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Home sweet home. Ouray, Colorado. Photo by Terrance Siemon


OUR FAVORITES Rethinking the ski bag, your new favorite winter gloves, go-everywhere footwear out of Montana and the next generation of trail running poles.


SKI BIKING We’ve all seen ski bikers on the slopes, but think downhill biking in fresh pow. There’s more than meets the eye to this up-and-coming winter mountain sport.


SKIER’S BUCKET LIST Aaron Bible knows a thing or two about skiing out west and beyond. He drops in to share his favorites from little known gems to the biggest resorts.

ON THE COVER Ty Hathaway keeping it real during the Silverton Whiteout Fat Bike Race in Silverton, Colorado. Photo: Terrance Siemon.



GO TEAM Get to know The GO Team, and see how this climbing couple balances the married life, the guide’s life and stealing each other’s gear.

It’s thanks to the passion of people like Megan, John, Chris, and their 500 teammates that we can offer consistently high quality cannabis at affordable prices.


Brandon Mathis, Editor Amy Maestas, Senior Editor

Terrance Siemon, Photographer and Videographer

Laurie Kain, Photographer and Videographer

Hunter Harrell, Copy Editor


Aaron Bible

Joy Martin Morgan Tilton

Morgan Sjogren

Brendan Trimboli


Tad Smith, Manager of Creative Services

Justin Meek, Designer Christian Ridings, Designer

Samuel Lindsay, Designer

David Habrat, Vice President of Advertising Colleen Donley, Advertising Director

Tracy Griffin, Account Executive

PRODUCTION Ryan Brown, Production Manager

MARKETING Brittany Cupp, Digital Marketing & Audience Development Manager Jamie Opalenik, Marketing & Communications Manager



Aaron Heirtzler, Director of Web Design and Development

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15 Locations and Growing © 2017 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Published in the United States by Ballantine Communications, Inc. – 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Ballantine Communications uses reasonable effort to include accurate and up-to-date information for its special publications. Details are subject to change, so please check ahead. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this guide. We welcome suggestions from readers. Please write to the editor at the address above.

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WINTER2018  5


OPENING SHOT Get Stoked. When wildlands firefighter Patrick Wright isn’t traveling the West for fire mitigation, he’s fueling a fiery passion for adventure. He’s seen here dropping in deep on Red Mountain Pass in Colorado. Photo by Terrance Siemon

FIRST LIGHT Ohio Peak, Colorado Photo: Bryan Bagdol

Winter’s Magic


inter. It’s cold. It gets dark early. You have to scrape your windshield and shovel your driveway. I love it. And I bet you do too. That feeling, it’s invigorating. It’s a snow day filled with giant snowflakes as a quilt of white blankets town.  It’s the smell of wax in a ski shop. It’s hats, mittens and boots piled at the door. It’s a mystical feeling. The biting cold stinging your face means you’re alive. At Adventure Pro we’ve been waiting for that feeling to come back around. Waiting for that exhilaration. Waiting for that chilly awakening. Even inside, huddled next to the fire, staring out at the flakes drifting down gets you in winter’s spirit. And while winter’s chill can be tough, it’s also magic. 8

For this issue we’ve tried to capture that aura and share it with you. We ski our brains out with a little help from Aaron’s Bible on page 44, learn about skimo with Brendan Trimboli on page 18 and ski biking on page 28. We catch up with world-renowned ice climbing couple Dawn Glanc and Patrick Ormond in The Go Team on page 50 and we pamper ourselves with getaways and starve ourselves for lift tickets to have a killer weekend in Telluride on page 42. Even better, we drop everything and head for the hills for a hut trip, like Joy Martin on page 54. We get bold and cold and learn about a new way to think of avalanche awareness, then we heat things up as we explore hot springs all over the Southwest.

And when it just gets too cold we dash away to the sun with Morgan Tilton in Chaco Canyon on page 36. We’re all lucky. We live in a place where we can seek almost any season any time of year. But winter? Winter truly is a gift and snow is a magic potion. Nature is the grand sorceress. So if you love winter, you’re in luck, and if not, well there’s always a spot somewhere in the sun.  The good news is none of it is very far away. And that is quite a feeling.  BRANDON MATHIS, Editor

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During winter, freelance writer and publisher of Mountain Town Magazine Joy Martin can be found somewhere in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. She wrote about how to make the best of recovering from injury in the autumn 2017 issue of Adventure Pro Magazine. For this issue, she shows us how to make the best of a ski hut trip, on page 50. To read more from Martin, checkout

Brendan Trimboli

Brendan Trimboli is, admittedly, an endurance junkie. When not satisfying an appetite for trail running, mountain biking and skiing, he crunches numbers in spreadsheets as an energy analyst - typically until his head hurts - with hopes of preserving our beautiful planet. His hobbies include critiquing coffee, baking fine sourdough bread and fixing an old campervan. Don’t be fooled by his involvement in Durango’s running community, he’s an introvert at heart.

Morgan Tilton


Colorado-based writer Morgan Tilton is an award-winning adventure journalist. By 2017, she was a three-time finalist and bronze medalist of two consecutive North American Travel Journalists Association Awards Competitions for her travel writing. Tilton mostly covers adventure and outdoor industry news with work featured in Outside, Men’s Journal, SELF and Backpacker. Raised in the San Juan Mountains, she’s a lifelong skier, snowboarder, hiker and explorer. Her passion for discovering places and cultures led her to live in Italy, complete the first 100-mile stand up paddleboard descent of the Escalante River (unsupported) and fall in love with mountain ultra trail running. Follow Tilton’s adventures on Instagram at @motilton and

Aaron Bible

Aaron Bible has been a writer, editor, photographer and advocate in the outdoor industry for two decades. He was the editor of the country’s largest outdoorindustry trade publication, Sporting Goods Business, as well as doing stints on staff and as a contributing editor for Blue Ridge Outdoors and Elevation Outdoors magazines. Currently, he’s a contributor to Backpacker, Men’s Health,, Breckenridge Magazine, Paddling Life, Gear Institute and others. Follow his adventures on Instagram at @ahbible.

Mo Sjogren

Morgan “Mo” Sjogren runs wild with words anywhere she can get to with running shoes and a pen. A lifelong competitive runner, Sjogren is a newcomer on the trail and mountain-racing scene. She currently lives out of her Jeep Wrangler at the best trailheads all over the West. Sjogren is also an activist for public lands, find her first book, “The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes” available from Mountaineers Books. Follow her on Instagram at @running_bum_

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San Juan Mountains, Colorado Photo by Michael Ackerman


SNOW SPORTS MAKE IT RAIN Colorado closed its second-busiest ski season on record in 2016-17, with more than 13 million skier visits. And considering that many ski areas lease their resorts from the United States Forest Service, that’s some serious revenue, in Colorado alone a whopping $23 million went to Uncle Sam. Some three million pairs of alpine ski boots are sold each year worldwide. If the average cost of a new ski boot is $300, that’s $9 million.

Outback uprising In a report issued by the U.S. Forest Service, backcountry skiing and snowboarding is expected to increase by up to 106 percent in the next 30 years. Six million skiers and snowboarders headed out into the backcountry winter 2013-14, according to Snowsports Industries America. That’s up five million from 2010-11 season. Cha-ching! For gear manufacturers, that adds up to major sales, nearly $50 million in gear sales annually and much of that goes to safety equipment.

Serious business Avalanches cause more fatalities in national forests than any other natural hazard, according to the National Avalanche Center. And Colorado is the No. 1 offender. (Learn more about avalanches on page 46.)

Snow savvy In the U.S., more than 90 course providers and 250 professional instructors represent the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE.) Very recently, educators have begun a new, updated practicum for in-avalanche education. Avalanche awareness is growing with recreational backcountry users, thanks to nonprofit public education campaigns like Southwest Colorado’s Friends of the San Juans ( or the national Know Before You Go ( Meet one of the most innovative avalanche research practitioners in the world, Manual Genswein, at  For more on avalanche awareness visit WINTER2018  13






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GEAR BIN Helmet. Check. Boots. Check. Goggles. Check. Gloves… Gloves?


