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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    CO
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    5,017

    Cool TR: Buffalo Pass, CO 12.26.04

    TR: Buffalo Pass, CO 12.26.04
    SheRa, Blurred, iskibc



    Way up north just a few miles past Steamboat on the continental divide lies Buffalo Pass. With an average annual snowfall close to 500”, you know there’s a pretty good chance of finding some deep powder even on the longest of dry spells.

    When is this dry spell going to end? Sheeesh!:
    iskibc:



    Access to Buffalo Pass is mostly limited to snowmobiles and the snow cat operation, since it’s a 6+ mile slog to the skiable terrain from the trailhead. With an area the size of a very large ski resort, there are plenty of lines that go untouched for weeks on end. Most of the terrain is at or below timberline, so the snow stays light and dry from the shade and lack of wind. There’s terrain to please everyone’s taste on Buffalo Pass. Perfectly spaced aspen groves on steep hillsides, to cliff bands and billy goat lines with the occasional pillow drops, to wide open powder fields, and thick evergreen slopes with neck deep powder stashes. If you are patient and take the time to explore, you will discover the many hidden gems in and around the pass.

    I met up with SheRa and Blurred in Silverthorne at 7 AM to make the long trek to Steamboat Springs. We arrived to an almost empty trailhead with bluebird sky overhead and an abundance of snow on the ground. We buzzed up the groomed snow cat road for several miles to the summit of the pass. We spent some time riding around near the summit scoping out the surrounding terrain before heading over to Buffalo Mountain for our first turns of the day. We stuck to mostly north facing slopes since it had been fairly warm the past couple of days. The snow was surprisingly light and deep.

    iski:





    Blurred:





    SheRa:



    We lapped the Buffalo Mountain area for a couple of hours, and never crossing any tracks. We took turns shuttling by using the snow cat pick-up and drop-off zones. It couldn’t have gotten any easier than this. Several thousand vertical feet were had before taking a lunch break.


    After lunch we headed a little higher and found a playground filled with billy goat lines, drops, and some small cliff bands:



    As the day progressed, the runs got better and better, and the snow got deeper and deeper. I can’t imagine what this area would be like a day or two after a storm. Unreal.

    Blurred:



    We painted tracks all across the rocky face of this slope until sunset. The energy of the group increased hour-by-hour, as bigger lines went down and bigger airs were thrown. As I was driving back to the pick-up zone I got a shot of Blurred laying down this line from about 125 yards out:



    End of the day:



    Back down to the trailhead:



    Another amazing day spent up north with some maggots. Can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

    Cheers:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    retired
    Posts
    12,475
    nice work y'all

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    amidst 5 mountains
    Posts
    3,855
    nice work. I went cat skiing there last year on day 16 of a dry spell and we skied fresh recrystalized pow all day. Billy Goat lines everywhere! Can't wait to head back to that little slice of Colorado paradise.
    "In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair." -Emerson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    funland
    Posts
    4,974
    screw you guys.


    awesome TR. so much snow! maybe if y'all go in a few weeks, I can tag along and help you find the thin spots.




    so so nice!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    funland
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    4,974
    sorry for the double post, but DAMN, that just looks so good. nice TR, iskibc. only thing this TR lacks is more pics of shera- what a babe!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
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    18,621
    nice! i like pic #1
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
    Posts
    8,079
    Those pics bring back some great memories. I used to love that place when I lived there and Buffalo Mtn ROCKS!

    More pics please

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Holy Mt.
    Posts
    515
    Iskibc, 4.19 posts per day,so when do you get out skiing if your on the computer all day. So hows that flat scummit county action!? So what do you freaks do, ski with a tripod and a
    camera so you can spray about how extemro you are!! You guys crack me up!
    Last edited by kailas; 12-27-2004 at 08:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Front Range Bitch...
    Posts
    593
    Iski.. you really need to get a life! That skiing stuff is going to rot your brain...



    As usual....great TR...
    Tact is for those not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Beer Warehouse
    Posts
    986
    wow. nice!

    now you can probably see why quite a few locals say screw the ski area and get sleds to get to that stuff. such easy access and thanks to the cat operation, well maintained roads

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,701
    Wish we had snow like that two weeks after a storm.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Fort Fun / Rabbit Ears
    Posts
    1,139
    Very nice work Iskibc!
    Did you run into any trouble with the cats service up there?
    I hear that they are putting up a fight about all of the sleds up there. I say screw them it is natl forest after all.
    One of the best TR to come out of CO in a while.
    Thanks for stoke!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Ten Mile Vistas
    Posts
    3,768
    Sweet TR. Damn, I need to get myself a sled.
    Old's Cool.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado Cartel HQ
    Posts
    16,028
    Thanks so much for the TR and pics Iski.

    Yesterday was oh, so sweet. It was the first day in Colorado this winter where I felt like it was safe to huck, measured the snow in places to be deeper than 50". The skiing got better as the day went on.

