Friday, April 2, 2010

Steamboat Patrol Exchange

Last week, friend and fellow patroller Ryan and I did a patrol exchange with Steamboat, Colorado. Ryan had kayaked in nearby Fish Creek, but neither of us had skied there before. We Arrived to 3" of new snow the first day and another 8" the next day. Steamboat has had a similar winter as us, with low snow totals and lots of warming prior to this most recent weather system. We skied hard the first two days, mostly in bounds and in the clouds. Steamboat has some of the finest tree skiing around! They have done a great job thinning the aspens and lodgepole in skiable "lanes".
Once the storm passed and the weather turned blue bird, we began to tour into the canyon. Most of the runs involved a fair amount of traversing and sidestepping to access steep 200-1000' treed and rocky shots. When they learned that we liked to tour, their snow safety supervisor, Kyle, took us on a couple skinning tours where we were able to get beyond the tracks. Steamboat has some cool terrain with an outstanding group of patrollers. It's a neat corner of Colorado that is very different from the rest of the state. Thanks to Ryan, Sun Valley and the Steamboat Ski Patrol for a great week of skiing!


Ripping through the pillowland.
Steamboat is big. They use to do over a million skier days a year. Now down to about 850K, but they still make money.
Steamboat patroller, Ryan, leading us on a tour.
How's your aspen?
Kyle taking in the view of Fish Creek Canyon. Look closely and you can see the ski tracks.
A tour up Hahn's Peak on our last day.
Ryan topping out. I got pretty use to this view, being in the back. I didn't bring my Dynafits, and instead toured in Gotamas, Dukes and alpine boots... talk about slow and heavy!
Our last tracks at the Boat!


  1. Gotmas and Dukes! That's heavy metal thunder!

  2. Nice, I like that. Makes me feel good about shlepping such ridiculously heavy gear!

  3. Hopefully all this snow we are getting will be good for the end of April. I have a Ski Mountaineering course with SMG (and I think you are one of the guides). Very stoked!

  4. Ralph- Yes, I am scheduled to work the Ski Mountaineering courses. Thats great you are signed up! From what I've been hearing, they have been skiing 60 cm of new snow up there!!! Sweet! That'll help us a lot! See you there!

  5. Two comments from me:
    1. Hey, that's pretty cool about ski patroller exchange. Marc, maybe you guys would want to have me over sometime next year to SV. This was my first year of patrolling and i really enjoyed it! Little ol' Kelly Canyon isn't a big hill by any comparison, so i bet i could really learn a lot with you guys.

    B. Marc, Ralph S. is a super rad guy. You guys will get along well, i'm sure of it. Ralph, i'm sure you will learn a ton of great info working with Marc. I've heard many good things about his guiding and instruction ablity from various friends.

    Only slightly jealous... okay, maybe a bit more than slightly!

  6. Marc, nice photos! I’ve been patrolling for several years now and haven’t taken advantage of the patroller exchange nearly as often as I’d planned. It’s pretty cool you got to tour the BC with one of them!

  7. Dean and Wes- You guys are welcome anytime to come ski SV! Let me know when!