Season report by guest author Cody Lee Bradshaw
Sometimes being a skier and living just outside of Flagstaff, AZ is a tough thing, this past season was tougher than most. The toughest part was that I’m not sure that our local ski area, the Arizona Snowbowl even broke 100” of snow this past season. Thankfully our snowmakers kicked ass and under new ownership, it was better locally than it would have been in years past.
My wife’s a teacher and I own a small construction company so we try and take full advantage of her winter break and holiday weekends. This year, as soon as she got off for winter break, we raced up to Whitefish and managed to catch some great snow. From there, we decided to head on to Lake Louise and Revelstoke for the 1st time. We would have liked to have stayed in Revy a while longer, but a huge X-Mas storm was headed to Jackson so obviously we needed to head south. After that, in February I had the opportunity to go heli-skiing in AK for the 1st time. Ok, so we had some great days, but just not nearly enough.
So when Lauren finished up teaching last Friday we headed north. A few years back, about late June we were 4-wheel’n, looking for a good camp spot and happened upon an ol’ timer digging out a road, I asked if he needed a hand and after we cleared a lane he looked at me with a smile on his face and said, “There’s a pretty badass camp spot just up the road!” We found an incredible spot, with a front-row view of him and some buddies skiing over the weekend.
Like you already know, this year sucked in the Southwest, but I figured this spot would still have some snow to ski if anywhere did. We were excited to see there was just enough snow to have some fun on, so we hiked up as soon as we got to camp. The snow was a lil mashed potatoey, but we got to ski and the dog loved it! We headed on to some country near Red Mountain Pass the next day and were stoked to see the grizzly looking county guy had just dozed one of our favorite passes and found a camp spot with a great view of the basin above.
Lauren, Gus and I skied some cool little gullies the next day, and it felt gratifying just to get snow one more time before we finally call it summer… I’m glad we got up there last week because the San Juan forest just closed today. It’s as dry as I’ve ever seen it in our neck of the southwest so we are hoping these talks of an early monsoon coming later this week with hurricane Bud down in the Baja come true.
Huge thanks to our firefighters out there and hopefully we get some rain.