I was planning to wax poetic about the long journey to become a forecaster for the CAIC. I felt inspired after listening to Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes on my way home from a fieldwork mission to Aspen last month. The lyrics really struck me, although it’s a month later now and I am still trying to organize my thoughts on how incredibly unlikely the events were that got me here. So instead of blathering and deleting and blathering again I thought I would simply share some pictures from work this season. Maybe the words will come together this summer when the flood of danger ratings, snow totals and avalanches drain from my brain.
AIARE Level 1 in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hallett Peak as a backdrop! Front Range Zone
The wind was howling on the way home. Solution? Hop on the frozen lake and sail back to the car. Front Range Zone
Loveland Pass. Vail & Summit County Zone
CON: Waking up at 2:30 a.m. to forecast. PRO: Sunrises everyday at lunch.
Josh Hirshberg, San Juan forecaster giving a seasonal snowpack review talk to our AIARE Level 3 course.
Swamp Angel study plot. North San Juan Zone
Chris Landry, Director of the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies giving us a tour of Swamp Angel.
Coolest trash can ever.
Can’t wait to come back here and hang in the rooftop beer garden!
Killin it in Silverton. Sunshine for miles.
Ouray Colorado. Super cool little spot.
Time to crank out statewide weather… after more coffee.
View of the Flatirons from the Boulder office.
Saw this guy chillin on the side of the road on the way down from Rocky Mountain National Park. Front Range Zone
Blase burning it at both ends. The life of an avalanche forecaster.
Community avalanche talk in Carbondale, CO.
This is actually a fading Powerpoint slide of a snow pit as seen by LIDAR, way cool.
Take a bro to work day.
Finding missing socks in your lunch. Yep.
Had to blast into town when out camping to help with the forecast. Good thing this diner had bottomless coffee.
Summit of Mt Emmons. Gunnison Zone
This place was pretty killer. Crested Butte, CO.
Backcountry cabin.. On the wish list.
Zach putting out the forecast for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center in this super cool historic jail.
Greg and Blase heading toward the Twin Chutes in Castle Creek. Aspen Zone
Some beautiful striated cavity hoar near a downed tree at the base of the snowpack. Aspen Zone
Our snow pit between Twin Chutes. Layers were drawn in for emphasis. Here it was storm snow above the upper line and facets and depth hoar below. Aspen Zone
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
The cool town of Marble, CO with Raspberry Ridge as a backdrop.
Yeah.. Avalanche paths slice through this road for most of the trip to the mine. Aspen Zone
It was snowing hard for most of the day. It snowed 7 inches in 5 hours.
Blase pushing forward as Todd and I hung back in a safe zone near the ridge.
Bottomless powder. It snowed almost 4 feet here in 6 days. The deepest turns of my life. Upper Crystal River Valley.
Todd lovin’ every minute.
I tried to get a good pow shot of Todd, but he never seemed to surface.
Unreal POW. Yum.
Fresh Loose Wet avalanches on the snowmachine ride back to the car. Gunnison Zone
Schuylkill Mountain. Gunnison Zone
Ben summiting Cascade Peak near Crested Butte. Gunnison Zone
Roller balls. Or in this case cinnamon buns! A layer of dust fell on the snow surface and subsequently was buried by new snow. The sun softened the surface snow until it released and rolled up into this delicious pile of dust rolls.
Slab avalanche pocket off the ridge between Mt Owen and Ruby. Gunnison Zone
The hills have eyes.
Sometimes you get to go cat skiing. Gunnison Zone
Irwin Cat Ski Cabin.. Probably the nicest backcountry cabin you will ever see. Gunnison Zone
Jerrod skiing a cool line in Current Creek Basin. Front Range Zone
Downhill split skiing. Don’t hate, this shit is hard!
So the San Juan Mountains are the real deal for sure. North San Juan Zone
Ben teaching our AIARE Level 3 with Silverton Resort in the background. North San Juan Zone
Silverton, CO – AIARE Level 3 studying going on. We were the downstairs crew (the best crew). A big part of what makes this job so great are the people involved in the industry.
Red Mountain Pass – North San Juan Zone
Isn’t vapor depositional growth of ice crystals rad!?
Spencer enjoying some workday exercise. Berthoud Pass – Front Range
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see