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Sweet Glades.JPGFremont Pass.JPGSpring Turns.JPGDecided to hook up with a buddy from Leadville and give my new backcountry set up another try (trip 2).

We skinned up right next to the Climax boundary off CO 91 to a lightly treed knoll which is very protected and not all that steep (guessing 25-30 degrees). There was a couple of inches of fresh snow on top of a crusty Spring layer. below the crust the snow was very rotten-you could push your pole all the way to the ground. We skinned and skied 4 laps of around 600 vertical feet or so-nothing gnarly just really great Spring conditions (untracked too). Then finished with beers at Copper/Sunsations.

I think the steep lines in the area might be prone to wet slides right now-we saw recent evidence across the Valley. Not very consolidated at this point. Still getting used to the new setup (K2 Baker SL, Scarpa Spirit 4, Dynafit TLT). good light setup. especially enjoy the skis, and the whole thing tours like a dream.

After 35 seasons of lift serve skiing it is really fun andĀ  to get away from the boundary and have a different ski experience.

Be careful not to trespass on Climax land-we had one of their employees come up to us as we were gearing up. Something about MSHAW regs-I jokingly offered to show him my MSHAW card (need it for my work). We were on public land, but there have been some BC skiers on Climax land lately-the mix of BLM/FS/Climax makes it tricky to know where you are. In the picture of me skiing you can see the mine opps in the background.

So good to know season II is just begining!! Any one in the Estes area wants to hook up let me know-I found some really good turns at the old Hidden Valley ski area-a quick 20 minute hike past the closure gate on trail Pass Road in RMNP, then some superĀ nice terrain-will post pics from there next time. Sweet.