|How I got started skiing year-round: My first day skiing in the summer was in 1968, off of Trail Ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Over the years I spoke of that day with my friends more than any lift served day. It seemed natural to ski all year after Ricky Liberelli got me going on my randonee equipment in the summer of 1992.|
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip: Most of my summer experiences have been in the Indian Peaks Wilderness on the east side of the Continental Divide, west of Boulder. Many of the 70 plus small glaciers and snow fields last through the summer so I rarely have to be concerned with whether or not I get enough turns to call it a day.
Biggest threat to my streak: Had my knee scoped mid winter about 5 years ago, could have been a problem but wasn't.
Type of equipment I use: I started out on Ramer randonee bindings, graduated to being a decent tele skier and now use a Rottefeller Colbra on Volkle Snow Wolf skis. I find myself utilizing my alpine equipment when I know I will be dropping into steep icy stuff in September. I have my snowboard bindings set up to accept my hiking boots so I can go super lite on longer approaches. I don't recommend this set up on steep crusty stuff, ya just can't hold an edge.
Strategy for skiing through the low season: The summer of 2002 was really hot in Colorado and all my favorite stashes were melted out so I was relegated to St. Marys Glacier west of Denver, a place I typically avoid. Every rock, tin can, and all the trash that had ever landed on the glacier was now exposed on the surface. A 30 yard wide bare spot separated the top and the bottom of the glacier but I made a couple of pathetically dirty runs on on muddy slush to complete a 10 year streak. Most of you reading this will understand that I had no choice.
Worst and best backcountry ski trips: Worst: see above. Best: probably up to Skinner Hut on Hagerman pass west of Leadville. I have also enjoyed some snowcave and quinze experiences in Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness areas.
Skiing activities in the past year: I have taught for the disabled ski program, (National Sports Center for the Disabled) for 28 years. Don't plan to stop doing that any time soon either! I usually get 50+ lift served days and 8 to 10 back country days a year on alpine, snowboard, tele and skate skis.