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Old 08-23-2012, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys, I'm new to posting on the forum but have done some reading through whats posted and I like it. I'd like some help. I'll give you some background first, I work on a commercial fishing boat, I work 9 months out of the year and have 3 off. Hence the road trip, all I want to do is go riding on my time off. So I'm getting in my truck packing up all my snow gear and heading north east from LA.

My plan is to head to Tahoe, East to the Tetons and then south to Colorado. I'm looking for some things though.
-People to snowboard with in these areas
-Couches to crash on in between time in the backcountry
-Tips on good areas
-People that may be riding in these areas

Really I want the trip to come out to a body of work. Pictures, video, stories and so on... but a group effort is better than any other.

Thanks
See ya around
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What sort of backcountry are you doing? Splitboard, post hole, snowshoe, slackcountry, snowmobile? Planning on winter camping, staying in huts, in your truck?

Lot's of options no doubt.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't desided on wether or not to get a split board yet. Any money spent there will be less money in the budget. Though I heard main lodge at Mammoth is selling set ups for 500 right now, guess last season was slow.

Chances are I'll be postholing/snow shoeing.
I will be spending some time camping out there, I want to avoid the truck/camper shell approach I heard its like an Ice box. A couple years ago I was really into mountaineering so I still have all the appropriate gear to set up a mid-winter camp.

A lot of options like you said, I'm trying to get some more direction really. I'm not familuar with the mountains outside of central/southern california.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That helps.

In reality, for human powered effort, a splitboard is the way to go. It opens up 10x the terrain you can access by boot packing and snow shoeing.

Still there are places that offer pretty good riding for the boot packer/snowshoeing rider.

Teton Pass is an obvious first choice. From my general understanding of the area, is that a good number of the roadside attractions, there is no better way to access the goods than by just postholing it. There are longer tours where a splitboard would be the way to go, but there is generally a set boot pack on most routes unless you are the first. As far as where to stay around Teton Pass, I'd check with the Hostel in Jackson and look at Driggs Idaho on the other side of the pass. I do not know the winter camping situation around there. I do know parking at the top of the pass is problematic and I doubt the forest service allows for vehicles to be there overnight. Expect to park down low on the pass and hitch hike to the top frequently.

Berthoud Pass in Colorado is the best spot in Colorado for the boot packer. There is generally two boot pack trails on the East side and one on the West side. All three allow you to access all of the old ski area runs from the top of the pass. There is a warming hut at the top of the pass with restrooms. Pit style and not always pretty. The hut does have radiant heat floors though and is a great place to eat lunch, change out your gear, and have a beer at the end of a great day. No overnights in the hut though. I do believe you can leave a car parked at the top of the pass though.

There is the Peter Rabbit hut on the North side of the pass. It's up the Current Creek drainage about a quarter mile. It's a pretty easy hike and the hut is first come first serve. It's not maintained by any organization, and I will say that the wood stove there is getting close to be a "hippie killer". It's getting sketch. The hut sleeps six I believe. Weekends are when it's the most popular, during the week not so much.

Grand county huts is opening the Broome hut in Second Creek on the pass this season. It looks to be awfully nice and is a relatively easy snowshoe in. I think their prices are around $20 a night, not sure on availability. The terrain surrounding the hut is so so. I certainly will not lap it. The good looking stuff up high is also deadly. Two people got banged up last season making bad choices to go up there when the avalanche conditions were sketchy to say the least. They did get to keep their lives, but received lots of broken bones for their efforts. Generally speaking that is not a spot you want to tangle with until late spring.

There is also a hut near the top of the pass on west side. It's off a run called the Plunge through an area called the 90's. It's a small little hut just off to the right of Plunge in the trees when you hit tree line. No stove, but lots of candles and a platform to sleep on.

I am assuming you have taken an avalanche course and have the requisite gear. The snow pack in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the most dangerous anywhere in the US. Colorado in particular leads the nation in recreational avalanche deaths. Good decision making skills are a must. Even if you are not familiar with a continental snow pack, sticking the basic tenants of a Level I course will serve you just fine. That knowledge should serve to keep you from putting yourself in a dangerous spot.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have taken an Avy course, i am taking a refresher course to hone my skills as soon as we get enough snow. Practice is the only thing that will keep those skills on point, and i haven't done it for some time. Going to buy a new becon as well.

Thanks for the tips on locations. I did look into the hostel in Jackson, I was thinking about booking three weeks to a month there. I'm starting to think thats a safe bet to take, from what I've read and heard, along with all the hype, there is no shortage of fresh turns and good terrain. Also i was reading about the colorado ski huts. And although camping in the snow is fun, it requires a ton of energy.

I've posed these same questions to various people. My thinking is that I'm going to need to be fully prepaired, have a general direction and plan and then fill in the blanks as I go. Talk with as meny people as i can along the way and be fully open to whatever posibility arrises.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The idea of documenting the entire trip and making a short film doesn't sound like a bad idea either. Two months is a lot to ask from someone to help with filming and to have a riding partner too. Though I might pitch the idea on kickstarter to raise funds for a road partner and equipment. With the promise of what idk... Just a thought throwin it out there ya kno
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't mean to preach. If you have taken a class I'll take your word for it. Some basic knowledge should keep you out of trouble in these interior mountain states is all.

The huts I listed around Berthoud Pass are not part of the Huts.org or 10th mountain Huts organization. Which are pretty well booked by now anyway.

There is a place that has small cabins on the South Side of Berthoud Pass. Just before you get to the small town of Berthoud Falls at the bottom of the pass. In the middle of winter, I have a hunch those cabins are relatively cheap. Not much going on at that spot, but it's about as close to the pass as you can get. 10 minute drive and you are at the top of the pass and all it offers.

Anyway, Teton Pass and Berthoud Pass are probably the top two spots I can think of if your shoeing it. If you upgrade to a splitboard, there are a whole lot more options to speak of.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That deffinitly gives me more to work with than I had. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am being a little remiss. Loveland Pass is also another spot that is great for booting your way around. In fact when I ride there, I rarely split my board and just boot out on the ridges. In the middle of winter you are most likely to be just dropping right off the road into the trees there anyway. As the above treeline stuff is a little dangerous at that time of year.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Right on, thats definitly a posibility. I'm going to be in Oregan around christmas and could head north for a bit. I'll keep you posted.

Those areas are on the list now too... Places to look into. Thanks
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