There’s something ceremonial about early season adventure skiing. Digging out the gear, making sure no mice have been living in your boots; putting fresh batteries in your beacon; calling your ski buddies to discuss where they suspect the motherlode of early season pow is; and then hopping in the truck to get to where the snow starts – just so you can climb to your favorite backcountry spot where there’s barely enough snow to slide on grass and rock.
Jumpstarting the season is fun. It really puts the thing into perspective. You find yourself looking around saying to yourself, “Holy sh*t, in deep winter there’s that much snow back here that that whole cliff band is gone.” You can see where the snow really adds up because of elevation, shade or wind. And you imagine how much will be there mid-season.
Yes it can be thin and kinda kooky sometimes, but if you have low expectations and know what you are getting into, it’s a great way to get some exercise and get that winter stoke fired up.
Here’s some shots from the week of Halloween in the Vail area and around Summit County, Colorado. It’s still silly thin out there but multiple ski areas are reporting 50 inches or more so far this season. If you look hard and know where to go, you can find a lot more! Just keep your tips up. Be safe and always check with CAIC for local avalanche conditions prior to making a decision to head out.
– Jeff Cricco
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