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At Last: Powder Turns

By Ann Driggers

The Outdoor Junkie's first turns of the season.

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The snow has finally begun to fall, without a doubt entirely due to the exceptional celebration conducted in honor of Ullr last weekend. My eyes have been glued to the weather station reports during the recent storm. Up to 22 inches had fallen in the Elks, easily enough snow to warrant an expedition in search of the first turns of the season. Sunday morning I headed up into the mountains and despite the somewhat nasty weather found a few other diehards out there, including my ski partner Craig Burger. After an hour and a half of skinning through sheltered trees, we had a descent of 2,000 feet below us. Although somewhat marginal below 10,000 feet the conditions were a huge improvement over the previous week. On the northerly aspects we found fresh snow, blown in 18 inches deep and enough to satisfy my immediate hunger for powder turns. The full-on winter blizzard conditions added to the excitement of dodging rocks and snow snakes (deadfall) in poor visibility. But it was great to be back on the skis after four months off, and with no injuries and our equipment returned relatively unscathed, the day was deemed a success.

Craig Burger shows how it's done on skinny tele skis.

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