El Niño Delivers into January
Photography by Matt Power
When January arrives in Aspen everyone is usually a bit nervous about the traditional, month long high-pressure that has even the most patient skiers biting their nails in anxious anticipation for new signs of snow. Although December was a really snowy month for us, an unexpected storm brought in the new year with over a foot of fresh snow to Aspen Mountain, surprising locals and tourists alike. Naturally, Adam Moszynski, Chris Davenport, Matt Power and myself set out to snap a few photos. After all, snow in January in Aspen has been a very rare occurrence over the last several seasons. And honestly, who knows when we’ll be returning to those typical sunny and cold January days and month long stretches of high-pressure. So we’ll take advantage while we can!
After an incredible start to the new year, I think we were all feeling a bit lucky to have gotten as many great days on the mountain over the holiday as we had. So when the inevitable high-pressure returned, and long term forecasts showed more than a full week without precipitation, I didn’t feel too anxious to hunt for powder, but I did have a couple friends out in Utah and I’d heard they were still getting great snow, so I made a quick trip out.
Ryan and I were both surprised to see how much the Wasatch has changed since we lived there six years ago. With everything in the back country farmed wall-to-wall, we traded in our touring setups, broke out the alpine gear, lapped Alta and sipped beers at the Peruvian Lodge. Not a bad way to spend a couple days between January storms.
After a few days in Utah I returned to Aspen surprised to see the forecast had changed and snow was again on the horizon. This week I was joined in Aspen by my Patagonian amigo Inti Fernandez. He’s been touring around North America working on a project for an extreme sports program on Limite Sur, a Patagonian TV station. It’s safe to say Inti brought the snow with him as El Niño returned with a series of storm days and beautiful bluebird powder mornings.