This morning only the silver slice of moon interrupted the pure blue sky. 

Capitol Reef NP

The landscape here in south central Utah is exceptional. My summer grounds are at the base of Boulder Mountain, not far from Capitol Reef National Park. Boulder Mountain is the eastern end of the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau on the continent. The mountain peaks at 11,328’ and is crowned by an escarpment currently spotted with snow. One north facing section is long enough to get about twenty turns. It probably would take a few hours to get up there and find the spot. More runs would be guaranteed if I drove the 3½ hours to Snowbird, where lifts are still running. It’s a possibility, but a few hours of turns may not be worth the effort.

Last weekend, 20” fell at Steamboat Springs. Snowfall this late in the year is due to a warmer and wetter atmosphere. At cooler, higher elevations it turns to snow. The last time Colorado had this amount of snow in June was 91 years ago.

If you’re fortunate to live close to Snowbird, Mammoth, Squaw Valley, Arapahoe Basin or Timberline Lodge, you may be enjoying an extended season. I’m envious. 

If you plan to be visiting my corner of the West, please let me know ([email protected]).

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Elan Introduces First Foldable Ski

Elan’s new folding ski

Elan’s Ibex Tactix is the world’s first foldable ski. Made for backcountry, skis, bindings and skins weigh in at 5.5kg. The 163cm skis use a folding mechanism that reduces skis to 90cm for easier transport. The company’s claim that the package is good for all conditions is demonstrated in this video.

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Many National Parks Plagued by Air Pollution

Ninety-six percent of America’s national parks are plagued by significant air pollution problems reports the National Parks Conservation Association. The group evaluated air, haze, and soil and water pollution in 417 national parks. The results are available in NPCA’s report, Polluted Parks: How America is failing to protect our national parksNPCA is the leading voice safeguarding America’s national parks. 

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Alta’s (Now Past) Ski and History Tour with Alan Engen

For many years, Alan Engen served as Alta’s Director of Skiing. Alan is a strong contributor to the history of skiing in the Intermountain West and was the driving force behind the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City (named for his father, one of Alta’s founding fathers). Alan took great pleasure in sharing Alta’s history and its terrain with its senior visitors. This poster announcing the program is from the late 1990’s.

Videos Worth Watching

I recently stumbled across this 7-minute review of skiing in the US from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. It’s great fun. 

This 8-minute instructional film from 1941 appears to be a US Army production explaining skis, bindings, boots, and skins. The difference between then and now is amazing!!! 

The History of Alpine Skiing shows the evolution of the sport from its earliest days. Produced by Alpine Life, the video is about 12 minutes.

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