December 6, 2015

Pat “Perry” Johnson and I ventured into a new zone in the Front Range with relatively low expectations. Our 7:20 AM trail start was greeted with a frigid 2 degree temperature that kept us in our puffies and insulated gloves well into the approach. After making our way off the well traveled road and towards our objective we were greeted with warming temperatures and sunny skies.

Soon after losing the established trail we continued as efficiently as possible towards the other side of the gulch. At one point we decided to shorten our approach by doing a bit of hiking through some connected boulder fields. Without much difficulty in this travel decision we found ourselves gazing at the possible riding options from some distance and picked a couloir both agreed on. Once close enough we decided to dig a pit and do some snow assessment on the line we were going to ride. After some analysis we discovered a very stable snowpack on this western slope and decided it was safe to ride.

After a short jaunt to the top of our line we dropped in and were able to make some good turns in snow ranging from a bit of hard pack with wind blown snow to some decent powder. We made our way back to the valley floor and transitioned to skin mode, exiting the zone in a fun and fast pace. A long day in the backcountry is always an adventure and this one definitely satisfied.