The Denver Post has published an excellent article about Colorado’s “lost resorts,” many of which have become backcountry ski destinations. Much of the backcountry skiing in the north eastern U.S. is also done at former ski resorts (where the trails remain, but the commercial operation shut down long ago).
I’m always amused by this, as most such “lost” resorts were created by cutting down a bunch of trees, and some skiers even maintain the lost resorts by cutting brush and the occasional sapling that threatens to block their favorite line. Yep, logging can have excellent results, such as ski runs, houses, and paper. Vintage Ski World sells a popular poster that depicts Colorado’s lost resorts. As for logging, remember, if God had not driven mankind from the Garden of Eden, the Sierra Club would have. Yet contrary to pop opinon and enviro fanatics, sometimes cutting down some trees has its uses.
Gear notes: We continue to get a ton of traffic on our Laser Boot Tongue Mod article, after how many years? Word is we’ve even created somewhat of a mini market in Flexon tongues. I get numerous emails about this mod. Recently, our web visitors have noticed we’re messing around with the excellent Garmont Mega Ride. People are asking if the Flexon tongue will work with the Garmont, and if so, will it improve the “ride?” It will, (with a bit of cutting and grinding to fit the tongue). But do you really need it?
In my opinion, as skis improve it’s less and less important to have a boot that’s super stiff in forward flex (the primary purpose of adding a stiffer tongue). Use shorter, modern skis with lost of sidecut, and it’s amazing how quick and powerful you can turn without heavily pressuring the front of your boots. Nonetheless, larger aggressive skiers may find most AT boots are too gushy, and adding things such as stiffer tongues, extra power straps, etc., can vastly improve a boot without adding much weight.
Hamish Gowans update: Hamish is attempting a fourteener grand slam this winter by climbing all the Colorado 14,000-foot peaks in one winter season (he’s using skis and backcountry skiing, but not trying to do ski descents unless they fit in with the climb). He got started Dec. 22, and sent this message on the 23rd via email: “Successful on Longs yesterday, but frostnipped, tender toes. Figure I’ll stay off the peaks until this cold snap eases, should be Thu/Fri. Conditions on Longs similar to Pikes and Bierstadt. Almost blown clear. Only snow remaining is there because the wind has compacted it into Colorado Concrete. Best, Hamish”
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.