Winter. It’s a tough season. If you’re like us you’re in a constant state of flux between stuffing gear in bags and rushing out the door to the mountains, then pulling it all apart to hang it all over your house so it can dry in time for the next rendezvous. And somewhere in the middle, a glove goes missing, you forget your goggles, again, or your wallet or even your boots. We love our duffels but tend to pack them with reckless abandon. That’s where the SnowKit comes in: a gear organizer, so you’re ready to rip, not bail. In the 45-liter size, there’s a colossal compartment for boots, and even some clever mesh ventilation. No more tossing them in the bed of your buddy’s ‘96 pickup. A couple of stacked weather-protected easyaccess double-zippered 3D bucket pockets are good for water bottles, gloves, transceivers, PB&Js and those dry socks you’ll love later. Under the lid of the main compartment is a wide and flat zippered mesh netting for wallets, keys, sunscreen and such. Another mesh pocket lines an interior wall. There’s also a soft-lined exterior access goggle pocket. If you forget where everything goes, the nice folks at Osprey were thoughtful enough to throw a little paintby-numbers illustration on the included stuff sack. (They love including these with some of their new bags, and we find all kinds of uses for them. This one seems perfect for a climbing harness.) What we super dig is the contoured backpack harness and yoke – this isn’t a couple of webbing straps, this is a backpack harness “you’ll actually want to use,” according to Osprey. Each strap even has a nice little stash pocket. Zip up the harness and stash it away when you don’t need it, a few giant suitcase handles remain, good for gloved hands. Also refreshing is a Velcro stowaway helmet carrier. Dangling helmets make us cringe, and this keeps ours snug. For rides to rip laps at the local hill, the SnowKit is ideal. You have a place for your boots, goggles, water bottle and another layer or two and everything else that could use its own stash spot wrapped up in a tight package. Two compression straps emerge from one side pocket to cinch things down even more. For you grubby backcountry types, think an attaché case of what you’ll need to bust out when you get to where you’re going. With your backcountry pack at the ready, use the SnowKit for everything else. If you packed right, it’s there. 45L - $130 16

Photos by Brandon Mathis

Check out our gear closet. It’s getting full.


After a months of pillowy running shoes and falling off flipflops, it was an adjustment to get back into a real shoe, one that can take on weather, rocks, sloppy footwork, mud, muck, ice, snow and rain yet still be able to handle one of the most harsh environments we know: a day in an office. We opted for a weather-ready version of the Sawtooth with what Oboz calls B-Dry, a waterproof/breathable membrane in the shoe that lets sweat escape while keeping the elements out. All it took was one 36-degree outing in a few inches of snow at 10,000 feet spent crawling up and down slopes of thawing mud coated with layers of melting ice. What we grumbled about being a wooden clog just out of the box days before suddenly came to our rescue. Our feet were warm, thanks to a combination of nubuck leather, hardy


materials and Oboz B-Dry. Plus, the outsole provided some concrete traction: tractor lugs. That all made us happy enough, but there’s more from this shoemaker from Bozeman, Montana: O-fit. A blend of low- and medium-density EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, a cushiony, wonderfully bouncy bulletproof foam that lasts forever and doesn't absorb water, even the top of the insole features a moisture-wicking layer, adding more defense against cold. Other than dry equals warm, our favorite element of the Sawtooth Low B-Dry was the fit, which is saying something, because the first time we put them on, we wanted to take them off. $140


After a winter season of shoveling snow, mega frigid alpine-start mornings and some bewilderingly cold days riding Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area, we fell in love with this retro leather glove. A tiny startup out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Give’r is all about milking fun no matter what you’re doing. Their do-it-all gloves are known as "The Glove of 100 Uses." They’re burly, they feel like you could ski all day with them and then go do some blacksmithing. They have a nice branded logo, representing the Grand Tetons, where they hail from, and you can custom size them with some special instructions when ordering. They’ll even come with your initials branded on. We love the stressed look and feel they come with, and that each pair is different in appearance because of slight variations in the leather. Oh, yeah, and the standard natural wax Sno-Seal waterproofing is fantastic. Of note is the crunchy grab anything micro-fiber insulation. They’re thick and stiff at first, but wear in, becoming perfect for everything from the winter mountains to Dutch oven cobbler. We haven’t really used them leading any rock climbing routes as seen on the website (and we don’t plan to) and they are certainly coming off to do any nimble-fingered tasks, but Give’rs are a highly versatile and warm piece of gear that we keep handy.

With the explosion of trail and mountain running, brands have maximum ideas for minimalist activity, and some are hotter than others. Legendary Leki Poles is onto something with what they’re calling Trigger Shark 2.0. We’ve spent some time “running” up mountains with the Leki Micro Trail Vario and, simply put, the poles made us faster. The fully carbon-fiber poles are extremely light, 191 grams each, and fold nicely into a very manageable size, so much so that we found ourselves going for miles with them in our hands when the terrain didn’t warrant their use. You can deploy the adjustable Trail Vario rapidly, set their length with the quick-release Speedlock system and snap them into action. On gnarly ground, i.e. talus slopes, scree fields and rocky staircases, we revelled in the added stability. Four points are better than two and with a bit of practice we actually got pretty good at it. The pole has a “ride,” delicately flexing and the efficiency from the Trigger Shark 2.0 interface is a game changer. A cork-handled grip is fitted with a special head that actually does resemble a shark (there’s even a set of eyes to lend to the effect.) Into the “access console,” the shark’s mouth, goes a loop attached to the included Trigger Shark “glove” creating an awesome power transfer interface between body and pole. You become one. Need to free up those hands? Press the top of the grip and you’re out. Think clipless pedals but for poles – it’s that cool.


What stings a bit is the $219 price tag WINTER2018  17

Skimo racers at the starting line at wolf creek ski area. Skimo is popular with the endurance crowd, not only as a way to stay fit over winter, but as a terrific way to enjoy the colder months.

The rewards of the backcountry. La Plata Mountains, Colorado. 18


What the … Ever see a skier in tights flying up the mountain? That’s Skimo. Story and photos by BRENDAN TRIMBOLI Skiing uphill may sound odd, but countless runners, riders and other endurance enthusiasts have discovered skimo as both an exciting means of enjoying the winter outdoors and a complement to their typical shoe- and bike-based pursuits. Short for “ski mountaineering,” skimo is the self-propelled ascent and descent of technical winter terrain on lightweight, minimal alpine touring skis. Skiers climb steep slopes with help from sticky “skins” stuck beneath each ski and bindings that pivot at the toe, allowing the heel to reciprocate freely. Known also as “randonee,” “ski running” and “skinning,” the sport combines lightweight cross-country skis with the ability to traverse and descend steeper, snowy terrain—a fun combination conducive to exercise, eschewing the chairlift. As a competitive sport, it originated in the 1920s when “alpine patrolling,” a form of military training, inspired competition between French and Italian mountain infantries. Not until the 1990s, however, did the competition experience rise in popularity driven by acclaimed races in Switzerland and France, before it spread to the states.

