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  • #669502
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Nice photos MtnDog!

    #670221
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Saw some of the biggest avalanches I’ve seen all season up in James Peak Wilderness when I toured up there on Tuesday (1/7). Guessing they all ran over the previous weekend. All slides were on East to Northeast aspects, near/above treeline. Snow was kind of crap (heavily wind effected) for splitboarding, but a pleasant day and nice tour. Pics here http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/sets/72157639620747114/

    #670217
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Got up to Caribou/Anchor Mine yesterday to clear my head, and have a look at how it’s filling in there. Coverage is surprisingly good, looks like it was heavily skied on 1/1, but wind had filled in most tracks and was building. Conditions were ok in the trees (leeward side), and hard wind slab in the open (not so good riding conditions).

    In other news, a big frigging east facing slope ripped out on the way up to Jones Pass. Couldn’t tell from the report if it ran over the access road or not.
    http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=21515

    Lot’s of new snow in the forecast for the weekend, be avy safe!

    #670168
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Got up into James Peak Wilderness yesterday, and it’s gotten much better since my last trip a few weeks ago. Was able to skin from the parking lot thanks to the new foot of snow from this last system. Tree’s down low are still too thin, but near treeline provided some great powder turns. Didn’t see any avy activity, but visibility above treeline was mostly zero. Didn’t get any noticable whumpfs or shooting fractures either. Stuck to lower angle terrain so didn’t bother with any snow pits either. Photo is from a northern aspect where it was staying plenty cold.

    Photos here since I’m always incapable of posting photos in this forum. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/

    #670149
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Took the splitboard for a hike in James Peak Wilderness yesterday, and we need more snow. Trees are completely too thin and impossible to ride. Looks like there may be a few small slopes above treeline holding enough snow for a few turns if you put the work in though.

    #668085
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I got up to Loveland Resort on Tuesday, and could see the crown still in place. It’s an image I wont forget anytime soon, and it felt like a bad bad sucker punch to the gut. It’s so easy to imagine myself or close friends in their shoes, it’s just awful.

    To honor our fallen brother’s memory I hope we can all take away some sort of wisdom from this, and strive to not only be safer but also more kind and helpful to others. This is my commitment.

    RIP Brothers

    #668035
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I’m not sure what to say other than this really sucks, and I’m pretty bummed about finding out this news today. Be safe out there everyone. My thoughts and condolences go out to their friends and family.

    #659203
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Conditions are pretty freaking good at the moment on the Front Range. In James Peak Wilderness yesterday, didn’t see any avy activity on any aspects, and encountered no instabilities, which is nice for a change. Video from yesterday, https://vimeo.com/62588392

    #664617
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I upgraded to a 2011/12 162cm Freebird this season too. Before giving it praise I’ll first give some background on my riding. Going on season #14 for snowboarding (was previously a 2 planker), and average 50-65 days of riding a year. Now 5’9″ and 165lb’s. I’m a powder snob and like to go fast in the open and also ride tight trees.

    Previous experience with Burton was a 163cm Omen (same year model that Craig Kelly died), and loved it for a powder board. It held up well over 3.5 seasons of inbounds and backcountry use. Had a Malalo 162 for a short time that I logged my best biggest day ever on heli-skiing in AK with. The Malalo was a very surfy turning kind of board, but wasn’t worth a crap (weird turning and lot’s of chatter) in anything less than boot deep powder. The Malalo was a last minute replacement to my Never Summer 165cm Premier T5 that got crunched by American Airlines enroute to AK- the airline paid to have Never Summer repair it and it’s still a great, albeit a bit heavy, big (for me) gun board for charging at warp speed. Once I got my T5 back, I took the Malolo back to REI and got my money back- just didn’t love it like the NS T5.

    Next was a 162cm S-Series split with the Voile interface, my first split board. I really liked it since it freed me from snowshoes, but it was a bit noodley and didn’t float so well in deep pow if I had a heavy pack. It didn’t stand a chance in comparison to my Never Summer 160cm Titan in hardpack conditions, or have near the float and fun of my Never Summer 161cm Premiere F1 (which I frigging LOVE) in powder conditions.

    Finally, I came across a new Freeride 162cm this summer and picked it up for $400 (with just clips and hooks) from the local shop, but didn’t build it up until christmas since we had such a lame start to the season here in CO. Build is standard Voile hardware with Spark Blaze bindings, G3 skins, and ridden with Burton Driver X boots (my second pair in 4 seasons- they work well for me), and I think it looks pretty sick. I wanted to get a Venture, but the price was right (less than half that for the Venture Storm). While I wanted to support the local team, buying a handmade board from Austria (the capital of the ski industry) was a bearable semi-responsible alternative. I’ve now put about 10 days on it, and am very happy with it. The board has more than enough float (as in way more than the cambered S-Series) in deep pow, but not the stuck in surf mode feel of the Malolo. Turns are nice at speed and in tight trees which I guess is attributable to the spoon/rockered nose, tapered profile, and shorter effective edge/more aggressive sidecut than the S-Series. It’s a bit on the soft side, but seems to ride well enough on hardpack trail when exiting the backcountry (I’m not the type to ride a split inbounds especially when I have a quiver of lighter better performing solid boards- use the right tool for the right job). Besides the nice riding characteristics, it’s a good bit lighter than my older setup which makes for easier and faster approaches with less fatigue.

