utalorado for rock and snow

after tahoe has suffered through one of the worst starts to a season in, well, forever, a few of us decided to hop in the car and head east. armed with our various passes which included days at vail resorts we headed in search of whiter pastures at the canyons in utah, as well as a-basin, vail pass, and beaver creek in colorado. we threw in an awesome day on the rock on the way back to break up the drive.
we’ll get you started with a little video from the week

our first stop was the canyons, and after one run inbounds we headed for sidecountry. we got a late start due to problems with my ski pass. not too many pictures as i left the camera in the car. ashley had hers though.
this is one of the few shots of chris, who came down with the flu as this pic was taken. he was immediately quarantined for the rest of the trip.
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first sidecountry run at the canyons and my first decent air of the season.
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forgot to stomp. oops
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the next day we hit a-basin. again our start was delayed to to problems with my pass, which turned out to only be good in tahoe. who knew? no pictures and i’m not sure why. we skied powder. we skied steeps. but we didn’t ski steep powder.

partly due to my pass issues, but mostly because we wanted to, wednesday we toured at vail pass, which seemed to offer a bit more safety than some other areas. there were large slides all around but they were mostly 3-4 days old and the advisory had dropped from considerable to moderate overnight.
ashley enjoys a awkward moment on the up
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we took a group shot up top. bret was not impressed
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he was impressed on the down though
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ashley too
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fun was had by all in fact
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then it was time to skin back up to the flank for some beautifully spaced trees we had spied on our original ascent.
ashley with our tracks off the peak above right
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hey that’s me – (click here for high res pano)
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and then it was time to ski those beautifully spaced trees
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and we did
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until the sun went down
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friday we hit beaver creek. i can’t pay $129 for a ticket, but i could scrape up $55
thanks ashley (different ashley)
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we didn’t take many pictures, but
we skied pow
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and we jumped off of things
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the next day we were planning to climb ancient art spire in the fisher towers area of eastern utah. the temperature was in the single digits as we approached
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but it was apparent on the frigid approach that our route was in the sun
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that’s our huckleberry there
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atop the fortress of doom
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and apparently guarded by e.t.
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the first group was starting up as the route came into view
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ashley led the first pitch. here she is placing her second piece of pro
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which soon became her first piece
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the crux of the first pitch offers a bolt ladder to pull on through
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the second pitch was a fun lead at a relatively easy 5.8 with a fun roof and a fun chimney along the way. did i mention it was fun?
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ashley was following up when folks from the first group rappelled down the chimney. most people know it takes two ropes to rappel down from the top of the second pitch to the ground. apparently not everyone knows the reason for this is to avoid rappelling down the route
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ashley after clearing the roof and at the bottom of the chimney
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the third pitch is a short sport route
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leading the final pitch, lassoing the diving board for emotional support
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hells yeah
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ashley said she was nervous. but not too nervous to instagram something
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even pulling on the quick draw here i found this to be the crux of the route. the exposure is awesome
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still hells yeah
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doing the reverse beached whale to get off the diving board
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starting the rap down. that’s our tarp at the base between my legs
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ashley rapping down on the face keeping out of the route in case other climbers head up
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the dewey historical bridge in good light
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and then we were treated to an awesome sunset as we headed back to the promise of storms in tahoe
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i couldn’t help feeling we won
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