ADVENTURE JOURNAL

March Recap

March Recap

A little bit of everything…


March is one of those months…warm temps, sunny skies, the coming of spring and the occasional 2-foot powder dump. That’s why we all love March in Aspen, Colorado. You never quite know what you’re going to get, and we like that, the mixed bag, because we’re ready for it and it never bores.


TJ David dropping into March on a sleeper blue bird Powder Day. Photo by Tom Zuccarino

TJ David dropping into March on a sleeper blue bird Powder Day. Photo by Tom Zuccareno


Avenues of Light. Photo by Tom Zuccareno

Avenues of Light. Photo by Tom Zuccareno


The beautiful thing about March is that rising temperatures and valley rainfall keep all but the most curious skiers from emerging from the comfort of their warm beds and out onto the slopes. Knowing that a light drizzle in town certainly means snow in our higher locations around Aspen and that most people are staying tucked away under their down comforters, my daily routine is the early morning wake up, followed by 25 minutes of buses to Aspen Highlands from my house. With my eyes set on the bowl, a few Steeplechase laps hold my attention until patrol drops the ropes on the real objective for the day. A couple laps down the north woods and you’ve all but forgotten you’re in Colorado. Heli drops in interior British Columbia perhaps?

A typical March day, complete with deep turns, untracked snow and continual snowfall. It’s always worth getting up early for days like these on Aspen Highlands.


TJ David and Katrina DeVore enjoying one of the first powder days of March on Aspen Highlands. Photo by Jeremy Swanson

TJ David and Katrina DeVore enjoying one of the first powder days of March on Aspen Highlands. Photo by Jeremy Swanson


After a long dry spell in February I wasn't sure if I still knew how to make powder turns. Photo by: Jeremey Swanson

After a long dry spell in February I wasn’t sure if I still knew how to make powder turns. Photo by: Jeremey Swanson


Of course, you can’t forget about the ski touring in March. Big days, small days, and everything in between…The constant refresh from small storms allowed us to continue to explore into the Elks and put bigger objectives into our minds.


TJ David on Highlands Ridge, Photo by Ben G.

TJ David on Highlands Ridge, Photo by Ben G.


Summit Selfie.

Summit Selfie.


TJ David dropping down the face of Conundrum Peak

TJ David dropping down the face of Conundrum Peak on an early March morning.


As the snow continued to fall and wintery days were followed with sunny cold mornings, we took full advantage of incredible backcountry conditions. Easter was particularly great!

Easter Sunday celebrated in the best way we know…a ripping run down Maroon Bowl.

We revisited past locations from early in the year, hoping for better snow, in search of an extraordinary run with extraordinary conditions. Unfortunately, we were greeted by heavy winds, thick wind crusts, and adventurous survival skiing. Oh well, not every day can be the best day of your life, but we still enjoyed the turns.


Laying down track following our pre-Easter storm cycle. Photo by Matt Lanning.

Laying down track following our pre-Easter storm cycle. Photo by Matt Lanning.


Matt Lanning ridge skinning. It's like walking a tight-rope sometimes.

Matt Lanning ridge skinning. It’s like walking a tight-rope sometimes.


Looking back into the valley. Photo by Matt Lanning

Looking back into the valley. Photo by Matt Lanning


Ski cutting through a nasty wind crust in a NW facing couloir. Photo by Matt Lanning

Power jump turn through a nasty wind crust in a NW facing couloir. Photo by Matt Lanning


Matt Lanning negotiating a the steep and tight NW facing couloir on Hayden.

Matt Lanning negotiating the steep and tight NW facing couloir on Hayden in a crazy ambient light.


Sometimes its really windy. Photo by Matt Lanning.

Sometimes it’s really windy. Photo by Matt Lanning.


TJ David adventure skiing! Photo by Matt Lannig

TJ David adventure skiing! Photo by Matt Lanning


Jump turning down the apron. The skiing wasn't that steep, the wind crust was just that deep! Photo by Matt Lanning

Jump turning down the apron. The skiing wasn’t that steep, the wind crust was just that deep! Photo by Matt Lanning


The NW Face of Hayden is known for its wind, but today was the windiest I've ever experienced in this particular area. Matt Lanning Descending through the upslope wind.

The NW Face of Hayden is known for its wind, but today was the windiest I’ve ever experienced in this particular area. Matt Lanning Descending through the upslope wind.


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Up through a beautiful early morning sun hit. Photo by Matt Lanning


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Heading up for another in the Hayden area following another beautiful spring storm. Photo by Matt Lanning


Ski cutting. Photo by Matt Lanning

Ski cutting. Notice the uphill pole, snow’s not looking great is it? Photo by Matt Lanning


Wide open aprons. Matt Lanning's favorite!

Wide open aprons. Matt Lanning’s favorite!


Round two. Photo by Matt Lanning

Round two. Photo by Matt Lanning


Well, you can’t really ski great snow if you’ve never experienced bad snow. One simply doesn’t exist without the other. So after a succession of pretty mediocre days in the backcountry around Aspen, another sleeper storm rolled in and our patience was rewarded with a beautiful storm day.


Aaron Carlson en route to a white out ascent of local favorite, Shimer Peak.

Aaron Carlson en route to a white out ascent of local favorite, Shimer Peak.


Up into the milk jug.

Up into the milk jug.


TJ David and Aaron Carlson up through the white out. Photo by Matt Lanning

TJ David and Aaron Carlson up through the white out. Photo by Matt Lanning


TJ David stoked on the conditions. Photo by Matt Lanning

TJ David stoked on the conditions. Photo by Matt Lanning


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Enjoying late March on Independence Pass. Photo by Matt Lanning


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Transition turns, yes! Photo by Matt Lanning.


Storm skiing!

All in all March brought the goods, tThanks El Niño! I know for those of us not ready to put on the flip-flops and board shorts April could be just as good. We’ll just have to work for it a little more. #notoverit #skiperu2016

Big thanks to Matt Lanning, Tom Zuccareno, and Jeremy Swanson for photo contributions to this blog post! And of course all my ski partners for getting out there with me. Cheers guys!


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