Dominguez Canyon Wilderness at sunrise. Ski Haus staff member, Kyle Babcock, had heard of Dominguez Canyon but had never been… so he took care of that detail and went exploring. Last week when the weather up high in the mountains was a bit rainy and unsettled, Kyle went west, lost a little elevation and found the Uncompahgre Plateau to his liking. No people, dry and cool, fade in and out trails, and beautiful light. Even if you’re not ready, maybe now is good time to go explore. Ask Kyle…
Photo: Kyle Babcock
Quote of the Week: “In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. Charles Lindbergh
Thunderstorms usually give you warnings. Usually you get chances to adjust your route, retreat, or hunker down. But not always. “Where did that come from,” is a familiar expression when a storm seems to appear out of the blue. Mountain weather is the hardest for meteorologists to make reliable weather forecasts. Usually the meteorologists are pretty darn wrong for forecasts made for the Steamboat area. The folks who have been fooled by predicted weather once are different from the folks who have yet to be snookered. Folks who have been fooled once, having been lead astray by meteorological gospel, are the folks who always pack rain gear no matter the color of the sky.
Quote of the Week: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady
We have been in luck this past week with snow and rain rolling up through our valley and over the high passes around Steamboat Springs. Spring is such a wild time of year around here. We watch the aspen tree’s new, green buds, slowly chase the melting snowpack higher and higher up the ridges that define our valley. New Green. Thunderstorm Grey. Bluebird Blue. Runoff Brown. Highwater White… just a few of our favorite colors of the season.
Quote of the Week: “Light in Nature creates the movement of colors.” Robert Delaunay
We guess there are three kinds of mountain people (certainly there are more – we’re just writing a photo caption here). There are those who hang onto winter and ski for as long as they can without even thinking of getting out a bike for a ride until they’re forced. And there are folks who drop skiing like a hot rock and switch to biking as quickly as they can making skiing a small distant memory. And then there are the folks who diplomatically continue to ski and ride on any given day. It’s tough to figure. Even the closest of friends can be one or the other and the great thing is they always remain friends!
Quote of the Week: “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” Isaac Asimov
Ski Haus employess, Kyle and A.J., spent the day splitboarding and alpine tour skiing over at the Nokhu Crags near Cameron Pass east of Steamboat Springs. We love this photo of the Crags, the big mountains, its coulior, and the spindrift snow floating and flying by. If you lived in a snowglobe, perhaps this is the scene you’d choose. Peaceful, idyllic, with deep snow!
Photo: Kyle Babcock
Quote of the Week: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
The forecast for yesterday’s Rabbit Ears Pass Marathon (17 or 34k skate race) was for a sunny mild morning. What we received was grapple and wind. It made for a chilly warm up. The track conditions were pretty solid to start. Or let’s say, “rock solid” to start. But what are you going to do? You sign up and line up! Overall, the day and the race was great fun and very successful. Thanks to the Steamboat Nordic Council for sponsoring the race and a huge thanks to Steamboat Snowmobile Tours for the wonderful course and letting us ski up there.
Quote of the Week: “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Henry Ford
Big days in big mountains. Corey Armstrong and Kevin McGarity went big in the nearby Gore Range and put their Alpine Touring skills to a good test climbing and then skiing “Oh What Big Eyes You Have,” East Red Peak, Gore Range, Colorado.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “Adventure is worthwhile.” Aristotle
Timing. Being at the right spot at the right time with the best people possible. That is where our Kevin McGarity found himself last Fall. On an extended road trip, rock climbing at some of the best spots throughout the West, he found himself at just such a time and a place. Above, Scott Eden stands atop Whiskey Peak after climbing Epinephrine, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. The rock climbing season is fast approaching… The road trip season, conveniently, shares the same timing.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go. Yogi Berra
We know this image isn’t the most dramatic but it was taken while cross country skiing up on Rabbit Ears Pass yesterday. In the far distance is the Flat Tops Wilderness and you can just make out the beginnings of a winter storm brewing over its table topped heights. The high country – where stout winter storms are born. When you see a storm brewing over the high peaks and backing down and filling in the valleys below as apposed to a storm just sweeping in low from the west – you can count on a good wintery blow. Today we are seeing the results of those early high skiffs… strong winds, consistent snowfall, and cold. Just the way we like it. Nice effort, Old Man Winter. We’re happy to see you back!
