Ski blog: Kicking off a powder adventure, p.1 |

Ski blog: Kicking off a powder adventure, p.1

Steve LarsonVail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado This is the first in a three part series by graphic designer Steve Larson. He and some friends took some time to enjoy some of southern Colorado’s finest terrain.LATE DECEMBER, 2007: When one of my best friends and snowboarding buddies Dave Wirth called me up in mid-December and mentioned he wanted to go to Silverton, memories of my last experience there began flashing through my mind. He said, We should go to that Silverton place that Ive heard so much about. And rightfully so. Silverton has been rated as the best in the US for Steeps and powder numerous times and is known to put even the most seasoned backcountry riders in compromising positions. It was then that I began organizing our trip for bottomless powder turns and endless face shots. As far as I was concerned, our trip to Silverton was as good as on. My friend Dave had arranged for his plane to arrive in Denver on January 9th. Being a Minnesota boy, he needed a little bit of warming up before attacking one of the most difficult ski areas around. His plan was to ride Loveland on Tuesday, a few turns at Beaver Creek on Wednesday, then we would head out to Silverton Wednesday night. SUNDAY, JANUARY 6: Silverton Mountain reports 40 inches of fresh powder. I notified Dave of the news and my excitement about getting down there. Last year I was in Silverton the same weekend and they had recieved 36. Having 40 of fresh and knowing that the ski area opened on a Thursday, which was our planned arrival date, I knew it was bound to be another epic experience of a lifetime. With hotels & flights booked, our only obstacle was the snow. Would we actually be able to get to Silverton with 40 of fresh powder on the ground? TUESDAY, JANUARY 8: DAVE ARRIVES 9:00 am I get a call from Dave. I can sense a slight uneasiness in his voice. He relays his original plan to me and then verifies my original assumption through his words. 60 inches now dude? Maybe we should think about putting it off for a day. I assured him everything should be fine and that the weather was supposed to clear up that evening. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9: THE SNOW CONTINUES Dave had arrived the evening before in high spirits, but still a bit apprehensive about our plans for Silvertonand for good reason. Snow accumulations for the week were as follows: Saturday, January 5: 40 inches, Monday: 12 inches, Tuesday: 18 inches. If you arent counting, you should be. That is a whopping 70 INCHES IN 4 DAYS. Visions of neck deep powder and the possible need for a snorkel were running through my head. I couldnt blame Dave for his uneasiness, I mean Ill admit, even after being to Silverton before, I was a bit apprehensive about that much snow. The death in East Vail Chutes earlier that week didnt help to ease my on apprehension either. That morning we headed up to Beaver Creek for a few easy powder runs. Whenwe arrived at the mountain, it was completely empty. With a few inches of fresh on the ground, we proceeded to hit a couple of my favorite lines designated for days with 6 inches or less of new snow. We hit up the right side of Red Tail and then cruised over to Larkspur bowl for a couple of laps. While we were riding, the falling snow was relentless. No breaks were evident and Dave was pushing towards moving the trip back a day. I still refused and stood my ground that it took too much work to plan this trip. If we can get there, were going. As we had our little discussion, my good friend Steve Miller, a Vail local who would be joining us on the trip calls me up to see if we should maybe leave earlier. I said we would be ready by 11:00 am and that he should meet us at my place. Dave gave me a frustrated look and implies that he may just meet us there Friday. We finished up our day with a run down Heads up, Corkscrew and Forgetaboutit. After riding we checked with the Colorado Department of Transportation website which noted Red Mountain Pass, the easiest route for us to get to Silverton, as being CLOSED. We also checked the CDOT phone recording which noted that their crews were working hard to get the pass open and they expected a late afternoon opening. Good enough for us! Lets go! I said. At this point we loaded up my Subaru Impreza with three Burton Fish powder boards, avalanche beacons, probes, shovels, chains for the really gnarly roads and all the food and other supplies we needed. As Jake and Elwood Blues would say, we were On a mission from God. To check out some photos of Steve’s Silverton adventure, go to:

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