Whether you want to compete, or simply skin laps for fun, here’s how to get started. Skis. Alpine touring skis will suffice for your first foray, but once hooked you’ll want a pair of lightweight race skis. Retail price tags range from $500 to $1,000. Boots. Touring boots flex in a walking motion as you skin uphill, and with the flip of a lever, stiffen for the downhill. Lighter, race-oriented boots allow you to ascend more quickly than traditional alpine touring boots and weigh less, but leave you more susceptible to being jostled around on the descent. Boots can cost $500 to $1,000 or more, but remember, comfort is paramount. Don’t let poor-fitting boots rub you the wrong way. Bindings. Lightweight “tech” bindings have become the norm. These impressively minimal designs hold your toes securely in place as you skin up hills, then lock your heels as you charge down them. The lightest race bindings weigh less than a quarter-pound, but may lack brakes, the ability to release or the ability to adjust to more than one boot size. Consider these sacrifices when spending between $350 and $700 a pair. Skins. When stuck beneath your skis, a pair of long, fuzzy strips of carpet provide the friction needed to climb slippery slopes. A pair typically runs $100 or more and most racers carry two or three pairs as skins may lose their grip and fail when they get too cold or wet. Think spare tires to cycling. Poles. Ski poles should be sized tall, roughly to shoulder-height so that you can lever into them while skinning uphill. Skimo is a full-body workout! While fancy race poles cost over $100, a simple pair of classic nordic poles are plenty light enough, sufficient for the job and cost just a fraction of the price. Helmet. Get one. If anything, you’re more likely to bash your noggin on a branch on skinny skis. A solid helmet is not just recommended, but required by International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) rules. You can get away with a mountain bike or climbing helmet at first, but a light vented ski helmet is a good investment. Beacon/Shovel/Probe. Synonymous with avalanche safety, these three tools should always be with you during skimo, inbound or out. The ISMF requires all racers to carry this at all times, so you might as well get used to it. Training weight!

Layers. Unlike riding chairs, skiing uphill will get your blood pumping and warm you up. Even on single-digit days, you’ll be ripping off layers within minutes of starting, and layering up again for the frigid descent. Choose a wicking base layer, an insulating layer and some sort of windproof layer. Many racers wear buffs and carry extra gloves. Only once you’re fully sold should you buy a one-piece skinsuit with sewn-in pockets for stashing skins, food and water. Pack. You’ll need a small backpack in which to store food, water, layers, spare skins and your avalanche safety gear. Little ergonomic skimo packs exist ranging from $75 to $150, but to get started, any small running or day pack with a sternum strap will do. Become a proficient downhill skier. Getting up the hill is, believe it or not, the easy part. Descending on skinny skis presents the greatest risk of injury in skimo. Race routes typically feature steep, technical descents with plenty of bumps, trees and other hazards, and race bindings do not readily release like conventional bindings. Make sure you are confident negotiating difficult, off-piste terrain, and consider riding chairs and mastering the downhill on your skimo setup until fun - not fear grips you. BE GOOD OR BE GOOD AT IT! Locate safe (and legal) places to ski uphill. Some ski areas still prohibit uphill skiers, but attitudes are changing. You can review uphill ski policies at various ski resorts at: The backcountry can also provide great training terrain, but not without proper avalanche training, a ski partner or avalanche safety gear. When it snows in town, a snow-packed road can make for a great training ground! Master your transitions. “Boot, binding, skin” is a good mantra before every transition. Just practice until your transitions feel second-nature. TRY SKIMO RACING! Check the calendars. USSMA ( and COSMIC ( Most skimo races take place from December through March. Consider the “recreational” short-course division if it’s your first race, and don’t be put off by speedy-looking guys and gals in skinsuits; you’ll be pleasantly surprised how fun and low-key the U.S. skimo community is. There are almost always folks trying out skimo racing for the first time, and nearly every skimo race will have beer at the finish line.  WINTER2018  19

SERENDIPITY Photos by Terrance Siemon


<<  Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Little Switzerland, Ouray, Colorado. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, this tiny mountain town is a gateway to adventure, indoors and out.

Wolf Creek Ski Area sits on the crest of the Continental Divide, slicing across Colorado. With the most snow in the state, this small mountain gem is a destination known for being steep and deep, getting hammered by storms and a variety of hike-to terrain providing backcountry fresh turns with the boost of a lift. Here, skier Noah Gorman sends it with Alberta Peak in the distance.

<< T  ravis Davis working on his advanced degree in rail sliding at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

WINTER2018â&#x20AC;&#x192; 21


Your guide to events in the Southwest and beyond Have something going on? Share it here. Don’t miss out.



Dust 2 Fat Bike Race, Pagosa Springs, Colorado



Photo: Terrance Siemon

The Ouray Ice Festival is one of the largest and most celebrated ice climbing festivals in the world. A crowd of thousands will attend, many climbing, some spectating, at competitions, free gear demos, professional clinics and seminars from some of the most regarded climbers and alpinists in the climbing community. It is also the main fundraiser for the Ouray Ice Park. For more about ice climbing and the Ouray Ice Park go to

SNOWDOWN: A BLACK TIE AFFAIR DURANGO, COLORADO, JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 4, 2018 This mid-winter, theme-changing annual carnival is a weeklong party featuring refined events like broom hockey, ski softball, outlaw golf and more. It all ends with one of the biggest parades in the Southwest corner of the state, the Parade of Lights.

SILVERTON WHITEOUT SILVERTON, COLORADO, FEBRUARY 4, 2018 This isn’t your typical fat bike race. Last year there were BB guns and bacon stations filled with costumed participants. The bars around town were pretty filled with them too.

For a video on the Silverton Whiteout stop by Photo: Brandon Mathis


Photo: Terrance Siemon


BONFIRES ON BENT STREET TAOS, NEW MEXICO, DECEMBER 9, 2017, 4 – 7 P.M. John Dunn Shops and Bent Street Bonfires to warm you, farolitos, luminaries, Aztec Dancers, carolers, all in addition to snacks in the shops serving posole, green chile, enchiladas and cookies for everyone outdoors at John Dunn Shops and on Bent Street.





For more on winter in Taos, check out Photo: Terrance Siemon

WINTER2018  23

We dig Arizona. To learn more about the positive vibes from a singletrack perspective, check out





ANTELOPE CANYON ULTRAMARATHON 100 MILE, 50 MILE, 55K, HALF-MARATHON TRAIL RUN ANTELOPE CANYON, FEBRUARY 24-25, 2018 Learn more about this renowned event that carries runners though some of the most coveted terrain in the world at /run-like-no-other World famous Big John’s Texas Barbaque in Page, Arizona. Photo: Brandon Mathis

For more in Moab, check out our site at



MOAB MUSIC FESTIVAL’S WINTERLUDE MOAB , UTAH, FEBRUARY 5-10, 2018 The Moab Music Festival presents its third annual Winterlude, a week of exceptional chamber music concerts and educational workshops in conjunction with Utah State University’s Fry Street Quartet and local youth music programs. For a full list of concerts visit, call the MMF Box Office, 435-259-7003, or email

Photo: Brandon Mathis


Photos: JBella /

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Photos courtesy of Clyton Hebert, Samual Hayden, Holden Mathis, Galimova Nailya


For the Adventurer in All of Us. Adventure Pro wants to showcase people getting after it all over the incredible landscape in which we live. Here are a few of our favorite shots sent in from our friends and fans. If you have a great photo, we’d love to see it. If we like it, we’ll run it in our spring edition and give you credit.

Send pics to

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Photos courtesy of B. Blazer, Bee Alaine Mathis, Ben Gavelda, Smaul Hayden, Bryan Bagdol, Jared Slota, Natalie Magee

WINTER2018  27




Nichols poses with his rig at his home mountain, purgatory, in durango, colorado. Photo by Terrance Siemon

WINTER2018  29


For more on ski biking visit

While somewhat misunderstood, like snowboarding was 30 years ago, advanced ski bikers have carved a surgical niche from something that on the surface might seem a little clumsy. These guys aren’t gliding down the hill in overalls and banana seats. “It’s like hitting hundreds of berms all the way down the mountain,” professional mountain biker and cycling coach Rob Nichols said from Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado, one of a growing number of ski areas allowing ski biking. “I can do anything a skier or a snowboarder can do,” Nichols said. “Why would I be out here if I felt like this was a limiting factor? I want to enjoy this just as much as you do.”