    I believe many, many more trips will be taken there this winter!!! FKNA D!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,494
    Buffalo where? Never heard of it. Snocat roads really make easy sled access. I'm also interested in your interaction with the Cat Op. I've got a ration of shit there before and I know there has been conflict for at least 10yrs (Jupiter Jones). Some guys I talked to in the 'Boat (dudes I kayak with) mentioned some type of a gentlemans' agreement about where to go when. Does anyone know anything about this?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Cloud City
    Posts
    7,338
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles
    Buffalo where? Never heard of it. Snocat roads really make easy sled access. I'm also interested in your interaction with the Cat Op. I've got a ration of shit there before and I know there has been conflict for at least 10yrs (Jupiter Jones). Some guys I talked to in the 'Boat (dudes I kayak with) mentioned some type of a gentlemans' agreement about where to go when. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Some guys up there were talking about calling first to see when the cats were not operating and then hitting the area. There were signs up all over the place explaining how the roads were maintained by the cat op for everyone's enjoyment. At least that's the official message.

    Seeing Brett huck got me going as well. Really exciting to see him ski. Picks up everybody's game. And Dave - you are the master locater. So sweet to ski steep steep powder and to get airborne. I haven't had a day like that since Wolf Creek several weeks ago.

    Brett, I promise never to huck your sled or to bury it in powder again. Very bad girl. I hope you'll help me dig mine out though. When I get one, that is.

    Thanks for the great tr Dave, as usual. Now get off that computer and go skiing or something! Vail Pass is calling.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,924
    Nice TR! Good read for the Monday morning back to work!
    "Can't vouch for him, though he seems normal via email."

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles
    Buffalo where? Never heard of it. Snocat roads really make easy sled access. I'm also interested in your interaction with the Cat Op. I've got a ration of shit there before and I know there has been conflict for at least 10yrs (Jupiter Jones). Some guys I talked to in the 'Boat (dudes I kayak with) mentioned some type of a gentlemans' agreement about where to go when. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Cat Op. wasn't out yesterday, but there were signs posted at all of their drop-off zones that state outside skiers are welcome to use their access zones and terrain, and general safety warnings concerning avalanche terrain, etc. I called the office a few days beforehand and they were actually very helpful. They realize the terrain is on national forest property and were friendly in giving me conditions and suggestions on where to ski. I have heard there has been some heat between the operation and some of the locals in the past. They have a schedule on their website that shows the schedule of the cats and which locations they will be operating in on a particular day. They ask that outside skiers not ski in the areas of operation on those days. It's not a rule they can enforce, but rather a common courtesy to their guides and paying customers. There is more than enough terrain up there to share when the cats are out, and I think that is respected among the people that head up there.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    funland
    Posts
    4,974
    Quote Originally Posted by kailas
    Iskibc, 4.19 posts per day,so when do you get out skiing if your on the computer all day. So hows that flat scummit county action!? So what do you freaks do, ski with a tripod and a
    camera so you can spray about how extemro you are!! You guys crack me up!
    you're a pussy.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,494
    Cool Dave. It sounds like you haddled it exactly as I would. The new own of the cat op sounds much more personable that the former. I'll have to get my crew back in there ASAP.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Beer Warehouse
    Posts
    986
    when i was sled skiing there last year, they were running the cat. at one time were were loading up at that main pick up point and the cat came down the road. there was no room to go around the cat (5 to 6 foot vertical walls on each side of road) so we patiently waited for all their customers to ski down and load the cat. one of the guides actually had the driver try to get over a little to let us and others by. that's got to be a pain in the ass for them. the guides seemed cool about it, props to them.

    years back when i was living there, i recall some heated issues between locals and stmbt. powdercats. when jupiter jones owned it (he doesn't anymore, right?) he got so fed up with the snowmobiles that he would drag large tree trunks across the cat road to keep people out. he created quite the shitstorm for that and the forest service wasn't too happy about it, either.

    the way i look at it - if you see the cat going one way, go opposite and stay out of their way.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,494
    Quote Originally Posted by xboat
    years back when i was living there, i recall some heated issues between locals and stmbt. powdercats. when jupiter jones owned it (he doesn't anymore, right?) he got so fed up with the snowmobiles that he would drag large tree trunks across the cat road to keep people out. he created quite the shitstorm for that and the forest service wasn't too happy about it, either.
    No only that, but they way I understand it (second hand info) is that he signed a non-compete with the new owner. What the new owner didn't anticipate was Jupiter using his own cat to take his friends skiing non-commercially. Seems like the dude burnt a lot of bridges in town. Mutal respect looks to be working now.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    My armchair
    Posts
    4,593
    Nice TR!!

    BTW, Jupiter Jones is an ASS!!
    "... she'll never need a doctor; 'cause I check her out all day"

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    MiZZZZoula
    Posts
    3,140
    Nicely done, you guys are finding the goods.

    Hey Blurred - i saw this pic - - and was wondering if you could give me some tips on building a similar contraption for my sled. I've a got a 700 RMK and was going to buy a nice ski rack from Cheetah but they are too much bling. Any details would be appreciated.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tawhore
    Posts
    698
    noicely done!!!!
    steezarific!!

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