The little snow we’ve received so far has left us with a pretty unstable snow pack, and not-so-desirable ski lines in the backcountry. We haven’t skied any of the peaks were thinking about earlier this fall, have yet to ski with some of our closest ski buddies, and definitely don’t have our powder legs under us. However, there are good things hidden in times like these! It just takes getting out the map and looking between the peaks.
Lately we’ve found solace in our light Dynafit touring set up. With skis this light, and boots this comfy (a.k.a. the Elf Shoe), you can really cover some ground and with the snow becoming a bit more stable, we’ve started making good use of our time in the valleys surrounding Aspen.
On Saturday, Anda and I completed a ski tour that connected the East Snowmass Creek valley to the Maroon Creek valley via Willow Lake. We chose to start in Snowmass and shuttled a car in the morning up to T-Lazy 7 Ranch, where we would come out. Starting at the Snowmass Ditch Trail, we followed it to the East Snowmass Valley and were on our way.
This magnificant, 17-mile loop was great training in prep for this weekend’s annual Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, the 40-mile backcountry ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen. After taking last year off, Ted and I are back as Team “Mahon Power.” The course this year is seeing some changes due to the lack of snow so it should be an interesting night out. Check out details here if you’re interested- http://www.elkmountainstraverse.com
And here are some more photos from the day.