How to ski bike

For this up-and-coming winter sport, it’s just like riding a bike. It is called ski biking, after all. “Being a biking instructor, I’m very analytical and I break down a lot of the things that I do on my ski bike,” Nichols said. “There are obvious differences, but so much crosses over and it’s so close to riding a bike.”

Time to get hip

“There’s a lot more hip activation on a ski bike,” he said. “Just like you would on a ski or snowboard, you’re making these big long graceful arching turns and when you’re doing that you’re pivoting a lot more than you would a bicycle.”

Gear: The modern ski bike

“Those little skidders that you see people sliding around on are not the best interpretation of ski biking,” Nichols said. First, Nichols is on a peg-style bike. He explains the two symmetrical pegs where a typical bicycle would have cranks allows you to ride the ski bike more like a bicycle in attack mode. Called pegs, they’re far more along the lines of fixed pedals, so your feet are off the snow at all times. Another big difference: The skis themselves are a place where technology has vastly improved. Nichols switches out skis to match the terrain and conditions he’s riding. And this guy, and others pushing the sport, can, and do, ride anything, from the terrain park to big mountain lines. A retention system holds the ski in place, it’s basically a rubber band connected to a pivot arm. It creates the ability for the front ski to remain level when in the air. In the air? Yep, these guys see plenty of hang time. The rear ski has a fixed articulation of about 10 to 15 degrees, helping with stable landings. Like their mountain biking cousins, a modern ski bike is fully suspended, with up to six inches or more of travel. “This is a standard rear shock,” Nichols said. “And this is a fork right off a mountain bike. It’s feels the same on the snow as it does on your mountain bike.”  30

Photos by Terrance Siemon


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Open Tues-Sun: 4pm - close 100 S. 4th St Dolores CO 970-882-4677 (HOPS)

ANCIENT ARTESIAN HOT SPRINGS flow with “living” water in all our pools indoor and outdoor. Continue your adventure in nature and explore inner earth with a unique soaking experience as you relax in our natural stone bottom pools with springs rising from under your feet. Stay overnight in historic cabins or large contemporary suites and have 24 hour access to the hot springs during your visit. La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa Truth or Consequences, NM 575-894-3148 •

Durango, Colorado’s only lodging, hot springs, and spa solution is located in the Animas Valley seven miles north of town. Trimble’s casual atmosphere is a great place to take a break before returning home to take on the world again. Relax in mineral-rich therapy pools, swim laps in the outdoor, heated Olympic-sized pool and sweat it out in a sauna. The Guesthouse Residence, with a fully equipped kitchen, sleeps up to 5 (2 queens and 1 rollaway) and the Starlight Room, our couple’s getaway, includes exclusive after-hours access to the Red Rock Pool. Trimble Hot Springs 970-247-0111

WINTER2018  33

Photo courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs



ot springs: just one more gift of the mountains. We put together a list of some of our favorites and even found a few off the beaten path to bring you these...

Magic Mountain Waters by BRANDON MATHIS



In a place known for its hot springs, these all-natural and undiluted mineral springs are the oldest in town. Rooms and suites are available around the indoor and outdoor pools. “It’s a place where anybody can come,” said coowner Angel Stahr, whose family bought the grounds in 1950. She said they have always been known for their healing waters, so the name stuck. “People wouldn’t always have money, but sometimes they would have something to trade. It still resonates. We want to share this.” Stahr said to this day the family and others insist there are overwhelming health advantages to their all-natural mineral springs. “We want you to be able to share the benefits of the water that we believe in so much.”

THE PAGOSA HOT SPRINGS Photo courtesy of Healing Waters

Photo courtesy of Jemez Hot Springs


This resort and spa has 23 terraced pools cascading down to and overlooking the San Juan River. The springs themselves are the deepest hot springs in the world.



Just north of Durango are Trimble Hot Springs where locals bask in the sun and soak their hearts out. Skiers head for these mineral springs after days on the slopes. Guesthouse spa packages make this a nice hideout tucked the Animas River Valley. An Olympic-size swimming pool with swim lanes, two mineral hot pools and lobster pot, plus sauna and plenty of grass make this quite the spot for relaxation. Stick around and you might meet Spike and Albert, two orange cats that call Trimble home on the hunt for affection at the water’s edge. 34

For more on hot springs, visit

Photo courtesy of Homestead Crater

OURAY, COLORADO This is a hot springs wonderland. Within this majestic mountain villa you’ll find Ouray Hot Springs, a newly refurbished massive pool complete with a slide and climbing wall over the water. The Grateful Dead once stayed at the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodging, famous for its underground vapor caves. There are pools at the Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs and if you stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs you can have your own private pool. A few miles north and you’ll find laid-back vibes of Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway (clothing optional) for a truly natural feel. 



Take a ghost town in the Dolores River Valley then refurbish it with a rustic hue on the outside and a world-class finish on the inside. That’s Dunton. This small unique resort, a Condé Nast Traveler Gold Medal winner, is hidden in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado with all the luxury accommodations any five-star resort would have, but contained in a wood-and-nail hamlet right out of the Old West.


Photo courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs


This enormous hot springs and resort hotel dates back to 1888 and is the largest hot springs pool in the world.



This small and elegant riverside getaway is so lush and removed from the surrounding high desert landscape you’ll think you left the land of enchantment. Owners Tanya Struble and Therese Councilor call it mountain tropical. “We’ve traveled around and never seen anything like what we’ve created,” Struble said. With four pools of various temperatures, the grounds and giggling springs as they are often called, have been refinished but the source is the same: mineral water heated from the geothermal vicinity of Valles Caldera, an actual scientifically recognized super volcano and now a new National Preserve. “It’s New Mexico’s version of Yellowstone,” Struble said. “So, basically, when guests are here they are soaking in ancient sea water and mineral water, which is different than other hot springs in our area.” An old bathhouse dates from 1850 still stands nearby, as is the original rock structure around a geyser. “It’s neat to know the history,” Struble said.



Just outside Taos, New Mexico, is Ojo Caliente, with an ambiance consistent with the carefree and love-life vibe of the entire region. Ojo Caliente has lodging and camping plus new suites and houses. The Kiva Pool is fashioned after the ceremonial kivas of ancestral Puebloans, and everyone goes for the mud pool where you can lather in mineral laden clay and bake in the sun. Sounds good to us.



At one time this was a hip resort with a busy hotel and its own access bridge. Today, all that remains are the naturally heated waters of the main pool. Custom graffiti and street art adorn the grounds. As nature has reclaimed Verde Hot Springs, plenty of visitors still make the mile trek to soak.


Verde River Hot Springs. Photo: Bodi Hull


Bring your scuba gear for this one. You can even get your scuba certification here. Think of, ironically enough in the Beehive State, a calcite beehive-shaped dome some 55 feet deep and 400 feet wide that contains a natural 65-foot deep hot springs pool in it. That’s the Homestead Crater. Take advantage and do yoga, soaking, swimming, scuba or snorkeling in the crater, or a round of golf above it. A large event center-style establishment, the crater element provides a reservation-only memorable experience. 

