Oh, the north face of Chancellor Peak. If there’s one line that’s called to me above all others it’s this one. Visible from the ski hill and various other vantages around Golden, it’s a wall of white, smeared across an imposing rampart of peaks which seem to pierce the eastern sky. Add its location, in a wild, seldom visited valley in an utterly overlooked corner of the park and anyone who knows… Read More

I’m a sucker for an interesting bit of mountain history. Both fortunately and unfortunately, here in the Rockies, much of the history of even the most famous ski descents has gone unrecorded. But, when it does turn up it’s often presented in a wonderfully elusive, fragmented way. A forum post here, an aside in a climbing guidebook there, maybe a blog post or two if you’re really lucky. It’s modern folklore of… Read More

Ah life; lately it really hasn’t afforded much time for typing up trip reports. But here’s the first in a long pipeline, from back in April. It was my season opener for quality missions in the Rockies, after a frigid winter full of annoying avalanche problems. The problems were still there, mind you, this just happened to be one of the first days on which we puny skiers weren’t likely to trigger… Read More

Last fall, Valerio Arquint and I took a 7000 KM road trip through the Andes. We chose the freedom of a van, and decided our route as we went, skiing whatever caught our eye as we made our way south into Patagonia. We also used it as an opportunity to try to document the experience without compromising it, which turned into quite a project. Neither of use had any filmmaking experience to… Read More

In my last post, I mentioned a little mission of mine: to ski every major line on the north face of Mt. Macdonald in Rogers Pass. After skiing the number 10/11 couloir the week previous, I had only a handful left – the most interesting being the number five couloir. With good stability still hanging on and Valerio and Ryan joining to form a strong crew, it should go without saying that… Read More

The north face of Mount Macdonald is a special place. To say it towers above the highway east of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre would be an understatement. That its dark, forbidding rampart is split by not just one, but a handful of world class couloirs never ceases to amaze me, and I’ve been on a mission to ski my way through them for years.

Well, what a rough early season that was. I came home from a month and a half in the Andes (which I swear I’ll write about soon) all full of stoke. But as is nearly always the case, early snowfall rotted out and everything in the Rockies went to basal facet hell. Further west, I missed a little November window due to work and then all kinds of snowpack nastiness turned up…. Read More

After climbing Uto Peak’s southwest ridge with Ryan in July, I was left wondering just how fast I could get up there. We’d made good time, but knowing we had a long, long alpine ridge ahead of us we certainly hadn’t been going at anything resembling full speed. When, in late August it was still on my mind, I decided to go for it. I figured at worst I’d blow myself up… Read More

On any given day during the winter, you can find a veritable United Nations in the parking lot of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. Its reputation as a ski touring mecca is well earned, but perhaps overshadows that fact that for the other half of the year, it becomes one of the best, most accessible alpine rock playgrounds in North America. Despite living just down the road in Golden for the past… Read More

Five AM on a Tuesday morning in late May. Joel and I sat on a dusty moraine below the northeast face of Mt. Victoria in our base layers, watching wet slides roll off the cliffs above. It was apparent that an uncooperative spring had no intention of allowing more than a token handful of Rockies alpine days, and we had already used up most of them. With bare ice up high, isothermal… Read More