Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeking Solitude in the Front Range

With the first solid dump of the year on the ground I was eager to get away from the lift-accessed crowd, so I headed up to the secret stash to find some soft snow and solitude in the often crowded front range backcountry....


A potent early season upslope storm delivered 18-24" across the Front Range this week. The lift accessed riding at the Luv on Wednesday was great with 21" falling in less than 24hrs. Pre-halloween faceshots were had in the morning, but with only 3 runs open, the snow went fast. I decided after hearing a few reports from friends that had been out on Loveland Pass to head up the secret stash east of the Divide that Cory and I had been scouting these past few weeks. Its not as vast or as gnarly as Berthoud, but it is off of most people's radar which is nice since so many BC spots around here are crawling with mountain jocks from Denver covered in North Face gear pushing their tele's up the skin track. The stash allows for an escape. Although there was one other car at the trailhead, I never saw the other party all day. As I hiked my way up the winding trail, the new snow swished under my feet and glistened like a million diamonds illuminated by the bright sun. I made it to the top in around an hour, had a bite to eat, and dug a quick hand pit before dropping into the wide-open mellow bowl below me.

I had this all to myself. Sometimes its just not fair.

I stuck to the upper elevations of the stash as I was concerned there wasn't enough coverage for a full lap, and even though I managed to scrape bottom a couple of times, overall the snow was awesome. Remember, its not even Halloween yet.

Solitude found at the stash.

I made a couple of more laps through the bowl before deciding I should probably head down before I was late for work. Along the way I dropped into another line I had scouted earlier this fall that I knew had minimal rocks for a few more fun, fast turns.

There is something pretty special about looking back up a slope and seeing only your tracks on it. Until next time....