“Dream Catcher” and Silverton with the Friends!

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 4.13.42 PMBeen off the radar for a while now. Especially the blog game. Been very busy lately! Went to Denver for Outdoor Retailer, which consumed all my time, then went to Silverton and lived up there with no service. Back down in Durango now… Why?! It is snowing North and we are in Durango… Headed up to Silverton tonight to get some fresh tomorrow! The past weekend was a blast! Marshell and I headed up to Silverton on Friday! We got there before the sun went down and unloaded the sled! For the first night we stayed at the end of Cement Creek Road below Mennehaha Basin. I could not resist taking the sled out that night! We just got her back! She broke down at the end of the season up in Alaska and we just got the top end rebuilt! Huge financial hit with that one….. $2,600 later… But she ripped!!!! Super stoked to be back on her! Madison came up Friday night as well!! We all got turns on the sled and took her for a rip up the road to Corkscrew Pass! Super great feeling to be back on her! For dinner that night we had pasta!! We went to bed pretty early at like 9:30. The next morning I woke up feeling terrible. I had been fighting getting sick and of course the day we get to rip POW is the day I felt the worse. Still got after it though! Slow moving morning! After breakfast we went for it! Marshell, Madison, and I took the snowmobile up to Mennehaha Basin! Madison’s dog, Samsun, came with us! It was his first time skiing! He did really well following us running up the road. Definitely a ton of work for a dog! He would get tired, but just keep going. When we got to the top we went to the Respect Hut and dropped off some supplies for the hut and Sam. We went back out and dug a pit. The results were sketchy. We dug the pit on a North facing slope and near tree line. I did a ECT and my results were that a wind slab broke about 20cm down at three hits from the wrist, sudden planar, and fully propagated.  Not cool… All depth hoar below this. This was at ridge line in an obvious wind loaded spot. We were definitely scared of the snowpack. Those test results are shit! And with recent death from avalanche in Silverton we were even more cautious. Our decision was we would not drop into the trees at ridge line and in the steeps. We cruised down ridge line to a meadow area and skied from there. A lot more low angled skiing from here and no steep drop in. Marshell and I took the first lap super slow and very cautious. The snow seemed a lot better in the trees as far as the wind slab being present, but it was still shit snow on top of depth hoar. We made it down safely with Madison waiting at the bottom and headed back up to the top on the snowmobile. We grabbed Sam, then Madison and I went for a lap with her pup! It was her first time in the backcountry and Sam’s first time skiing. The POW was tough for her. Especially shitty POW…. It is very hard to learn POW for the first time. Plus putting the seriousness of the backcountry into the picture it is easy to be in your head. She made it down!! One of the hardest things she had ever done is what she said at the bottom! It was great!!! Love teaching people POW and backcountry!!!! Not ideal POW conditions at all so mad props to her for doing it!! Very hard, but breakable crust to facets…. Not so POW….. Good job Madison dude!! By the time we got back down to the bus for lunch my body was like what the fuuuuck are you doing! I was beat! Have not felt that sick in a while! I smashed some water and laid down on the floor next to the fire! So exhausted! Felt very weak!! I fell asleep laying there on the floor and woke up to Marshell asking us if we wanted to go back up to get his skis. I wanted to soooo bad! So bad! Mind games! I wanted to go up, rip the snowmobile in the basin, and take another lap in the trees. I went back and forth so many times saying I was going and then not as they got ready. Finally I was like I am going, sat up, started coughing my ass off just from sitting up, and was like yea I am not going… Marshell and Madison ripped the sled back up into the basin. I fell back asleep on the floor. We did a light pack up and headed back into Silverton to get in touch with friends and move up to Red Mountain Pass. I let Karl and Julien know we were all good, snow was decent enough to have fun, and we would see them up there tomorrow! We headed up to the top of Red Mountain Pass at about five or so on Saturday evening. Had a quick set up! Marshell and I are getting good at putting the chimney up, get the generator going, and feeling at home quickly. Before we totally settled down we took the snowmobile out to get a dead tree! Found a perfect one and a half one! Took the dead tree and a half back to the bus, saw, and split all of it!!! Super stocked on wood!! For dinner we all ate sweet potato fries and some mac n steez! Had leftover mac n cheese from Copper Mountain during the OnSnow. Thank you Chronic!! Great dinner! Passed out crazy early on Saturday night. Slammed so much water, EmergenCs, and NightQuill. Slept great through the night! Needed the sleep!! We had plans to wake up at six to be ready by seven to head out for our project of the day! The project was the “DreamCatcher” high alpine highline in US Basin. It was a slackline set up high over a gully in the basin. Marshell and I have been working on this project for a couple years. Finally made it happen! I woke up at six, went pee, and went back to sleep for an hour. Marshell woke up and got the fire going. Once I got up I made breakfast and tea. Hayden showed up while I was making breakfast. We ate turkey bacon, eggs, and pancakes. I was feeling much better on