IKON Trip pt. 2

Coffin dispensing at the DEN airport -the ski carousel

Denver has a big airport. After getting the snowboard bag out of a upright coffin dispenser-looking contraption, group member 2, Loren aka. Lorenzo, was there to pick me up in a nice ice storm around midnight. It was nice because we knew that meant snow up at higher elevations and hopefully good lucky powder days to come! Loren had been in Telluride, CO for a week already and is driving back to California to work in Tahoe after this next leg of the trip finishes. We had a slippery, dark ride through Denver but had the right vehicle and tires and so we talked through a rough plan as to how to hit a few new ski resorts in Colorado on the IKON pass and end up sleeping at our friends rustic ranch near Vail tomorrow night. With snow falling, and looking at the map on our route, we decided Berthound Pass would be a good area… and the resort – Winterpark. At 1am in the morning, we arrived at our roadside hotel, later to be known as the Door Slammin’ Inn.

In the morning, after a slow start we etched our way up the highway. Loren is a mountain man and he knows how to drive in many types of conditions. I fed my information addiction and checked twitter… Lucky I did , record breaking avalanches were occurring near all the area’s we planned to go, including a slide blocking both lanes on the highway to Winterpark and all the resorts! We pulled over to eat and think this through at a small mining town diner off highway 70.

The other folks arriving at the restaurant warned us that they might not open the road for the entire day. Darn it! We know some area’s and resorts have a unappreciated habit of slow opening or not opening at all for when conditions are the best, but Colorado was supposed to be exempt from that status. With all this snow , is there too much of a good thing again? This isn’t Squaw Valley, this is the Rockies with steeper and longer runs and trained patrollers. This can not be! The waitress tried to offer some alternatives, like moose viewing my the creek or visiting the town library. As our brainstorming continued, I checked Twitter again and after about an hour, we got word – The pass has been cleared and is open. We jumped back in the car and headed up Berthound Pass.

Highway 40 Berthound Pass avalanche 2019

IKON trip complete – Snowboarding in 4 states in 1 week. Here is what we experienced….

Snowboard blog Tahoe

Follow the storm they said. It would be fun they said…they were right!

We just returned to California from our IKON pass ski trip to Colorado and Utah. It was as Californians used to say “Hella Fun”. Waking up the day of your flight to Colorado and looking out the window and seeing some snow at lake level is a conundrum in the making. Bags weren’t packed, gloves still not dry, Squaw was reporting several inches and still coming down. FOMO sets in and I throw the board in the truck and head to squaw. With the watery rain/snow mix and whatever the plows did (or didn’t do) sent my truck sideways going up squaw valley road. My old pizza delivery driver experience skills kicked in and I corrected my trajectory with style and made a run on Red Dog before heading over to the empty lift line at KT. Upper mountain was closed at the time again, so KT was the highest I could get. I hit up my usual spots until I was drenched in water and out of time. After hours of finagling with luggage, trying to cram everything for a week into a small board bag, I gave up and ended up purchasing an extra bag to fly with. No big deal, because we are driving back to Tahoe after the trip.

…check bag…check back for more of the story!