    Overall, I’m really happy with this board and overall setup, and if it’s anything like my previous Burtons I’ll hopefully get 3-4 years of good backcountry use out of it. Only negatives are the tolerances are not as tight as a Never Summer of Venture, the top and bottom clips come undone on chatter which is easily and cheaply fixed as seen in photo below (this seems like an endemic issue with most splitboards), and the top sheet shows scratches easily if you care (not an issue for myself, and should be expected on anything that’s black with a gloss finish).

    Pics:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/8490025160/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/8490025152/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/8490024998/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rky_mtn_srfr/8488927447/
    (minor rant, why must it be so difficult to post photos in this forum?)

    #659195
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Yep, been getting my powder turns in at James Peak Wilderness and Caribou (yesterday), and it’s been good! Lot’s of wind yesterday and today making for miserable conditions above treeline, but powder is piling up nicely in the trees. Finally got into this 20 foot in diameter natural half-pipe/avy chute (NW aspect) that I’ve been watching from across the valley, and it was deep and soft.
    Snowpack still highly variable and discontinuous, but no new avalanches seen this week. If we could just get a good storm with calm winds, a lot of good terrain above treeline should start working well.

    #659160
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    HFT, nice big tour. You can still see remnants of the crown (top left of your Iceberg Lakes photo) from the big natural above Iceberg Lakes from 2 weeks ago.

    Interesting that you got decent turns off that peak (Heartbeat?), I was on the peak (about same aspect and slope angle but about 600 feet lower) between Crater Lakes and Iceberg on 12/29, and it was super wind hammered/bullet proof.

    Got up there again on the 31st with friends and made some decent powder turns on NW aspects near treeline. Imho, the area still needs a couple more feet of snow to get good. We did get a substantial settlement, whole slope and meadow (80’x80′ NW aspect 30-35 slope angle), that left fractures across the whole slope. Try as we did, we couldn’t get it to release, but we didn’t ski it either.

    #663294
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Besides the spare pair of light warm gloves in my pack, I use Burton AK gloves for going down and in real cold ascents. Typically I use an old set of light duty/liners by 4Square for the ascent, but now one of the fingers is starting to blow out. If it’s really warm enough I’ll even get down to bare hands (I run on the warm side for sure.)
    Getting back to the thread, I just picked up a pair of camel leather work gloves that are made in the USA for $5.99 from the local hardware store and was pretty stoked to get something that fit decently for such a deal. Unfortunately the dog ate them last night 🙁

    #659271
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    (Front Range) Heading up to James Peak Wilderness to suss out this new snow on Thursday, probably a 6-7 hour tour…

    #662096
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Nice!

    #659135
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Took my split for a hike yesterday in James Peak Wilderness to check the situation, go through the motions, and enjoy a nice day and fresh air. It’s farlooking right now; looks good from afar, but far from good looking.

    If you go, you’ll have a 3 mile hike/bootpack in most any direction (from the Moffet Tunnel parking lot) before you can even start skinning, unless you don’t care about destroying skins and boards. Once I switched to skins, I still had to be very careful- lots of stepping instead of sliding.

    Below treeline didn’t look ridable on any aspect because it’s still too thin. Near treeline held some thin powdery pockets in the shade, and above treeline all seemed to be pretty wind hammered. South facing aspects looked to be getting royally baked- you could hear a river under the snow in areas.

    My consensus; wait for another 2-3 feet of snow before going up there in search of turns unless you want to go for a hike like I did (6 miles hiking, 2 miles skinning, 0 snowboarding).

    Picks here since I can never figure out how to put images in this forum.
    http://www.eddieclarkmedia.com/Print-Gallery/1213-snow-season/26538942_gsNRd5#!i=2217428167&k=DXFT5JS

    #651767
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I spent 3 days prior to the Thursday/Friday (2/22 & 23) storm learning a new zone in James Peak Wilderness, east facing trees near and below treeline- probably my new favorite zone for tree skiing. Powder turns in trees were VERY good. Lot’s of visible loading/slab formation above treeline, so much that I wouldn’t dare get above treeline just yet. Considering the wind event after our last storm, I’d guess most everything except a few dangerous protected pockets is pretty wind hammered now. I also made it up to Loveland ski area Thursday morning despite most of i70 being closed, and it was pretty damn awesome.

    Markus Beck posted an observation from James Peak Wilderness last Monday, and he noted signs of instability in the Crater Lakes area. The Crater Lakes zone below treeline has a lot of benchy dangerous micro terrain features, so it’s not surprising. I’ve experienced a lot of those instabilities (cracking, fractures, large whumpfing in years past there too.

    Interestingly, I was on the same aspect/elevation and not far from him but got no signs if instability. Still gotta give the area some serious respect when slope angles get high though.

    I’m playing the waiting game for stability to get better before I start venturing above treeline. Sounds like there were plenty of naturals and artificial avy’s in the Front Range, and Colorado for that matter, over the weekend. Not surprising.

    Be safe!

    #651668
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Talk about a terrain trap.

    #651737
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I postponed going for a tour today so my girlfriend wouldn’t worry about me on Valentines Day. So sad this news is, my thoughts and condolences to his family and friends.

    (edit) I felt compelled to post an online informational checklist of mine that hopefully folks can use to plan safe backcountry missions. Consider it as a helpful resource, as it’s in no way intended to be judgemental of this accident. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12867

    #644599
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    We got a shit ton of snow here on the Front Range, and it’s still coming down. The trees skied very nicely today, best powder turns of the season. Tomorrow should be even better, better get after it!

    #651065
    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    I’m possibly (want to) going. Still have to get confirmation on schedule before I can commit…

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 146 total)