ADVENTURE JOURNAL

So you’ve been dreaming and you get an idea…maybe there is an oasis out there. A place that isn’t too far from home but just far enough that everything will be different. An escape from the hard pack, mogul slaying that has had you victim to sore knees, skin bang and hours complaining over and over about lack of snow at your local aprés. We believe we’ve found that place. The escape from day in day out routine that has you asking yourself, is it summer yet? And it’s a lot closer than you thought. The Alta Lakes Observatory.


 

Located on the backside of Telluride Ski Resort at 11,400 feet in the San Juan Backcountry, the Alta Lakes Observatory isn't quite a hut or is it a cabin.

Located on the backside of Telluride Ski Resort at 11,400 feet in the San Juan Backcountry, the Alta Lakes Observatory isn’t quite a hut or is it a cabin. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

 


So you talk about it, you chat a bit with a friend or two, a few text messages and maybe just maybe you’ve got an idea. You’ve found that place. And if conditions are just right, maybe there will even be some soft snow to ski or some interesting terrain to keep the mind active, engaged and reawakened.


 

Chason Russel descending Colorado Peak.

Chason Russel descending Colorado Peak.

 

Putting skiing before football we trailered our sleds and headed south. Our crew of six consisted of Adam Moszynski and Darcy Conover, Corbeaux Clothing co-owners, photographer and athlete Will Cardamone, junior freeride coach JF Bruegger and telluride local Chason Russel. Forgoing the Super Bowl ensured no traffic from Aspen to Telluride and we were soon sipping beers at the Last Dollar. Discussing plans for the morning and dreaming of the possibilities at hand.

Sleds in tow we arrived in Telluride, Colorado.

Sleds in tow we arrived in Telluride, Colorado.

We caught a perfect sunset over the San Juan Mountains.

We caught a perfect sunset over the San Juan Mountains.

 

We started off our trip with a classic up and over tour to the town of Ophir, Colorado. An early morning snow squall and low visibility kept us wondering if we would be able to reach Colorado Peak, a possible goal for the tour.

Ophir Lakes Trailhead

Ophir Lakes Trailhead

 

With little expectations for skiing anything noteworthy our team was excited just to enjoy a great safe day in the San Juan Backcountry. Taking in amazing views as they came in and out of clouds and intermittent snow showers we enjoyed some good conversation and the incredible feeling of being back in the mountains.

Adam Moszynski, Will Cardamone and Darcy Conover skinning in the San Juan Backcountry.

Adam Moszynski, Will Cardamone and Darcy Conover skinning in the San Juan Backcountry.

 

A possible goal for our first day in the San Juan Backcountry.

A possible goal for our first day in the San Juan Backcountry.

 

After breaking tree line around mid day we were greeted with a beautiful view of Colorado Peak and the surrounding backcountry. As weather conditions began to break up and blue skis emerged on the horizon we decided to push toward the summit to check snow conditions and see if we could descend one of the beautiful couloirs that we had talked about early in the day as a possible option for skiing.

Darcy Conovor ascending Colorado Peak.

Darcy Conovor ascending Colorado Peak.

 

 

JF and Chason on the final push toward the Summit of Colorado Peak.

JF and Chason on the final push toward the Summit of Colorado Peak.

 


As luck would have it, the weather cleared we were able to slowly descend into a choice line with soft, stable snow conditions.


TJ enjoying the view. San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo: Will Cardamone

Enjoying the view. San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo: Will Cardamone


There’s nothing better than that anticipation of dropping into an incredibly beautiful line. All the work on the up hill seems to disappear and it’s nothing but you and that moment.


Local Chason Russel leads the way down Colorado Peak above the town of Ophir.

Local Chason Russel leads the way down Colorado Peak above the town of Ophir. Photo: Will Cardamone

 

JF sending it into the beautiful San Juan backdrop.

JF sending it into the beautiful San Juan backdrop. Photo: Will Cardamone

 

TJ Colorado Peak

I was fortunate enough to get the honors on this beautiful, untouched canvas of perfect soft snow. Photo: Will Cardamone

 

The Alta Lakes Observatory sits on the backside of Telluride Ski Resort in the San Juan backcountry.

The Alta Lakes Observatory sits on the backside of Telluride Ski Resort in the San Juan backcountry.


The Alta Lakes Observatory isn’t your average backcountry hut. Complete with a electricity, running water and a shower, hot tub and sauna, a full kitchen with a dishwasher, massive fireplace and plenty of beds and seating for you are your whole crew this place exceeds hut. And maybe the word Cabin too. One night at the observatory and you’ll understand why this place is in itself an oasis. The place for a perfect getaway.


Alta Lakes Observatory

Alta Lakes Observatory

 


Greeted by the morning sunrise from your bedroom window, you realize that the observatory isn’t just about creature comforts. It’s also about being within an arms reach of a mecca of incredible backcountry ski terrain.


Morning sunrise from my bedroom window.

Morning sunrise from my bedroom window.


So we set off for two days of great touring in the San Juan Backcountry. Big thanks to local guru Chason Russel for showing us around these incredible mountains!


Adam Moszynski, Darcy Conover and Will Cardamone taking in the local terrain.

Adam Moszynski, Darcy Conover and Will Cardamone taking in the local terrain.

 

Team_Alta2_Feb2015_003

Adam Moszynski sets the skin track in the San Juan Backcountry just 10 minutes from the Alta Lakes Observatory.

 

Chason Russel and I take the lead in the mid morning light. Photo: Will Cardamone

Chason Russel and I take the lead in the mid morning light. Photo: Will Cardamone

Adam Moszynski sampling some of the local goods. Photo: Will Cardamone

Adam Moszynski sampling some of the local goods. Photo: Will Cardamone

Adam Moszynski dropping back in toward the Alta Lakes Observatory. There is nothing better than couloir skiing back to your front door.

Adam Moszynski dropping back in toward the Alta Lakes Observatory. There is nothing better than couloir skiing back to your front door.

We were treated to several incredible sunsets from the back deck of the Alta Lakes Observatory.

We were treated to several incredible sunsets from the back deck of the Alta Lakes Observatory.

Darcy Conover waits for Adam Moszynski to reach the ridge so the team can continue on to their next checkpoint.

Darcy Conover waits for Adam Moszynski to reach the ridge so the team can continue on to their next checkpoint.

Darcy Conover descends toward the Alta Lakes Observatory.

Darcy Conover descends toward the Alta Lakes Observatory.

Adam Moszynski finishes off the trip with some turns outside the cabin. Photo: Will Cardamone

Adam Moszynski finishes off the trip with some turns outside the cabin. Photo: Will Cardamone


We’re certain we found our oasis and we’re looking forward to getting back to the Alta Lakes Observatory.


no comment

Leave a Reply