Sunday morning! Thankfully because it was a big day and had been looking forward to this weekend for a while now! It was the last hoorahh with all the friends before dipping to Alaska. The three of us loaded the snowmobile and off we went for our adventure to US Basin. Super easy sled ride out there! The road was pretty hardpack on the way in and then once we hit US Basin we just full throttled that bitch up to the base of the gully! We did great! Hayden had never been on a sled before! He loved it! Then I took the sled into the basin for a few minutes to get warmed up to send it up the gully. Once I was feeling good I sent it!! Got it first try up the gully!!! Ripped that shit! Used to be scared of that gully, been stuck in the middle of it before, and after a year of experience and going to Alaska I have way more skills! Alaska especially! Made me a great snowmobiler for only a year of having it. You have no choice in Alaska. You cant be a pussy! Basically full throttle the whole time up there! I learned when you are starting to get scared you just have to go full throttle and not slow down!! It always works out when you do that! I put a few tracks up and sown the gully then took Marshell and Hayden up it. Hayden was at the top of the gully beginning to rig the highline thirty eight minutes later from us leaving the car!! So smooth! We all did great!! The three of us rigged the highline together. At about 10:30 I started making a road in the snow in the basin to get everyone in easily by going back and forth on the sled a few times. Then I headed back to the bus at the top of Red Mountain Pass. I waited there for about an hour and a whole mob of friends showed up!!!! It was sick! Karl, his sister Loren from Chicago, Cait, Ian, Julien, and his two friends from Florida Christina and Rod!! They had four snowmobiles and an ATV with snowtracks with them!!! We got everything ready then all of us headed into US Basin! It was so awesome! Mobbin deep on sleds!!!! So dope! The road went well, but once we hit the basin it was game no. It was super hard getting everyone in. Not very much experience in the group, a couple of the sleds were not the best, and the ATV could not make it once off the road. After a couple hours of hard work we all made it into the center of US Basin!!!!! It was great!! Super proud of everyone! The plan was to be at the base of the gully with everyone, but that was too much work. Very satisfied with where everyone made it to!! I headed up the gully to get Marshell and Hayden. They both sent the slackline!!! Doooope!!! Super fucking cool man! Incredible highline established! “Dream Catcher” Check out Marshell Koosh on Instagram @mellomarrrThe three of us went down to everyone else. We all maxed tacos for lunch in the middle of US Basin!!! So sick!! Ian brought his little camping stove and we made up steak tacos in the backcountry!! Sled neckin!!! The original idea of the Dream Catcher line was to get slack and snowboard photos and videos. Unfortunately with all the chaos of getting in that did not happen. Once I knew it was not going to happen I jumped on the sled and took off while everyone ate lunch. I ripped deep into US Basin and up over a ridge to see what was on the other side. Super bare snowpack. Everything is fucked in Southwest Colorado… Better wind snow higher up in the basin. I played around up there for a while and set a few high marks. Neckers going neck woooooo! Marshell and Hayden started to take down the highline. I took Cait up the basin so she could get a ski lap in. Bad snow, but she still had fun! Karl, Julien, and I slednecked some more around in the basin!! Super fun! Do not worry I will not switch over to the darkside! Snow sucked and friends with new sleds! Had a good time for sure!!! The sun went down and everyone got cold! Fast! We mobbed all the out of towners to the bus! I started a fire and gave them the bag of weed. They were comfy! Karl, Julien, and I headed back out to US Basin. Karl gave Cait and myself a ski lap! We took the sled up towards the top of the basin. It was a long lap! That made it great!!! Fun skiing with Cait through the basin! Marshell and Hayden finished up, we all packed up, and dipped out of the basin back to the top of the pass. What a great day with a bunch of close friends!!!! We loaded up all the sleds to the trucks and everyone took off back to Durango! Marshell’s buddy Jon Paul showed up to the top of the pass and Hayden stuck around for dinner. I made quesadillas with refried beans and dat shard chedda cheese!!! I also slammed a couple bananas, peanut butter, three protein shakes, tons of water, and tons of tea!!! My body was so exhausted in such a great way!! Felt so good! Hayden dipped back to Durango after dinner. The three of us chilled for a while. We invited Jon Paul to stay in the bus. He was stoked on that! Warm place to crash instead of his car. Exactly what we want to be able to do!! I went to bed pretty early and those guys did not stay up too much later. Woke up Monday morning cozy in the bus. I made a bunch of turkey bacon, tea, and donuts Hayden brought the morning before. Thanks dude! Jon Paul took off after tea and food. Marshell and I slowly packed up and took off back to Durango! The snow was no good, but I had a fantastic weekend with all the friends!!! So much fun!!!!!!!!! Love all you guys! Headed to Silverton again for the next day or two! Then off to Monarch for a resort day, backcountry day, and maybe a cat day with Marshell and the Bishop crew! After that we are headed to Jackson to rip some J Hole POW!!!! Been loving life! CAN NOT WAIT TO GET TO THE POWDER!!!!!! The migration to Alaska is about to begin!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s