Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers!
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JacobW
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by JacobW » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:54 am

The north face of Democrat is surprisingly cool from a skiing perspective, and then Torries has some of the best skiing options on the front range.
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by ltlFish99 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:26 am

The tuning fork on torreys is a lot of fun.
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Jorts
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by Jorts » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:34 pm

Broken Knee wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:40 am
This thread has tons of great advice. I'll just add that you should make a commitment to get out very often, even if conditions suck. Adjust your venue to avoid avalanche danger, etc., but go put in some miles anyway. Learning to deal with all aspects of backcountry skiing when conditions turn bad is just part of the menu. Bad conditions expose weaknesses in your entire system, including gear, navigation skills, etc.
That's really the best advice on here. Go everyday you can. Regardless of conditions. Regardless of the spot. Learn to adapt based on weather, avy conditions, not having any partners to go with. 100 backcountry days in a couple seasons and your progression will be astounding in terms of understanding the snowpack, skiing any snow conditions, grasping what is and is not avalanche terrain, knowing your equipment's limitations, etc. etc.

I learned to ski in one season by skinning lunch laps across the street up a 300 foot hill after having only snowboarded for the 25 years prior.
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
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bergsteigen
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by bergsteigen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:05 pm

Jorts wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:34 pm
Broken Knee wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:40 am
This thread has tons of great advice. I'll just add that you should make a commitment to get out very often, even if conditions suck. Adjust your venue to avoid avalanche danger, etc., but go put in some miles anyway. Learning to deal with all aspects of backcountry skiing when conditions turn bad is just part of the menu. Bad conditions expose weaknesses in your entire system, including gear, navigation skills, etc.
That's really the best advice on here. Go everyday you can. Regardless of conditions. Regardless of the spot. Learn to adapt based on weather, avy conditions, not having any partners to go with. 100 backcountry days in a couple seasons and your progression will be astounding in terms of understanding the snowpack, skiing any snow conditions, grasping what is and is not avalanche terrain, knowing your equipment's limitations, etc. etc.
Yes and no.

I've skied all types of terrain, from horrific to glorious. The more you ski sub par or horrific, the better you get at dealing with it, BUT it is also a double edged sword. The more you ski punch crust, or the like, the higher the probability that you won't ski out of it. I broke my leg last year because of punch crust + Dynafit. I've skied variable/horrible conditions in the BC for ~19 years now in Colorado and Alaska. 19 years. Last year finally got me! (The other injuries were due to different things)

So yes, ski when there's a white out, on sustrugi etc. Just realize that you need to survival/safety ski it most likely. Not ski like it's hero powder/corn!
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:48 pm

My auto sig on TGR is “seeker of sastrugi”
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CaptCO
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by CaptCO » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:00 pm

bergsteigen wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:39 pm
First off, realize that there will be a steep learning curve! New equipment, skins, AT boots and each will have its own quirks. Transitioning will take time to learn. The main run on the western end of Berthoud Pass is a great place to practice.

Being a good resort skier does not mean you will be a good backcountry skier, right away. It takes time to get good in the BC, so be patient!

As for 14ers and 13ers (and lower): I’ve been working on my own page (http://otinasadventures.com/index.php?map=skimo_map). I’m adding in the traditional green circle, blue square and black diamonds to denote what I (and others) have rated the route.

NOTE: green does NOT mean easy. Just that they are the easiest of the routes.

As Zach mentions, choose partners carefully. Everyone has different risk tolerance levels as well as pace and skills. Find a mentor if you can, and treat them well!
Bump for a superb thread
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bergsteigen
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by bergsteigen » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:07 pm

Thanks for reminding me that I had created a new page (http://otinasadventures.com/index.php?page=ski_list) with a sortable table this summer, that broke some code in the above linked page. July feels like such a long time ago now, when I wrote that page, I completely forgot about it! Did some more development on it yesterday. Need to research a few more D ratings, and update some of the older pages to the new xml.

Hopefully we’ll have a good season, despite the Covid. I’ll probably still be taking it down a notch or two, unless perfect conditions present themselves.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever” -anonymous

http://otinasadventures.com @otina
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by dsr80304 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:20 am

^^^ Thank you! This is 1) an impressive list and 2) a great resource
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SchralpTheGnar
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:26 am

bergsteigen wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:07 pm
Thanks for reminding me that I had created a new page (http://otinasadventures.com/index.php?page=ski_list) with a sortable table this summer, that broke some code in the above linked page. July feels like such a long time ago now, when I wrote that page, I completely forgot about it! Did some more development on it yesterday. Need to research a few more D ratings, and update some of the older pages to the new xml.

Hopefully we’ll have a good season, despite the Covid. I’ll probably still be taking it down a notch or two, unless perfect conditions present themselves.
I take it down a notch or two every year, ha ha ha. What does the low to high data represent when you load that table with the default settings?
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bergsteigen
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by bergsteigen » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:45 am

SchralpTheGnar wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:26 am

I take it down a notch or two every year, ha ha ha. What does the low to high data represent when you load that table with the default settings?
Default is by date, oldest at top. Since I added in the attempts/failures, you can see the real progression in time. Plus that way I can make sure I remember to enter data.

I’m hoping I can take it back up a notch or three, before the natural mellowing happens.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games." - Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)
Your knees only get so many bumps in life, don't waste them on moguls!
“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever” -anonymous

http://otinasadventures.com @otina
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:50 am

bergsteigen wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:45 am
SchralpTheGnar wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:26 am

I take it down a notch or two every year, ha ha ha. What does the low to high data represent when you load that table with the default settings?
Default is by date, oldest at top. Since I added in the attempts/failures, you can see the real progression in time. Plus that way I can make sure I remember to enter data.

I’m hoping I can take it back up a notch or three, before the natural mellowing happens.
I swear I looked at the dates to see if they were sorted too, all part of the natural decline I guess. :-D

I'm looking to getting out and skiing some more too, last year was decent, got a few good new 13ers and the spring corn last year was surprisingly good with spring being so warm and not snowy. I'm going to use your list as my new goal "Ski a third of what Otina skied". :lol:
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Re: Backcountry Touring and 14er Skiing Progression

Post by bajaarizona » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:28 pm

This thread is some awesome advice for me as I find myself in a very similar position to the OP. I'm taking an Avy 1 class ending on the 31st and want to ski off some peaks having climbed 18 this past summer.

Just for me to summarize and check myself: while there are routes with very low avalanche risk (West slope of Bierstadt, East Quandary for example) they are all unlikely to hold any good snow until March at the earliest.
Given that, would you all with your collective knowledge recommend practicing my AT skills below tree line in spots like Berthoud during the winter so I can try to notch some 14er descents in the spring?
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