Catch of the Day - Snowmass Vista
This shot reeks of the extraordinary sense of adventure we rather average human beings can obtain through recreational skiing and boarding. Taken at the summit of Snowmass Ski Area in Colorado, the photographer (likely a Euro) took a little hike beyond the lift served terrain to reach the elevation reading on his watch 3765m; i. e., 12,350'. The reward for his efforts: a candy bar and a view to die for, followed probably by an epic ski run.
Thanks for the link. They sure are some sweet pictures - the only problem is that they are making me drool.
On the other hand, I have to nitpick something, so look at #18 in the sequence (just before the one with the watch-altimiter). That dude will be skiing tracked up powder (or, at least attempting to do so) on long, red (ie, ultra stiff) 8 y.o. Elan SCX monoblocks, which are deeply sidecut, and as I recall, are about 62 mm wide underfoot - just about the exact opposite of a modern powder ski in all ways. I couldn't spot any other pictures of him, but if he pulled that off, he gets a bunch of points in my book.
Tom / PM
PS - I owned and skied on a pair of those exact skis for a couple of seasons, so I know that skiing crud with them can be done, but man, modern equipment makes it sooo much easier.
LOL PhysicsDude and also he has Tele bindings! Yeah those skis are a dog ... my G/F had a pair and I tried 'em once and that damn flaired tail just would not release at the end of a turn, it would only do basically a limited range of turn shapes, you could not skid 'em in the bumps, they would hang-up on the steeps, and the front was soooo noodle-like compared to my race skis I almost did a face plant on my first turns when I overpressured the shovel! But then again some people like this guy like to torture themselves and fall a lot .... PS I bought my G/F a new pair of Rossi 150's the next day and boy did she improve in one day!!!
Can't view the pix here @ work; if some of them are of Highlands Bowl they must be pretty spectacular. It's an incredibly large, rugged, and scenic bowl.
A couple of points about the linked article. Highlands Bowl used to be OB and very, very prone to avalanches. As the article states, several ski patrollers have died there over the years. Highlands Bowl is now part of the patrolled/controlled section of Aspen Highlands. It is much, much safer now than it was when the article was written. I would never have ventured into terrain like that back in the 80's. As stated in recent Ski/Skiing mag articles, ski patrol is using skier compaction to make the bowl safer. Compaction lessens the chance that dangerous snow layers will form under the surface. (Several of the backcountry skiers on this board can do a better job of explaining why.) The ski mags state that before the bowl opens at the start of the season, ski patrol and volunteers pack down the entire bowl - similar to how World Cup race trails used to be (still are?) packed down. Given the size of the bowl and the altitude it's at, that's an amazing feat of human perserverance. The compaction continues during the season via more skiers sliding down the slopes.
I hiked Highlands Bowl one day this past March - wish I had a digital camera with me. (Though I don't know if I would have had the energy to carry it.) If you time it right, you can catch a snowcat ride which will save you several hundred feet of hiking. After that, it's a long, long hike up the ridge to the summit. It's not a true knife's edge ridge, but it is still a bit freaky since tens of feet to your left or right the mountain just drops away. I nearly coughed up both lungs on the hike up. We got passed by several groups of locals on the way up; most of the skiers were smart and had their skis strapped to their backs and were able pole with both arms. I didn't have those straps and was forced to carry my skis over one shoulder polling with one arm. Not a recommended technique for carrying skis more than 40 feet to your car, much less at 12,000 feet. I tend to learn things the hard way.
At the top of the ridge at 12,400 there is a swing made out of an old double chair. Took a nice long rest on it! Wonder how many cases of beer they had to pay the people who carried the swing to the top?
We skied down the ridge past the mentioned B-1 Chute to our left, and dropped down into a sparsely treed section. Even though Highlands Bowl is now patrolled, you still need to worry a bit about slides. I figured the trees would provide an extra margin of safety if a slide occurred. The bowl is so big that your group is pretty much by its lonesome whatever line you chose to ski.
The hike was definitely worth it. Once dropping into the trees, we got mid-thigh deep untracked snow on a real steep pitch (prolly very close to 50 degrees.) Since the trail was steep enough and far enough removed from anyone else, I was a bit reluctant to really let my skis run. As a result, there were a few turns where I was almost stopped by the depth of the snow, even when I had my skis pointed straight down the hill. Definitely a weird sensation.
...Something tells me the guy with the Elans is a Norwegian tele-stud who could ski anything in any conditions. Here's a picture of him and his friend hiking with their ski gear to the scenic viewpoint. http://community.webshots.com/photo/110049359/110049917gGXMYs
I think the guy on the right with the big wide Fischer's is the one with the watch/altimeter in the scenic shot.
Here's a couple shots of the taller guy with his same Elans & tele gear - handling deep powder quite nicely. PM, I think you owe him a brewski.
Brewski recommendation duly noted! He deserves it!
One clue that also suggests that he is indeed a Norsk TeleStud is the lack of a hat on him in a couple of the photos.
One of my closest skiing buddies is from Norway, is a PSIA certified telemark instructor, regularly competes in triathlons, and is the only guy I have ever met that thinks nothing about skiing in 5 degree F, 25 mph, blizzard conditions without a hat.
Tom / PM
Can you repost the links to the pages containing the *.jpg's? It appears the site won't directly serve up the images in an http request; look's like they must be embedded in a page. This is one way to prevent "elimination of the middle man" and have viewers not use your pay-to-get-photo service. I tried a few "obvious" url patterns using the picture names; no luck.