Quote of the Week: “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir
The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series hosted by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount continued this past Sunday with the Lake Catamount Nordic Marathon. The day was spectacular with cold cold temperatures, and big blue sky, an immaculate groom, really fun course options, and donuts at the finish! Above, Toni (helping with timing) and Jessica (skated the 14k), from Ski Haus offer up some big smiles for the day. If you are interested in the race results – click here. The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour is all about participation. We love to see folks racing and pushing the pace but if you are interested in a fun ski with friends we are equally excited (if not more so) to see you sign up and line up and be counted!
Quote of the Week: “We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
The ebb and flow of winter includes lots of cycles. Snow and blue sky. Freezes and thaws. Growing snowpack. Settling snowpack. Deep powder. Crust. Days of darkness. Days of longer light… This icicle captures much of what has been happening these past few weeks in and around Steamboat Springs. We’ve experienced a bit of mild spell here. Not much snow lately. Warm temperatures have been teasing the brain into thinking Spring. Ahh, but caution is advised. Don’t be looking for sprouting bulbs just yet. Icicles grow not only with warmth but cold. Fingers are crossed for a healthy return to winter, falling snow, cold, wind, and low-hanging, intimate clouds. Winter may have taken a hiatus but you can bet on its return.
Quote of the Week: “Now all you can do is wait. It must be hard for you, but there is a right time for everything. Like the ebb and flow of tides. No one can do anything to change them. When it is time to wait, you must wait.” Haruki Murakami
And now for something completely different. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Ski Haus employee, Kevin McGarity, took an extended road trip this past fall. He took some climbing courses to continue his guiding certifications, did some exploring on his own, and made plenty of new friends along the way. With at least two more solid months of winter we thought a little warm weather day dream was in order. Here’s to a 15 second break from shoveling, snowblowing, plowing, skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, snowshoeing, and bundling up! Climb on!
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean
A late Sunday afternoon cross country ski tour on Rabbit Ears Pass is a perfect way to wrap up a weekend. The bright, almost harsh, midday light softens as the shadows stretch across the snowpack reaching for the East. As the temperature drops, icicles on the tall, snow-smothered spruce trees lengthen as the last bit of water freezes into place. Beauty surrounds us in this winter wonderland. A few snow flurries fall and rise and sail on the faintest of breezes bracing our faces with a deepening chill. Rosy cheeks, smiles, warm skiers gliding along a track. Chickadees. The sounds of happiness.
Quote of the Week: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Gary Snyder
The 2017 Ski Haus Classic Nordic Ski Race was held yesterday at the Lake Catamount Ski Touring Center. This event is part of the Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series sponsored by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount. We had a record number of skiers turn out and everyone had a great time. We had skiers from Summit County and from the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park make the trek over to Steamboat. The NSCD athletes did awesome and we were psyched to see them come and race! We posted a few of our favorite photos on the Ski Haus Facebook Page. Keep up the great skiing everyone!
Quote of the Week: “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh
Winter comes in many forms. Soft powdery snow, really cold temperatures, long dark nights, and… ice. Ice climbing Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs is a rush. The hike to the falls gets your adrenaline pumping as you meander around powder puff coated rocks in the creek up to the vertical ice. The sound of flowing water is compressed and muffled. The scale of the falls and the canyon walls becomes real the deeper you work your way back. And then there is the sound of ice screws clanking, and ice tools thumping into ice and suddenly your winter perspective has changed. Winter becomes more in tune with your psyche. Winter is not something to be battled – only enjoyed.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Wilhelm von Humbold