WINTER2018  35

Visit the Ancient World:

Chaco Canyon Hotel Chaco Connects to New Mexico’s Greatest Mystery Photos and story by MORGAN TILTON



For more Killer Weekends visit

“The walls flex,” said my guide Angelisa Espinoza, who lay like a sprawled starfish on the dirt floor in the middle of the rectangular room. I pancaked myself next to her, beneath the multi-story stone-and-mud walls. Instead of a wood ceiling—which had collapsed long ago—the roof was occupied by New Mexico’s cobalt sky and an obscure mix of clouds. From the worm’s eye view, I saw what Espinoza meant. The walls’ edges oscillated like waves, a masonry technique that may have fortified this 1,200-year-old great house, Pueblo Bonito: the centerpiece of a complex maze of ancient buildings, kivas, plazas, drainages, cliff stairways and petroglyph panels that comprise what is now Chaco Culture National Historical Park. That morning, we drove 150 miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to reach the

long, shallow canyon atop the Colorado Plateau and the park’s 34,000-acre collection of archeological mystery. In 800 A.D., the Chacoans began a three-century process of construction—and then they vanished. Pueblo Bonito alone was five stories with more than 600 rooms and 40 kivas. Chaco’s ostentatious architecture—which often aligns with solar, lunar and cardinal directions and creates astronomy markers—is in contrast to the austere environment’s long winters, short growing seasons and marginal rainfall. Nearly all of the uncovered artifacts, crops and building materials were traced back to other origins—some thousands of miles away—including macaws, turquoise and 181 cylindrical vessels coated with cacao from Central America. Perhaps the impetus was spiritual, but Chaco was a place of convergence for tens of thousands of ancient peoples. WINTER2018  37


In April 2017, Hotel Chaco — an inaugural modern interpretation of Pueblo Bonito — opened in Old Town Albuquerque, decorated with the original, Chaco-inspired work of 13 Native American artists. Espinoza, owner of the local travel company Heritage Inspirations, collaborated with the hotel and the UNESCO World Heritage site to develop the first-ever overnight tours with the blessing of the elders. After an incredible journey to Chaco, my mind was energized by the puzzle. I walked into Hotel Chaco’s annular lobby. The abstract bronze tower, Oneness, was encircled with soil from Sculptor Joe Cajero’s Pueblo. The earth ring symbolized a sipapu, a small hole in the floor of a kiva where ancient ancestors emerged to visit the present world. Centuries later, the human connectivity that was cultivated by Chaco lives on.

Photo by Hotel Chaco


First Timer’s Guide: Albuquerque Bite into El Pinto’s Huevos Rancheros with a side of the fire-roasted green and spicy red chiles. In 2016, the brother-owned, 55-year-old family restaurant introduced the nation’s only hen-laying program on a restaurant property that’s Animal Welfare Approved, a third-party certification that ensures the 250 hens can range and live totally natural—which simultaneously boosts the eggs’ vitamin levels and lowers the saturated fat. Then venture to Old Town’s 300-year-old adobe plaza to join Joshua Arnold, co-owner of Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals, on a bike tour of the city. Include a stop at North America’s largest concave fresco, a 4,000-square-foot masterpiece, Mundos de Mestizaje, created by Frederico Vigil, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Next door, grab a Mango Chile Paleta, a Mexican popsicle made with fruit, cane sugar and ground chili powder, at Pop Fizz. 

WINTER2018  39


Venture Snowboards: Riders to the Core


enture Snowboards was founded in 1999 by a young couple fresh out of graduate school. Nearly 20 years later the brand has a cult following, is known for durability, core principles and a ride born and bred in Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains. With a local squad that lives and breathes making and riding snowboards, Lisa and Klem Branner keep a watchful eye on detail and rush to address any imperfection. With a remarkable tally of industry accolades and Editor’s Choice Awards for their designs, the brand is an innovator in big mountain and backcountry snowboarding. But this isn’t your typical snowboard company, and these aren’t your typical snowboards. We spent a few days with the Venture crew in the San Juans above Silverton, Colorado, where we skinned up thousands of feet, made some sweet spring turns and learned how it all began. Klem, an engineer for whom making snowboards just made sense, shared his passion and vision for the company.

Garage days “I made my first snowboard when I was 15 in my dad’s basement workshop. It was piece of plywood I bent by putting some hot water on it. I painted it with pink spray paint. Whatever I’m into I try to make myself. “I went to school for engineering. We just started making snowboards and it kind of fit.”

On Silverton and the San Juan Mountains “It’s the perfect testing ground for two reasons: if you really wanted to you could skin right out the front door to just about anywhere in town, and also the type of terrain that we have, the Rocky Mountains, we beat the hell out of our boards. We figure if we can make something that holds up around here, it can hold up just about anywhere.”

To the core “For us, it’s all about being made in the mountains, for snowboarders, by people that care about this 40

stuff. They’re going to pay attention to detail, they’re passionate about it. “You get a whole different level of quality than if you’re making them in some factory in a country where it probably doesn’t even snow.”

Heart and soul “It’s just about going out there and riding your snowboard with your buddies and having a good time and that’s it. All the X Games and half pipes and how many whirlybirds can you do, to me that stuff is just like figure skating in a tube. It’s impressive, but it doesn’t interest me. I just want to go out there and have a good time with my friends. That’s what snowboarding’s always been about to me. “We’ve pretty much been a free ride company. Right now the trend is what we’ve been doing all along.”

Power of passion “What impresses me? Going snowboarding. I live this stuff. I think about it all the time. It’s not a job really, it’s just what I do.”

Klem has a few tips for the new splitboarder: “That’s the thing when people first get into splitboarding, they come to us and they’re like ‘I want the longest thing you’ve got because I want to get out there and get a bunch of pow’ and that’s where I’m like, ‘whoa, not so fast.’ Get the same size as you’d get in a solid board. “It’s 90 percent climbing and 10 percent going down. If you can appreciate that, then that’s the awesome part. The climbing is the work to get to the goal, but when I strap into a board, that’s the moment that it’s all about.” 

Klem Branner doing some extensive product research in Silverton, Colorado.

Venture is regarded as one of the most refined splitboard manufacturers on the snow. Splitboards are boards that split in two to be used as skis to ascend mountainous terrain. Reassembled, splitboards are used to glide down slopes just like a traditional snowboard. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a growing trend and Venture is at the center of it. While the technology is still evolving, Venture boards are renowned to ride indistinguishably from their solid decks.

Venture ambassador Logan Austin and Brittany Cupp, our Adventure Pro marketing specialist, eye the goods during a spring splitboard tour just up the road from the Venture headquarters in Silverton, Colorado. WINTER2018â&#x20AC;&#x192; 41



Photos courtesy of Hotel Telluride

For more Killer Weekends visit

Telluride, Colorado By BRANDON MATHIS


o matter how you slice it, this place is incredible. From world-class extravagance to world-class dirtbagging, Telluride is like no other mountain town you’ve ever visited.

So whether you’re dropping some coin or counting your coins, here are the two ways to have it all in Telluride.

Pretty Penny Day 1. Book a Snow and Soak, Ski and Sip package with The Hotel Telluride and kick back every night in the lap of luxury while getting the best of Telluride by day. Stay in a summit suite with incredible San Juan Mountain views. Enjoy breakfast on them. Grab a Thermos, climb on snowmobiles with Telluride Outfitters and head over 28 backcountry mountain miles to the incomparable Dunton Hot Springs, a rustic ghosttown-turned-refined-resort, and member of the world class Relais and Chateaux group, a collection of exquisite restaurants and resorts. Have a gourmet lunch followed by a private soak in a memorable setting. Wrap up the ride with an après fireside wine and charcuterie for two. End the day back at The Hotel Telluride, with a three-course dinner, paired with select champagne. Day 2. Enjoy your included Soak, Ski and Sip package lift tickets to Telluride Ski Resort, considered the No. 1 ski resort in North America, according to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Nearly 400 inches of snow fall each year on this majestic mountain. Two thousand skiable acres, 19 lifts, 148 trails with a 4,000-plus vertical drop; this is among the best lift-served skiing in the Rocky Mountains.

