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Newton Clark Headwall Ski Descent

The Spring corn cycle is in full swing now. After a warmup weekend with Tom last week, it was time to take full advantage of prolonged high pressure.  To start out the weekend, Taylor and I went back down to Rogue River, OR, where I planned to meet my friend and mentor Rodney Sofich to ski Mt McLoughlin.

Rod from da’ streets.

Rodney and I got an early start, but with hot hot heat and windless skies, we found the NE Bowl that I most wanted to ski was already too soft.

Final pitch up McLoughlin.

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Confessions of an Ex-Freeskier

Mt Hood Morning from Cloud Cap Road

Mt Hood Morning from Cloud Cap Road

I used to be a freeskier. That even sounds funny to write, but it’s true. What I mean by that is that I used to measure the quality of my skiing by my speed, the steepness of my lines, and how much time I could spend in the air. I lived in Salt Lake City and I skied at Snowbird. The tram on a powder day when the canyon was close was the be-all end-all. Nothing was better than being the first person to hike out to Baldy on a powder day and rip GS turns with face shots all the way down the untracked face.

Moon over the summit.

Moon over the summit.

But something happened to me. After twenty years of skiing, the sport started to lose its shine for me. I went through the motions, hucked the cliffs, skied fast and stomped it on hardpack, but my heart wasn’t in it. This was the winter of 2011-2012: one of the best on record in the Wasatch. I should have been in hog heaven, and on good days, I was. But on the off days when I felt bored on my skis, and spoiled for feeling bored while skiing, I wondered whether there wasn’t more to the sport. That winter I started telemarking more (we all make mistakes, forgive me), and I started to tour more.  Read on →