Okay, so your house guests are a pair of super experienced ski tourers from Europe (inventing the Dynafit binding? I count that as a 300 on scale of one to ten in experience). The question, what to do that’ll give Tyrolean aces Fritz Barthel and Riki Leitner great skiing but a pinch of American flavor? To begin, when things are good in Colorado, they’re fine, and yes, this winter has treated us well. More, what better place than the western Elk mountains, which have a snow climate close to that of the Utah Wasatch?
To make it happen, we’re blessed because we have access to a variety of accommodations that easily access the western Elks. Our home is only a 45 minute drive from day trip trailheads, we have a 4 stroke snowmobile to eliminate road slogs, and we have numerous friends with private cabins where you ski from the door and back. So we did all that, including six days at a friend’s deluxe chalet with at least 3,000 vert a day of fine Colorado fluff. Check it out (photos by Fritz and Lou, click most to enlarge).
I’m exhausted, but rallying. The Tyroleans are back home, using their altitude enhanced lungs for max vertical. Lisa is moving her *** and skiing better than ever. Excellent!
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.