VIDEO: BD athlete Mark Welgos late-season skiing in Colorado
Black Diamond athlete Mark Welgos has skied all over the world, but one of his favorite spots is still the high peaks in his backyard of Aspen, Colorado. Below is a video, report and photos of Welgos’ amazing late season in the Colorado highcountry.
Ski resorts around the country celebrate their season endings with all-out parties. Aspen Highlands is rumored to have one of the best. Yet, this year it wasn’t about the party; it was about the amazing conditions on the mountain. My last day on-piste consisted of lapping Highlands bowl in powder conditions and ending with an all-time party. For some, this day represents the last day of skiing for the year. For my group of friends, it represents the start of early days and long hikes in order to ski the world-renowned backcountry in the Aspen area.
The 2010 spring season in the West was exceptionally abnormal. This season Aspen experienced a low snow year and received most snow when the mountain wasn’t open. After the lifts closed, winter continued for weeks and we took full advantage.
There were many highlights this spring, but the best is highlighted in this video. It includes lines off Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, Castle Peak, Highlands and the out of bounds Maroon Bowl, Highlands Mountain closing party, and a deep day on Aspen Mountain after the lifts were closed. This video portrays the feel of the off-season in Aspen from a skiers perspective. Sure the night life is dead and there is no one in town, but there are endless lines for those willing to put in the effort.
The conclusion of the video is bringing attention to the increasing problem we face in Colorado during the spring. Dust storms are becoming more frequent and are detrimental to our snowpack. This phenomenon is not only a curse for skiers, but it is predicament for water mitigation. The dust layer absorbs much more energy then white clean snow, thus increasing the rate at which snow melts. Reservoirs fill up quicker, making it tough to calculate the rate of discharge. This problem presents a new dilemma for an already problematic resource in the west.
What a season this has been! I want to thank my sponsors for making it all happen: Black Diamond, Arcteryx, POC, Bendis Skin Care, and Adventure Eye Video Systems. I’m already counting down the days for next season. Living to ski another line...
— Mark Welgos