Backcountry Skiing in Colorado

Skiing and Hiking in the Colorado Backcountry


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Cross Couloir, Mt. Of the Holy Cross (14,005′)

 

Mt. of the Holy Cross smiles, as if to say "you're welcome."

Mt. of the Holy Cross smiles, as if to say “you’re welcome.”

We all have those goals in life that just seem like they’re never going to materialize.  We try and try, yet something always finds a way to thwart our best laid plans.  Then, one day, the clouds part and you see your goal in front of you in all its glory.  For the first time it appears totally attainable and that attainment unfolds almost effortlessly.  For me, this scenario describes my relationship with Mt. of the Holy Cross to a T.

For 5 years I’ve wanted to ski this mountain but it never quite worked out.  No partner…road closed…bad snow year…. and then last year I finally made it to the base of the elusive couloir… only to be shut down in the worst way.

But this year would be different, very different.

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Portillo, Incredible Portillo

 

Pretty much every skier in North America knows that when the snow melts, and summer arrives it’s time to shift gears.  The mountain bikes come out, the trail running shoes go on and we go about our summer.  Yet, in the back of our minds we all know that somewhere down south… way down south, it’s winter, and winter means skiing.  Some of us have a harder time than others shifting gears.  Before last summer I had skied 32 months straight, until the Colorado drought put a stop to that.  This summer I knew I would need something more than skiing dirty snow on St. Mary’s glacier.  So a year ago, I booked a trip to Portillo, Chile, with my friend Marcus.  What followed was an incredible, life-changing experience which I will never forget. Continue reading