Sunday, March 31, 2013

Steamboat Day 2 - Monday 3/25

Monday was clear and cold, but slightly warmer with sun most of the day, with powder remaining from the prior day. The snow remained soft and easy.

Eventually a pattern developed where we skied in parallel and choose trails of varying difficulty, but end up at the same lift. I gravitated towards Two and Three O'Clock trees, and the more moderate treed areas between Flintlock and Quickdraw. Sometimes solo, sometimes not.

I learned more about aspens this trip:
  1. The bark is sometimes bronze not white. The aspens along Three O'Clock in particular had this dark color, and I thought it was my goggles at first. Who knew?
  2. It gelled in my mind that the snow beneath aspens is different in character over time than among pine trees. The reason is that aspens don't block the sun, so the snow is more subject to the freeze/thaw cycle. This fact -- and inexperience -- had hindered my attempts to ski aspens in the past, especially at Beaver Creek where the ones I tried were closely spaced. In relatively fresh snow however, with widely-spaced trees, the going was easy. If necessary, I'd simply stop on a bump and survey my line carefully.
It also helped that I had new skis. I was having lunch the prior week and spotted a pair of the 2011 K2 ObSETHed for $299 (it's a ski from two seasons ago). I also put a pair of Salomon STH 14 alpine bindings on them, since I rarely tour and don't like the stand height and extra weight of the Marker Baron.

I love my 2010 ObSETHeds, but I always wanted more rocker and many times had been thinking of buying the next year's model, which fit the bill: about 4" off the ground at the tip, and only 28" under foot touching the snow. They turn on a dime and the ski is more beefy in the middle where you're applying pressure. They are great in the trees; a successful impulse purchase. Performance on groomers is probably better as well due to the stability underfoot. They're not much fun on bulletproof hardpack, but neither are the older model. I think you really need a race-inspired ski to actually carve that stuff, as opposed to doing a controlled skid into softer snow below it.

Below is a shot down the last part of Concentration, which I typically skied into the condo each day instead of the easier, sinuous Vagabond:

I think this was the evening we went to Fiesta Jalisco, and the food was good, though not extraordinary. The margarita was great, as was the staff, especially since they were dealing with a really busy Monday night (ski town crowds during spring break).

Distance was 41.00 miles, time 7:03 (moving 4:25), elevation gain/loss 26,166 feet, avg. speed 5.8 mph, and max speed 40.3 mph. Did 16 runs downhill. The quads were feeling it a little by the end of the day.


  1. Dayum dude. That is some skiing. Nice stuff.

  2. GZ - I get tired just looking at the pictures. These trails were long, but the steepest trails are yet to come, on days 4 and 5.