There was no choice. We had to get out and experience WS6, another October surprise! Objective: West Pearl Mountain at the head of Castle Creek, south of Aspen.
|In Pearl Basin, Colorado. We went gonzo with the pickup truck again and reached the same parking as the previous weekend. We met two friendly and experienced guys, Adam and Alex, who were using a snowmachine for access. The place was totally deserted other than our two groups (more of that incredibly crowded National Forest). As we had the same objective we decided to combine forces after they parked their sled.|
|Our route on West Pearl Mountain.|
|Alex skiing off the summit.|
|Scott farming the powder field we found on Pearl’s northerly flank.|
|Louie lashing his plow through the furrows.|
|Backcountry skiing plow detail shot. WS6 did a good job of preparing the fields — our work was easy. The snowpack is welded and somewhat thin (we hit a few rocks), avy danger minimal though pocket slabs exist. “Thin” being a relative term of course…for October this is FAT!|
|Check this out. Adam had a NEW Yamaha Vector 4-stroke. The engineering on this thing is incredible. And it’s quiet. We want one. I guess I’d better get to work selling more advertising. These things could revolutionize backcountry skiing — or have they already?|
|Obligatory sledneck jam session at parking. Yeah, we’re planning on meeting up with these guys again!|
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.