One of my favorite mellow tours in the Aspen area goes from Snowmass Resort over to Buttermilk ski area via Burnt Mountain. It’s a short trip, but requires a bit of navigation as you move through overgrown spruce forest and some remarkably convoluted terrain. Eventually you reach the Sugar Bowls in the backcountry near Buttermilk, then follow the ridge to the top of Buttermilk. We did the tour yesterday. I still haven’t found the best way to get from Burnt Mountain to the Sugar Bowls (best=most turns), but I’m working on it. Will publish a map and GPS log of the route when we get it wired.
Christmas brought us a few pair of top-line Zeal Optics PPX goggles with photochromatic lens. These things are incredible. The lens changes from dark to nearly clear depending on light levels. You can wear them at night while using a headlamp or driving a snowmobile — and still get the dark lens you need for those scorcher spring days when helios rules. What’s the view from inside a Zeal goggle? Photo below tells the tale, it was shot with a Zeal PPX over the camera lens.
|Backcountry skiing at the Sugar Bowls, this low angled terrain can be yield fun turns on a moonlit night during corn season, but with deep powder it’s best put to use as a scenic byway.
|Sugar at the Sugar Bowls – dad looks on with envy as kid snacks on almond toffee.
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.