By frenchy
Damn it's great to be back on snow and have such an solid start to the season!! Hopefully the snow gods are good to us this year and keep those storms coming!

Realize I'm a little bit late here, but thought I'd share a couple photos taken while touring outside the Steamboat ski area this past weekend. Conditions have changed quite a bit since, but pretty sure we'll be dealing with these weak layers for some time to come.

Storm skiing Saturday on a High avi day, and right off the bat we observe lots of collapsing and tons of cracking everywhere we go. These cracks keep growing longer and louder as the day goes on and the storm snow keeps piling on:
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After skiing some mellow terrain for a bit, my friend convinces me to go looking the perfect slope to practice ski cutting. I oblige, and we successfully accomplish the mission. The slab stepped down and the slide went full path, wall to wall:
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More cracking and collapsing ensues as we continue on our tour, and on our way out we remote trigger this one from a safe distance:
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Didn't take any ski photos, but was a super fun day skiing low angle runs, looking at snow, observing signs of instability all around us, and practicing safe travel techniques.

skipig liked this
By mw88888888
I used to live in Seattle for a couple years and skied the PNW snowpack - there it was much more common than Colorado to be out storm skiing in 3"-4" an hour snowstorms and boy does that change the avy danger around you fast. Knowing the weather in advance was especially critical for tour choices. Both above and below your tour of choice, if you get my drift. Remote triggers and exposed mandatory avy path crossings are serious deals.

I did fly a little close too close to the sun on one particularly memorable outing, watching roll-overs cascade as if by free will when I nearly looked at them, and really took to heart the need for terrain choice on a high day.

Stay safe and I really enjoyed the stability photos! Educational.
frenchy liked this
User avatar
By frenchy
Great storm skiing over the weekend! Checked out Soda Saturday and got to ski 18-20" new light density storm snow from the past 3 days. Poor visibility above treeline and concerns over deep instability kept us mostly on low angle runs below treeline. Temps topped out in the teens, it was nuking all day, and it felt like mid winter out there. The snow was beautiful.

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We dug a couple pits on West facing slopes @ 10,000ft and found below the new snow a well consolidated and supportable mid-pack with persistent weak layers beneath the mid-pack slab. Total depth 115cm. Persistent weak layer at 70cm from the surface was reactive to compression and ECT tests, resulting in full propagation. Test results: CT11 (Q1) @ 30cm, CT21 (Q1) @ 70cm, ECTP27 @ 70cm

Our ECT failed on this layer. And while it's getting harder to trigger, it hasn't gone away yet:

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By frenchy
This weekend didn't suck!

Tree skiing in North Routt to shake off the cobwebs...
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Followed by tagging a peak and skiing beautiful north facing terrain in the Zirkels...
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Checking out the views from the top before dropping in. So many lines, so little time...
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Our second to last run of the day yesterday. Just a little over 1,000ft of beautiful, consistent pitch, creamy bottomless pow goodness. So fun...
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Hmmm... beer!
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User avatar
By frenchy
Wrapping up 2018 with some great powder skiing in the Zirkels Wilderness. Happy New Years everyone!!

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telejet9 liked this

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