Ski Touring from Long's Peak Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park
Getting our gear ready and clipping in for a day of ski touring. Essential equipment for ski touring includes: Avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, AT skis, boots and bindings, skins, and a touring backpack.
Checking our boots for snow and clearing out any that would inhibit our boot connections with our bindings. It is important to check the holes near the front of the boot and clear any ice build up with the tip of a ski pole.
Heading into the woods, starting just below tree line at the Long's Peak parking lot.
Practicing efficient uphill technique. Slide those skis without lifting them and using a long, smooth, rhythmic motion.
We learned to not go into these types of places where an avalanche can drag us down. It is crucial to stay away from these inviting areas. If you are caught in an avalanche above one of these terrain traps, your chance of survival is extremely low.
Beautiful morning views across the valley revealing Twin Sisters peaks.
We had a good amount of snow, but we were careful to watch out for objects under the surface. There were "sharks in the water".
The transition period from skinning uphill to preparing to ski downhill can be a tedious process. The key to a smooth transition, much like skinning, is routine and efficiency. It is important to be methodical in how you buckle your boots, take off your skins, remove your pack and shed layers during the transition. Be sure to manage those climbing skins wisely too!
We left no trace except for our tracks in the snow. Always take care of our public lands.
Greg enjoying the view and then smiling for the camera.
Clipping in and practicing uphill kick turns. The uphill kick turn is an essential ski touring skill to master.
Our fearless leader and guide, Rob, on his trusty Jones split board. A split board is a snowboard that can be separated into two skis for uphill travel. The two halves can then be put together to form a regular snowboard for a backcountry descent.
Exiting the park with Estes Cone in the background while contemplating the next adventure.