backTurns All Year year-round skiing                

Year-round skier:  Jim Becia




How I got started skiing year-round:  The summer of '95, Arapahoe Basin had lift served skiing into August. Being the consummate downhill skier that I am, I hadn't missed a month starting from the previous November. Knowing that the lifts in Colorado would begin running again in October (Loveland or Keystone), my TAYR skiing partner, Dan Ruedy and I figured we should try to get at least one consecutive year of skiing in every month in Colorado. So, in September of '95, we hiked up St. Mary's and skied a run. In spite of injuries, illness, and dry summers (the worst), we have managed to keep the streak going for seven years. We haven't had to venture out of state yet, but to keep the streak alive, we have been considering a Pac NW or southern hemisphere trip if needed.
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip:  I try to make at least 50 slalom turns to be able to call it a ski day. Some months, I have had to yo-yo up and down 3 or 4 times in order to get up to 50. Generally, I get around 100 turns in one or two hikes up and down a snow field.
Biggest threat to my streak:  Lack of snow, but we have managed so far. I will fly to another country if I have to, to keep it going!
Type of equipment I use:  I started with basic alpine gear. Rock-ski-dujour. I would carry alpine ski boots and skis on my back when the lifts weren't running. This summer I finally purchased some used randonee gear and skins. Much better!
Strategy for skiing through the low season:  Daily updated snow information from the year round skiing maniac, TomSki
Worst and best backcountry ski trips:  Worst would have to be St. Mary's this past September. A beautiful warm, windy, sunny day, but the snow was basically dirt covered ice with sun cups the size of basketballs. If we had waited a week, we could have skied there with 6 inches of fresh snow. Got skunked once near Aspen when the weather turned surly, but since I didn't try to ski that day, it hardly counts as a ski trip. Woody Creek tavern was fun, though! The best summer ski was a snowfield near Leadville that we were able to drive to the top of, gear up and ski down. The snow was smooth, spring corn and it was a warm, sunny, summer day.
Skiing activities in the past year:  I'm back in the game. October was a close call though (Oct. 31 at Arapahoe Basin). If it wasn't for snowmaking in Colorado, October would have been a bust.





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