Intern Report: Earning Turns in July

Connor Davis hits St. Mary’s Glacier to remember why he skis.
St. Mary's Glacier

Living in Denver with my friends drives us nuts in the summer. School (the University of Denver), brought us to the city but our mountain roots want to pull us right back out of it. In the midst of several hot Colorado months, we’ve been organizing weekly adventures to stay cool, and our trip to St. Mary’s Glacier (about an hour west of Denver) was certainly the best to date.

After discovering that snow remained on the glacier during a cliff-jumping trip, we naturally returned with our ski gear, eager to earn some July turns.

(photo by Connor Hudson)

After waiting out the rain for an hour at our lakeside campsite, we began the summit-seeking trek at about noon. Ski touring in July is like being in an airport with ski gear: You feel out of place, and passersby ask a host of seemingly obvious questions. Clouds still lingered above us, resulting in wet and cool conditions that felt oddly similar to home in Vermont.

Step by step, we made it to the summit in an hour. Despite the remaining snow, wildflowers flourished around us, and the grass looked greener than any I’ve seen in parched Colorado. We were far away from Denver’s concrete jungle (at more than 11,000 feet above the sea), and it was invigorating.

(photo by Connor Hudson)

Strapping on skis in July, and, even more so, making those first turns was amazing. The snow was slow, dirty, bumpy, and weathered, but we enjoyed every second of skiing it. Watching the sunset over St. Mary’s Lake with the aroma of bratwursts fuming off the grill, I became overwhelmed with sentiment. It’s these spur-of-the-moment adventures that make life so exciting, and I look forward to continuing them in the future.


Longs Peak Ski Touring Adventure. Photo: Joey Schusler

Conquering a 14er

Two Coloradans earned turns this summer by biking to, hiking, climbing, and skiing Longs Peak.

Craig DiPietro, Somewhere between Keystone and Breck

The Hillbilly Haute Route

Who can afford to ski the real Haute Route during a recession? What we need is a domestic version, a tour connecting, say, nine ski areas in Colorado. It’s out there for any mountain yokel willing to hoist a heavy pack, bribe snowmobilers, and break trail where trails aren’t meant to be broken. It starts in luxury and ends with nearly rotten mayonnaise—conditions permitting.

James Peak Wilderness

Trip Report: James Peak Wilderness, Colorado 3.7.10

Spring touring season is right around the corner in Colorado. Here’s a peak at one of our favorite backyard spots.


Trip Report: Skiing the Skillet

Skiing your dream line isn't always fun, but it's always worth it.

15. Winter Park, CO

Winter Park

Mary Jane—named for a mining-era lady of the night—and its sister area, Winter Park, offer plenty of prospects for good skiing, including bumps and powder-filled bowls. Forming one of the closest major resorts to Denver, the two areas spread across five mountains and 3,078 acres. Add 3,060 feet of vertical, 30 feet of snowfall, and a direct train from Denver and it’s no wonder why the Front Range packs the place on Saturdays.

First Turns of the Season at Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Ski Area, in southern Colorado opened for the weekend, kicking off an early start to the season. They've already seen 44 inches of snow. If this is La Nina we're all about it.

PlayLand Episode 1 tout

PlayLand Episode 1

Willis Brown and friends hit the backcountry around Aspen, Colorado to find their own type of play land.

Power of Four Article Tout

Project GT: The Power of Four Race

Long walks, high winds, deep snow, and whiskey-pushing 7-year-olds in Aspen