As of the 30th of January, the local snow-water equivalent (snowpack) sits at 144% of average in the local watershed. I’ve been taking full advantage by making skiing powder one of my top priorities. A fifth metatarsal bunion osteotomy on my foot in April will end my ski season prematurely while also putting a big damper on spring backpacking trips to the desert. All of this considered, the pain continues to get worse by the year and I’m not getting younger, so now I figure is as good a time as any for surgery. This timetable will allow me to (hopefully) enjoy late spring and all of summer physically active before going back under the knife to knock out the other foot in the fall. Without the large bunions I am hoping to be rewarded with a larger variety of ski boots and footwear to choose from.

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Christmas Eve goods in East Vail

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Christmas Day goods in East Vail

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Steep and deep overlooking I-70, the valley floor of Vail, and the Gore Range

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Breaking trail on a mission to find the Holy Cross Wilderness boundary in mid-December.

We adopted a new dog, Max last September after the sudden death of Moose in June. In addition to being the cute and snuggling couch potato he is, the real goal is to get him out on a few backpacking trips during the summer.

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Touring the snow-laden landscapes of Eagles Nest Wilderness, and …

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… carving the untouched chutes

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Following the boot pack

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 Shreddy

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My buddy Alex took Kelly and I up in his Cessna 182 on an atypical clear and calm Sunday afternoon. Pictured above is a neat formation in the Flat Tops Wilderness.

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Classic Flat Tops landscape

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Gore Range

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Mount Powell and Kneeknocker Pass in the Eagles Nest Wilderness

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Gore Range Drainage

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Maroon Bells

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Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness

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Kel lounging backseat

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Deep and endless powder fields

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Capitol Peak

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With the election of Donald, and the GOP taking over complete control of the House and Senate, it’s a concerning time in the history of this country for those of us that cherish and recreate on our public lands. Just days after the new Congress passed a rules package that made public land disposal plans easier to execute, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that would allow for 3.3 million acres of our land, across ten states to be privately sold. Meanwhile the new federal political landscape will continue to raise one resistance after another and battle lines are currently being drawn. Will it be enough?

Will Americans stand up for their God given rights as citizens of this country?

Will we realize that no monetary association to the last unspoiled earth, ever be enough?

Consider advice from one Republican:

“it is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.” – Theodore Roosevelt