Sometime last Saturday I noticed Bob Perlmutter peering through the telescope at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain, following the progress of a skier on Ski Hayden (Hayden Peak’s north summit). I had been tracking the solo skier as well and after noting Bob’s interest, knew exactly who to recruit as a partner. After a half dozen more skiers followed suit up there on Sunday and Monday and with beautiful weather firmly in place, I called Bob and we got set to go.
Tuesday was our shot. We were a day late.
Unexpected wind and scattered clouds greeted us in the morning, and Bob’s weather source reported that it never dropped below freezing(at 10,000 ft.) through the night. Such news might have sent some back to bed but we were eager to get out for the day, so we optimistically moved onward and upward, and the winds and cloud cover increased as we went.
At the 13,300 foot-plus summit the visibility was poor. The snow we skied from the summit was so-so, soft in parts, hard everywhere else. Feeling adventurous we rolled over the edge to ski the Stammberger Face, and when I thought I was having a hard time due to being on new skis, Bob commented that it wasn’t the skis that were the problem. Funky, variable snow was everywhere. The wind turned the powder to hardpack and crust up high, and the warm temps down low made it all sticky and heavy. Once back at the car we openly acknowledged our relief at making it down with our knees intact.
I guess it’s still better than being at work.