NOAA 7-Day Forecast: Sunny. March has been what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center calls just plainly “unusual.” Ridgway’s high temperatures this week should reach the upper 50s and near the same in our neighboring mountain towns. Spring has sprung. The snow is still holding on the trails and “now’s the time to go high,” says Joe Ryan. Spring skiing should be shaping up and while the avalanche danger has dropped, springtime snowpack and wet avalanches are a big concern. Caution is still advised. And trips into the huts are a nice safe alternative.
Racer Marcel Medued kept an accurate account of race stats–or rather his Garmin did. Photo courtesy of Summer Ruckman
The return of the Sneffels Half Loop backcountry ski race was a welcome one. Forty-one racers took the starting line and forty-one finished at the Ridgway Hut access road and the Blue Lakes trailhead, respectively, the long and short courses.
Mmmm…..pizza…..What could be better than a deliciously hot pizza after skiing in the backcountry all day? Nothing, no ifs, ands, or buts, gourmet pizza is definitely my favorite dinner to eat at a hut….hands down. If your mouth is salivating, but your mind is filling with doubt about the feasibility of pulling off a gourmet pizza in a hut, rest assured Gentlemen and Ladies, YOU can do it. It’s actually quite simple and the ingredients can be lightweight too.
As we enter the modern navigation era of GPS tracks, Google Earth files, and Spot devices, we also want to help our more modern guests with some of the tried and true navigation practices of days gone by. What would you do if your GPS fails? Here is a synopsis, from most to least obvious, of how we have found our way around the mountains for many years.