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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  September 2017 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  September 4, 2017, Little Tuckerman, Colorado
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Author Topic: September 4, 2017, Little Tuckerman, Colorado  (Read 873 times)

Posts: 509

September 4, 2017, Little Tuckerman, Colorado
« on: 09/08/17, 07:30 PM »

September 4, 2017 (Labor Day!)
Little Tuckerman Bowl
Day 1

The Beast in the Wilderness

I saw the wolf about 1 mile from the trailhead as I rounded the corner on my trot back down to the car. 

At least that's what it looked like, fair haired, larger than a German Shepard, very scary to see unaccompanied - was it a man eater?  As I approached, it shrunk down in a defensive pose and started to growl…oh oh, I think I knew what was coming.  Of course, down the trail a couple hundred yards further I could then see a couple walking toward us, I couldn’t make out what they were doing, my attention solely drawn to the animal ahead of me about 50 paces and closing.

What to do…On my chest was my music box, and I turned it up with a simple hand pass; now it was pretty load, way beyond my usual “quiet conversation” level I try and maintain to not vex the innocents.  The English Beat this time, why, what happy, fun music to entertain, not even my truly irritating fare, such as my sludge metal or Sonic Youth’s live stuff from the early eighties - simply a delight to get a sweat from…but I digress.  Regardless of the aural atmosphere, I had a problem, and I wanted to present as big an impression as I could, I had seen a dog attack a friend before.  And this was a wolf!  I picked up my pace and was soon at a nice run, closing the distance between us.  In case he came at me, at least I would already be running. 

I think I was a pretty menacing thing as I came toward the wolf, with my snowboard flying high overhead, ski pole in my hand, a big grin on my face (all those teeth!) and my Yerba Matte bottle and music box jangling on my chest - it turned tail and started to run down the trail in the direction I was going, occasionally glancing over its shoulder and growling.

Oh, this was getting delicious.  I closed the gap to 25 yards as it raced down the trail in front of me.

If the couple was its owner, surely it would stop near them and then the fun would really begin as it defended its humans from this menacing beast of the forest.  Perhaps they wanted me to stop?  No way was I stopping so it could get its bearing and attack me.  So we played catch-up until we closed the gap with the people.  I expected the worst...and thus ran harder.

But it flew past them and kept on going down the trail, I raced past them as well, my focus on the rocky trail and the animal ahead of me.  What a sight we must have been.

I started to really laugh, this was awesome!  100 yards, 200 yards, every now and then the animal would slow and growl, then turn and run on, thank goodness it didn’t want to bite me, it could have done some serious damage.  Behind me I could hear the couple yelling the animals name, (so it really was their dog?) But it was really hard to tell as Wakening and Cox's guitars reverberated down the trail and my mind focused on the rocks and steps below me.  On and on we went…perhaps it was going back to the car with me?  After what seemed like an eternity, it turned and ran off into the woods.  I slowed slowly as the danger passed behind me, but kept a steady jog all the way back to the car.

That was very exciting!


What an interesting way to begin my year. 

A second year in a row of skiing over Labor Day, becoming a nice tradition to alleviate the anxiety of summer heat in September.  After all, powder skiing could wait until, well, October.

And back on the Turns all year wagon.  Month 13 in the bag.  Now I've done it.

The bowl skiing was delightful, if a little shorter than in July.  Such fun to put the crampons back on, the snow relatively smooth and steep, more turns than expected and all alone in the bowl.  I did, however, hear a cheerful yell from the ridge to my left from a couple on their way to the summit cairn, responding to my thankful cheer to JAH for the glorious skiing ahead.       


Back at the house not an hour and a half after reaching the car, I retold the story of the wolf encounter and we all were laughing and joking.

Oh, you see the strangest things in the wilderness, don’t you?

* Labor_day_Turns.JPG (86.04 KB, 640x480 - viewed 473 times.)

* Sitting_on_the_edge_of_paradise.JPG (96.43 KB, 640x480 - viewed 468 times.)

* Looking_toward_the_summit_trail.JPG (94.32 KB, 640x480 - viewed 473 times.)
« Last Edit: 09/08/17, 07:36 PM by MW88888888 » Logged

Posts: 892

Re: September 4, 2017, Little Tuckerman, Colorado
« Reply #1 on: 09/14/17, 11:17 AM »

I laughed out loud at this. Thanks for the great story!
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