Matt & Teddy Sanders rolled into Crested Butte a week after New Year’s and right on the heels of a 40+” storm that left us pounding it yet again (in between shovelling sessions). These two telemark brothers from Los Angeles, CA were a riot, and we had a real blast together gettin’ after it. They are on the extended winter road trip, living together out of the back of their Toyota Tacoma, and learning as much about backcountry skiing as they can.
They came from Jackson Hole, having just finished taking their Avalanche 1 Course, and were eager to put some of their skills to use in the dangerous and horrible Colorado backcountry that everyone in Jackson told them about. So…..we made sure to show them just how bad things can get around Colorado….and I believe they may think a little differently now.
Originally scheduled for a 3 day hut tour, due to the size of the storm prior to their arrival and the subsequent high avalanche danger, we re-scheduled for a few day tours later in the week after things settled out a bit. That was just what the doctor ordered, as skies cleared, the snowpack stability improved, and with their guide breaking fresh trail for them, these California boys were treated to some of Crested Butte’s finest skiing.
On Day 1 we skied 2500′ of some great low angle powder off one of the local peaks, letting them get comfortable with their touring equipment, become acclimatized to CB’s altitude (9,000′), and letting us get a feel for the snow conditions. Everything worked out perfectly, and we were treated to lots of fresh, untracked, light Colorado powder.
Day 2 dawned sunny and clear, and off to Coney’s (a local favorite) we went. Overnight, the weather cleared and the snow seemed to get even drier and fluffier, for impossibly better skiing then the day previous. The boys, however, were a bit tired from the day before (they said), or more likely from a late night of partying at the Reverend Horton Heat show with the college girls in town for a college ski week (I think this is more like it). So their day was cut a little short, as they decided to kick it for a while in one of the many tree wells on the skin track and play hide-and-go-seek with one of Matt’s poles.
Once they decided the tree well was all tracked out, we had great typical Colorado bluebird day powder skiing down the short gladed pitches at Coney’s on our way back to the skin track, and these boys were all smiles once again, and were really beginning to understand just how wrong those boys in Jackson are about the Colorado backcountry.
Day 3, and the Sanders boys were done with the climbing skins and the backpacks, and just wanted to ride a chairlift. Having never been to Crested Butte before, and eager to explore the famed Extreme Limits terrain, we headed up to the resort for a last day of laughs and turns together. Perfect timing, as the snow gods began their fury again, and we enjoyed an 8″ powder day on the mountain and caught the much anticipated opening of Phoenix/Spellbound Bowls.
These guys were done hiking, but skiied until the bitter end, making tele turns the whole time, down everything I threw at ‘em. After 3 fun filled days of skiing, the Sanders boys cozied back up in their Toyota and headed back down the raod to Vail, then their Avalanche 2 Course, and hopefully back to CB for some spring backcountry and more laughs and stories…. Thanks guys for a fun time…
—Jayson Simons-Jones (Guide)