Dirt Cheap Day 1. Book yourself a room, if there are any left, at the affordable Mountain Side Inn for about $130 a night, or better still, nab some space in your Honda-minium or Suba-room (always vacancy there.) Bring the zero-degree down, this place gets cold. Head over to Baked in Telluride for a diverse cafeteria-style menu at surprisingly decent prices. The baked goods are great, there’s a coffee menu and the pizza is as good as it was 20 years ago. Or head over to Steamies Burger Bar. They even do breakfast. Get the Summit Biscuit Stack for $11. Day 2. On a good day the mountain is incredible, and there aren’t really bad days here, so forking over the $133 for the single-day lift ticket at Telluride Ski Resort might hurt, but you’ll forget soon enough. Hike out to Bald Mountain or drop into the Black Iron Bowl, Gold Hill or Palmyra Peak. What’s that? You brought your own backcountry set up? Well, then you’re already getting face shots for free. If not, hit up Ophir Pass and Paradise Basin. Look into Alta Lakes, or if you did bite the bullet and take The Plunge (pun intended) at the resort, you can head out the backcountry gates at Bear Creek for some insanely sweet side country. Be smart. This is avalanche terrain. Grab a bite and a beer at Oak, The New Fat Alley when you’re down. Thaw out later in town at The Moon at O’Bannon’s, where two locals’ favorite bars, The Fly Me to the Moon Saloon and O’Bannon’s, have created a sweet music venue. If your timing is right you might catch a killer show: Over the years acts like Sublime, The Jerry Garcia Band, Jack Johnson and Phish have dropped into this offbeat venue. Check times for the Juke Joint shows.  WINTER2018  43



AARON’S BIBLE What are your picks for the best ski runs? Mountain renegade Aaron Bible shares his list for the best in the West and beyond. By AARON BIBLE We know, we know, you’ve heard that before. But have you site verified them for yourself? We did just that to bring you our 2017-18 ski season best of where you need to go this winter. It’s simple math… every true ski bum has to check these off the list in their lifetime, why not start now?

Photo by Terrance Siemon

Purgatory, Colorado  Still the darling of the valley, Purgatory will never lose its charm. Locals say the steep and well-spaced McCormack’s Maze glades have a side-country feel that keeps them stoked, even on busy weekends. Powder stash: Book a day with Purgatory Snowcat Adventures for access to the biggest guided cat skiing permit area in the country. Mega freshies at every drop and it keeps getting better as the day goes on. Bring extra everything so you can switch out for dry stuff.

Telluride, Colorado  The best thing about skiing at Telluride is just the fact that you are skiing in Telluride: one of the sickest, most beautiful, interesting, authentic and laid back mountains in the world. The fact that the gondola is part of the town’s official public transportation system speaks volumes. Go find Revelation Bowl for what most consider some of the best in the state when the snow is right. Jackson Hole, Wyoming  Narrowing this down to just one run in the Tetons is a joke, we get that. But if you had to ski just one, forever, what would it be? The answer is South Hoback – the longest, most sustained, top to bottom run on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, our perfect pow day of 2,200 vert with some of the most massive, expansive views in the Lower 48. Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Resort


Silverton Mountain, Colorado  If you’ve never been to this remote “resort” that borders the Uncompahgre Wilderness to the north and the Weminuche Wilderness to the south, start with Tiger, a bowl below the lift that follows a creek bed all the way down to the road, where you catch the bus back to the base. Not too scared yet? Embark on the 45-minute hike to Rope Dee Dope - a set of numbered chutes near the top of Billboard peak, yielding a nearly 2,800 vertical descent.

Killington (Yep, that’s Vermont)  Think East Coast skiing can’t be hardcore? Go ski Outer Limits on 205s on ice and get back to us. Just ask anyone who grew up back there, this is the ultimate East Coast mogul run that will test your mettle.

Verbier (uh, as in Switzerland, brah)  With a motto of “Pure Energy” you can imagine that, as a hardcore destination skier, you’re going to want to head to Verbier, Switzerland, as soon as the snowpack sets up this spring. Believe me, this place makes Jackson Hole look like Breckenridge, and ski bums here regularly paraglide in the morning and ski-mountaineer in the afternoons. It’s hardcore. Mere mortals should take the gondola to the top of Mt. Gelé, specifically the northwest face, where we melted our own faces twice last year.   Photo courtesy of Silverton Mountain

Don’t miss these favorites from Adventure Pro staffers, who have mastered the art of “working from home today” while emailing from chairlifts. Wolf Creek, Colorado  Wolf Creek is our pick for the best

Photos by Terrance Siemon

kept secret in Colorado. With the most snow in the state the Creek is perched on the crest of Continental Divide, and that top-of-the-world feeling you get is enhanced by the unfolding terrain. Explore the Waterfall area, the Dog Chutes and Montezuma Bowl just to get started. The entire mountain has hidden treasures, but when the snow is good, and it usually is, be sure catch the Snowcat to the Horseshoe Bowl and make your way down Kieth’s Glade. You’ll thank us later.

Taos, New Mexico See for yourself, this mountain is amazing. You just left the desert but you’ll think you’re in the middle of the Rockies - because you are. The Sangre de Cristo Range is the real deal, and this mountain is steeper and deeper than many of its neighbors to the north. Plus, the green chile alone is worth the trip. B-line toward Kachina Peak, and on your second lap scoot down a bit and pick a chute near Cabin. Or stay put on Lift 2, buy a shirt from Ski Patrol at Headquarters and head out West Basin Ridge and drop in.  WINTER2018  45


ing t


Avy Savvy Know Before You Go

How fundamental avalanche awareness is getting back to basics with the recreational/ professional split “Let’s give the people the tools to do this stuff,” said Michael Ackerman, avalanche educator. While the study of snow and avalanche mechanics is regarded now as a hard science, it’s the recreationalists who get into trouble; therefore it’s the recreationalist who may need to know a different kind of data when it comes to avalanches. Today it’s simple. But not easy. 46

Photo by Terrance Siemon

Know Before You Go The KBYG campaign is a new approach to avalanche awareness, so people are less intimidated by hard science and more in tune with what’s going on around them. It’s a five point checklist that can help people make the best decisions.


Want to see more?

And it all starts with the fun stuff: Gear. GET THE GEAR Transceivers: Small, digital location devices that send and track signals allow users to locate victims quickly. Shovels: The modern collapsible shovel saves lives. A 3-foot burial requires moving 2,500 pounds of snow, according to the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education. Probe: A telescopic probing pole that is used to search the snow for the victim. Recent research shows that most burial victims are buried within the top 2 meters.


“We’re seeing a recreation/professional split,” says Ackerman who’s spent two decades of renowned guide service with San Juan Mountain Guides and is now involved with the public avalanche awareness program Friends of the San Juans, both located in Southwest Colorado. “The awareness curriculum becomes now the bedrock of any recreational educational path.” “We’re going back to the basics, because that what seems to be keeping recreationalists alive.” “Communication is so important. How do people feel about route finding? How do people feel about wilderness medicine, how do people feel about driving to the trailhead in a snowstorm? It’s all this stuff. Accidents are never one big bad thing that happens, it’s a culmination of little things, and communication is the way we catch those little things before the snowball into an event.”

GET THE FORECAST Daily avalanche bulletin reports are available for backcountry users at the click of a mouse or touch of a

screen to understand the current avalanche conditions. Plus these websites often feature forums, observations and educational tools as well. Check out and learn about resources in your area.

GET THE PICTURE Ackerman calls it the home-field advantage: “Get out there and check out where you’re going to ride this winter. How many people are hiking right now and pre-gaming?” “There are no days off in the backcountry,” Ackerman says. “We live in 2018. I can up load into a weather station and go, ‘Oh, 3 inches of new snow and 40-milean-hour winds.’ That’s painting a picture for me.” There are a growing number of free avalanche, winter weather and safety apps for smartphones.

GET OUT OF HARM’S WAY “It all comes down to that golden triangle: Weather, terrain and what stupid human tricks am I doing in that moment,” says Ackerman. WINTER2018  47

FACETS: Poor judgement patterns that can lead to big trouble. F












“We’ve done this a million times and nothing bad has ever happened.”

Showing off? Bad idea. Being smart and living to tell about it is way more impressive than trying to act cool and triggering a dangerous slide.

