No I did not go through Einstein's calculations and discover a mistake. This is an equation of my own and it has nothing to do with time changing as we approach the speed of light. Marble, Colorado = Epic Squared (or beyond epic). Marble is a little town situated in some of the most beautiful mountains in Colorado (I may be a little biased...). As far as government goes it is somewhat of a no man's land, I don't really know what the ruling government is, I drive through two counties to get there, only to arrive in a third whose main populated district is a 5 hr drive away in the winter (Gunnison County). It is called Marble for a reason, the giant Marble quarry; marble from which contributed to the Lincoln Memorial. It is to this quarry that we skiers are in debt. Luckily they operate in the winter so the road must remain plowed for the gnarly vehicle that makes its giant marble cube laden trip up and down the steep, inevitably snowy road. While in most ski towns mining is dead and skiing is alive, in Marble both persist.
My home lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Roaring Fork and the Crystal River. My whole life I have ventured up the Roaring Fork to the bourgeoisie central of the USA: Aspen, Colorado. Although it will quickly drain your bank account if you attempt to visit Aspen for a week the mountains are truly great, the lift lines almost always small and tons of terrain with stellar access. Little did I know that at the top of the Crystal River there also was a skiing mecca. Marble is the polar opposite of Aspen, as Aspen accents consumption and luxurious living, Marble accents a removal from the normal hustle bustle of consumer society. Maybe it is kind of ridiculous that I have lived in the same place for years and had no idea that if I just turned right instead of left when I left my house I could be skiing epic powder in silence. When Aspen reports four inches it is likely Marble got twelve. Each day I skied Marble last week I had the most epic powder of my life, but the next day it had snowed twelve more inches... And from what I can tell the skiing opportunities are endless. It is kinda funny, at the beginning of the season I was looking to ski somewhere else, now I am almost bummed I am hitting the road and leaving so much skiing left undone. Although it did rain at 8000' today. Here is a couple highlight pictures from our Marble adventures, from stream crossings, deep powder to cliff hucks.
It has been an interesting season to say the least, we get hammered on for a week and then it feels like April or even May for two. Rain in Aspen and sunny skies meant ice and bumps all over our regular stomping grounds. And then we heard the call of Red Mountain Pass, we heard it was sick so just packed up and went. Luckily for us going with no beta was fine, you could pretty much just look out the car window and say, "hmm that looks pretty sick," and then Fred would say, "Whoa look at that," and I would be like "Damn, lets ski that." Then we would just pull over and start hiking. Avalanche conditions were feeling super solid, due to a lack of snow and a a lot of sun so we felt comfortable getting on some decently steep stuff and to say the least it was sick.
Day One: We woke up early at our hospitable friend Colin Osborne's house stoked about what we had seen on the drive over. So we (as quickly as possible) rummaged in a sink full of dirty dishes, found what we needed, cooked some eggs, mixed some tuna fish and jumped in the car not quite sure what lay ahead of us that day. It was not a matter of if we were gonna ski some sickness but what sickness we were going to ski. Ah the oh so painful decision making required in life. Actually it wasn't that hard, or that painful because really it didn't matter every mountain we looked at was begging for our turns. We picked one out, slapped on our skins and just went for it.
Yes, the skinning and boot packing did eventually lead us to the top of one of the numerous summits. We picked one out that had a narrow, technical chute for entrance into an open field of butter (si, quiereahogarme con montecilla y me come cuando yo vivo, how did you guess?), and then into couloir. Squished and soggy tunafish sandwhiches sure taste good when you have a view like this, a long hike behind you and a ski run like that below you.
Yours truly getting smothered in the butter of the moment. Those are Fred's tracks to my right.
Dropping into the couliour
Fred airing the exit cliff after skiing a hairy line.
After a long skin and some truly epic turns we still had some more energy (and huck) in us so we stopped at some cliffs we had scoped out on the way up. The cliffs were clean and tall and the landing steep and luscious (but short enough to nullify avalanche danger).
Here is Fred on the line he chose, this first cliff landed on a short and steep pad that led you right into this:
Yes that little spec busting off the lip is me, standing up perhaps the biggest cliff I have hit this lifetime.
A fun chute.
Day Two: Our day started off with a Denny's breakfast, which would normally be out of our normal diet of eggs, rice and beans and out of our price range but, IT WAS FREE! It just so happened that Denny's was serving free breakfast all over the USA that day, can't complain...
First turns off the top of our summit that day. Our stomachs were aching a little because we left all of our fuel in the car. But that all goes away when the cruising starts!
Fred tearing up some snow on our descent. Don't you wish you were a retired ski racer?
mmm, well maybe we didn't bring lunch but I'll eat that up all day! The extremely long run out. Having made turns like these, I never want to ski the resort again!
It's a bird, its a plane, Its Shred the Gnarquest! Busting it huge...
Me on a double line after a tricky boot pack, this hit then a few turns into...
You may not be able to see it, but you would have a hard time ripping that smile off of Fred's face.
All in all it was an incredible trip and we definitely blew our own minds and became addicted to the backcountry. (An addiction somewhere in between crack and heroin...). As the sun went down and we loaded up our car for the long journey home we dreamed of someday returning, and burritos........
After the snow became far too skied out on the mountains in the week of dryness, we headed to the backcountry to find the deeper snow, and learn to land backflips better. We skinned up, and built two fun jumps, both good for trying backflips, and other inverted tricks. The first jump was fun with a beautiful backdrop of Sopris. The second was a large hip-style jump that landed in deep powder. We also skied some amazing snow on the way down.
Me learning to lay it out on the first lip we built.
Jake bustin it huge with Mt. Sopris in the background.
I climbed into a tree to get this shot, it was sweet.
Jake attempting a linken loop on the second jump we built, it ended up being a cork 3 ish to his head.
Me attemptimg the Double Backflip, i almost got it around,and just barely caught my tips on the second rotation.
These posts area little late because the skiing was so epic the last five days. Check back for more from those days.
The first Sunday a moon ago a day something spiraled out of the heavens with dazzling magnificence. OH WAIT! That was Hayden! Or Fred or Noah, or Nick Malik... you get the picture. With good snow in Rock Island in Snowmass we united our forces to make bad decisions. Damn it feels good when everyone around you is going huge, telling you the landing's soft on the line you don't want to ski and in general just absolutely crushing it.
Noah, Hayden and Jake starting the day of right. Fred hit a stout line just to the right of Noah in the shot. At first we were all four gonna go together but we became certain Fred and Noah would collide.
Fred firing up one of our new favorite doubles. That day in Garrets Gulch got us hooked on double stagers.
Jake on a different line in the same area, Fred on top of his line.
Hayden going HUGE! 25 feet to that small pillow. The line no one else wanted to try. And definetly the stoutest of the day. On a side note, you know how people tell you not to say "funner" the actual grammatical rule is you add "er" to all single syllable words and say most before multi-syllables. e.g: "harder" in contrast to "more difficult."
Noah coming off the second cliff a sick double stager, 10 to 15 or so.