Just because you set out to do something, doesn’t mean you have to. Have a back-up plan in place. The mountains change every second, and you should be ready to as well.

Don’t leave things up to the person who seems the coolest. Just because they can do a triple daffy whirly do doesn’t mean they are making good decisions in avalanche terrain.

Is it really worth risking it all just because the snow is good? Come back later when it’s safe.

Afraid of looking afraid? Don’t be. Speak up about your concerns.

Photos: Michael Ackerman



Geek Squad • 37% of avalanche deaths occur when conditions are reported as “considerable” • 49% of avalanche deaths in the U.S. are snowmobilers. • 74% of all human-triggered slides occur on slopes between 34 and 45 degrees. • Terminal velocity of an avalanche reaches almost 200 mph. • Avalanche masses have been measured at 10,000,000 metric tons. Even a small avalanche can be disastrous, considering snow can weigh between 5 and 12 pounds per cubic foot. • Wind can deposit snow 10 times faster than actual snowfall from storms.

North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale

Avalanche danger is determined by the likelihood, size and distribution of avalanches. Likelihood of Avalanches

Avalanche Size and Distribution

Avoid all avalanche terrain.

Natural and humantriggered avalanches certain.

Large to very large avalanches in many areas.

4 5

Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

Natural avalanches likely; humantriggered avalanches very likely.

Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.

3 Considerable


Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

Natural avalanches possible; humantriggered avalanches likely.

Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.

2 Moderate


Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

Natural avalanches unlikely; humantriggered avalanches possible.

Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.

1 Low


Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Natural and humantriggered avalanches unlikely.

Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.

Travel Advice

Danger Level COLORADO Colorado Avalanche Information Center CAIC

NEW MEXICO Taos Avalanche Center

ARIZONA Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center

5 Extreme 4 High

4 5

UTAH Utah Avalanche Center

Safe backcountry travel requires training and experience. You control your own risk by choosing where, when and how you travel.

WINTER2018  49


Photo by Brandon Mathis

Photo by Brandon Mathis


Photo courtesy Dawn Glanc

Go, Going, Gone. Meet the GO Team. by BRANDON MATHIS


awn Glanc is 60 feet up a massive frozen waterfall outside Ouray, Colorado. Kicking the spiked toes of her boots into the ice, one after the other, swinging her ice axes into the ice and making the entire ascent look easy. Halfway up she turns and waves to her husband, international climbing guide Patrick Ormond, six stories below. “Hi,” she calls out. “Hi.” Glanc and Ormond are professional climbers. Ormond is an elite guide, a guide’s guide, and Glanc owns a women’s climbing guide service and is acclaimed for climbing some of the most difficult rock and ice routes in the United States and beyond. As refined as they both are in extreme environments, they are just as giddy on the ground. APro: How did you get into climbing? PO:  I grew up climbing with my dad, as far back as I can remember. I started leading when I was 12. I still climb with my dad occasionally, and many of his climbing partners became some of my partners and mentors.

DG:  I started rock and ice climbing in 1996 while attending college at Black Hills State in South Dakota. APro:  Why a life built around climbing? DG:  It was something we were both dedicated to before being together. That wasn’t going to change after we met, and actually, every time we met before getting together was some form of mountain activity, climbing, skiing, guide’s exams. Climbing allows us to travel and explore together, support each other trying routes, have someone to vent at when we flail, but then be OK and keep at it together. APro:  What’s the GO Team? PO:  The Glormonds was obviously not good, neither was the Glands. That winter, we were climbing in Iceland, and after doing a number of first ascents, I came up with the GO Team using the G and O as the way to record our names. It stuck immediately. APro:  How have things changed for you regarding where you were 10 years ago and where you are today? PO: I work more. But I’m still trying to fit in as much time in the mountains as I can, whether that’s some type of climbing, skiing, trail runs, whatever.

DG: Today I realize there is more to life than climbing. I am more involved with my community as well as my business, Chicks Climbing and Skiing. Plus, I just released my first film project that’s been in the works for years, Mixtress. APro:  Describe the climbing community in your stomping grounds, where you roam and who you roam with. PO: I travel half the year, and everywhere I go, there’s a community that I belong to through climbing and guiding. Days off from work are spent out with friends, trying to do routes we wouldn’t be guiding. That could be sport climbing, or a long alpine route, or it could be doing the laundry. Ha. Seriously, it’s hard to squeeze in laundry. Dawn and I try to coordinate our schedules to travel together as much as we can. It’s never enough, but everyone knows we’re the GO Team, and when we’re not together the first question from the community is where’s our other half. DG: In general, the climbing community is a very tight-knit collective of unique individuals. Everyone knows everyone and we all have great stories to share. Every festival is a family reunion. APro:  What’s it like for climbers to be married? Do you swipe each other’s gear? PO:  My gear is my gear, and Dawn’s gear is my gear. I’m generally in trouble because I snagged something of Dawn’s. APro:  Climbers are tough. How do you stay a well-rounded athlete and what are the signs that you need to chill? DG:  I find I need to diversify my activity and the people I hang out with. I cannot climb every day, nor can I talk about climbing every moment of the day. Building rest days into the schedule is more for my psyche than for my physical recovery. PO:  Dawn claims I never stop thinking about climbing, skiing, whatever. That’s basically true. But I do need rest days. For me, guiding

Photo courtesy Dawn Glanc

provides a constant base for general fitness. And I need to stay in shape for guiding, so that’s always a ready excuse to head out on personal time. APro:  What about the work/life balance? How do you two handle the go part of the GO Team? DG:  Finding balance is not that easy. We both travel so much that we try to spend our down time together. Often, Pat and I will schedule work in the same areas to spend time together when on the road. We find that our limited quantity of time forces us to have more quality time. APro:  What does climbing offer people? Even the first-timer who may never go again? DG: Climbing offers a chance to set goals, work hard, and watch seemingly impossible ideas come to fruition. Everyone can relate to overcoming fears and self-doubt to reach the top of a climb. APro:  What is rewarding about being a guide? DG:  It’s rewarding to watch someone push their comfort zone and progress as a climber. The smile of success is contagious, and it feeds my climbing psyche as well. PO: Helping my clients reach a goal is a powerful experience. Guiding someone towards realizing a dream can be an emotional experience once achieved. Some clients become good close friends, partly because of these shared experiences.  WINTER2018  51


Sentenced to Summer Skipping Winter in the Southwest Photos and story by MORGAN SJOGREN



he cabin door swung open slamming a wall of snow in my face. This isn’t winter, I thought, this is war. Snowflakes lilted through sunbeams to kiss the already snow-tipped pines, long barricaded beneath the 20-plus feet of Sierra Nevada Cement imprisoning my tiny cabin (now igloo.) The unprecedented conditions brought me immense excitement and wonder. Waking up to the serenades of avalanche bombs. Wearing layer upon layer of coats and socks inside my badly worn boots, bracing myself for the biting attack of five-degree mornings. Taking my skis and my dogs, skinning atop 12-foot snow banks through town to the grocery store. Underneath it all I still wore my summer clothes. I needed to hold threads of sunshine close to her heart. To remember it’s always summer on the inside. My entire world became an alien planet, beautiful in its strangeness but bleak in the way that an overdose of white in eyes that crave color cannot bear. When a trip to the hot springs outside town proved fruitless, their hot waters bogged down in slush, I knew this was no Valhalla. Hell finally froze over. I had to get out.

I threw a rucksack full of clothes into the Jeep along with my running shoes, hockey skates, climbing shoes, harness and surf fins — ready for anything anywhere but here. The desert beckoned with its red sandstone towers, hidden petroglyphs, starry nights and the urge to kick up elusive dirt from under my feet as I ran far away from the Pineapple Express storm systems. As I drove southeast, paralleling the Mexico border and entering the land of saguaros, I felt the desert embrace me, pointing me to the Four Corners. Hot flashes of sun beamed into the window while dry winds whipped my blonde hair into shape after being patted down by beanies and hoods for far too long. The open spaces endless, the geographical formations unfamiliar, the highways leading to places I have never been before. I felt like a tumbleweed: rootless, swift, sharp and aimless. I erased the word “home” from my vocabulary and replaced it with “roam.” I launched into the black rock swimming holes of Fossil Creek, Arizona, spent lazy afternoons on Verde River, ran along the slick red rock vortices of Sedona, rolled in the mud within striking distance of Grand Falls spray on the Little Colorado River and sprinted to the Grand Canyon bottom in a wind storm to drink a beer on the Colorado River’s shore. Despite boundless new places in Northern Arizona, I quickly realized just how close I was to Utah (at least in my Jeepsy mindset) with 33-inch tires spinning at full volume up U.S. Route 163 and into

Monument Valley, resisting the urge to stop too long, I knew there would be many more kingdoms ahead: Bears Ears National Monument, Indian Creek, Moab and back o’ the beyond. In almost every outing between Mancos, Colorado, and Bears Ears, the Sleeping Ute loomed in the distance. In Cortez I’d learned of the local legend that once one enters the world of the Four Corners its power will hold you there forever unless you climb the Sleeping Ute and touch her toe. (This is more difficult to do than one may think because it is on the Ute Indian Reservation and no one is permitted to climb her unless you hire a native guide.) At first I scoffed at this, then I thought about climbing it and then I happily accepted my fate. If I’m trapped here so be it. I am a travelling writer, free-range human, roamer, wanderer, nomad, vagabond. I have no fences, the only boundaries I draw are my own. Other than story deadlines, to have a bit of magic dictate the imaginary lines encapsulating my freedom is almost a relief. After all, the Four Corners is certainly the type of place where one can spend multiple lifetimes without the absurd notion of boredom and most importantly, at least in my eyes, always find a way to skip winter. And so, having escaped my snowy prison months ago, I proudly accept my new sentence, to roam forever into the kingdom of the sun. 

WINTER2018  53


Hut Trip

Hotness Eight Ways to Make Your Hut Trip Unforgettably Awesome Story by JOY MARTIN photos by JASON BUSHEY So you have a good planner in your group and nailed the hut-trip lottery. Congratulations. The approach to an idyllic backcountry hut can be a slog, especially if you’ve never had weight on your back navigating an icy skin track. Whether you’re skinning thousands of vertical feet or sledding in a few miles, your hut trip will be a guaranteed success with these essential and not-so-essential tools.

1. WHAT NOT TO CARRY Once you’ve reserved your hut, review the what’sincluded list. Most huts have kitchen equipment and toilet paper setup for you. Trust the system, and save that weight for the fun stuff. 2. THE ESSENTIALS The absolute bare essentials for a hut trip include your avy gear (beacon, shovel, probe), skis, boots, skins, poles, extra batteries, headlamp, sleeping bag and/or liner, lighter or matches, a water bottle and two-way radios for larger groups. Bring your own maps, along with any other ski beta you might need for exploring the surrounding terrain.


3. FOOD Split your group into cooking teams. Make note of any dietary restrictions, and then have a blast planning Mexican fiesta dinners, pancake breakfasts and mac ‘n’ cheese nights. Put your most confident bakers on baked goods duty so you have an endless supply of cookies and muffins. Don’t forget the hot sauce, pure maple syrup and Starburst Jelly Beans. 4. DRINK Double-check that at least one person is in charge of coffee. From there, you’ll want Irish cream liqueur and Schnapps, tequila and ginger beer for après mules and boxed wine for dinner. Beer takes up a lot of space, use that valuable space for smart decisions, like more whiskey.

The beloved and historic St. Paul Hut under the stars on Red Mountain Pass.

Breaking trail in Colorado’s Gore range on an Eiseman hut trip near Vail.

5. MUSIC While the sound of howling wind and flakes hitting old window panes is nice, there’s nothing like a little hiphop to kick off a party or morning tunes to sip coffee to while everyone suits up for the day. Bring one or two Bluetooth speakers, USB chords or auxiliary cables, plugs for the wall or a solar charger for those more primitive setups. 6. LUXURY ITEMS Down booties, slippers or other lightweight cabin shoes are awesome for those quick dashes to the outhouse. Bring comfy pants, a hoodie or T-shirt for cozier sleeping, and don’t forget an extra pair of socks to slip into while your ski socks dry out. Earplugs take

up minimal space, so pack extra; You’ll be the hero for someone who forgot theirs. 7. FOR THE PROS Donuts. Whipped cream. A Whirley Pop for stovetop popcorn. Truffle salt. A Thanksgiving turkey. If kiddos are coming along, bring sweetened condensed milk or cocoa powder to make snow milkshakes. Twinkly lights, candles, a disco ball. A BB gun. Wigs, onesies, lipstick. You know what makes your tribe happy. Bring a wow factor they’ll be talking about for years to come. Make sure you have at least a 40-liter pack that fits comfortably. Take it easy. Enjoy the journey. The hut’s not going anywhere, and we promise you’ll be grateful you packed that tutu and extra slab of bacon.

8. GAMES There’s a 90-percent chance you’ll find a worn deck of cards tucked into the shelf with those Harlequin romance and Ed Abbey novels, but just in case, bring a deck, along with any other easy-to-transport group games. Or you could save that space for even more whiskey and come ready with the ultimate entertainment: The Cabin Game. THE CABIN GAME Teams: Divide everyone into two groups. The easiest way to do this is ask who folds their toilet paper before they use it, and who crumples. Inevitably, there will be a 50/50 split. Sit in a circle around the fire or at the table, alternating team members. Tools: Scraps of paper, pens, a timer (a cellphone works just fine) Setup: Each person takes three small scraps of paper and writes one person, place or thing on each scrap of paper. The scraps of paper are folded up and placed in a bowl, hat, whatever is available. Shuffle the pot. Rounds: There are three rounds. During the first round, a team member draws one piece of paper from the pot and describes that word to his or her teammates. Teams have one minute to guess as many words as possible, making a pile of the correctly guessed ones. After a minute, the pot is passed to the next person (the other team.) This continues until all of the paper is gone from the pot. Teams add up their piles and all of the scraps of paper are returned to the pot. During the second round, team members are only allowed to act out whatever is on the paper. No words. Again, their teammates guess as many as possible in a minute before passing along to the next team. Add up guesses. Return scraps to the pot. The third and final round, team members describe whatever is on the paper using one word only. Again, add up correct guesses. Score: Keep score by counting the correctly guessed scraps of paper after each turn. The team with the most correct guesses wins. Some huts require waivers to be signed and submitted online ahead of time. Fill those out. Also, in some cases, you might need to pick up a hut key from somewhere in town before heading into the backcountry. Don’t plan on breaking any windows.  WINTER2018  55


Photos by ? Photos by Natalie Magee

“After all, how many people can say they’ve skated on Dream Lake?” Dreams do come true. Telluride’s Natalie Magee had an idea: to ice skate Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. “There’s a very short window when the lakes in Colorado are frozen but the snow hasn’t covered the ice yet. We set out at sunrise to hike to Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park last December and I brought my new hockey skates with me to test them out in hope the ice would be ready. “Being from Alabama I had never had the pleasure of being on a frozen lake and I wasn’t prepared for the ice to be so bumpy and uneven. “When we got to Dream Lake the winds were gusting and it was so cold my fingers went numb just trying to lace up the skates. I was being blown all over the lake and could barely keep upright. It became less about skating and more about not falling. “While carrying skates on a hike isn’t for everyone, the unique experience of alpine ice skating was exhilarating. I’ve probably hiked to this lake a dozen times between spring and winter and this moment was certainly my favorite. After all, how many people can say they’ve skated on Dream Lake?” Follow Natalie Magee and her adventures on Instagram at @Yogimagee.

For the Adventurer in All of Us






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