Colter Hinchliffe Feeds the Stoke!
While many of us have moved past the ski season, the Aspen Local is just getting started. Putting the easy, fun-fueled resort days behind him, Colter sets his sights a bit further. Often times, Colter checks in with some rambling post about a half-crocked mission — usually involving his dirtbike and a TON of walking — to bag some remote and rarely skied peak.
This year is no different; The lifts have shut down, but Colter is — perhaps unsurprisingly — Not Over It. We reached out to Colter and ask him to recount one of his favorite late season missions. Oh, and while you’re at it, enter the LINE Not Over It Photo Contest. Maybe you can snag a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists for those late season pushes.
It’s 9 PM in Aspen, Colorado. I can’t take my eyes off the sky. I’m looking for the stars. If I see what I’m looking for, I will toss my skis in my truck next to my dirt bike and begin my journey no later than 11pm. All I need is a weather window.
Our lift served skiing came to an end only a few days ago here in Aspen Snowmass. We are one of the later operations to shut off the lifts – especially with the bonus week tacked on. But with a healthy snowpack and longer days ahead, I am Not Over It – I never am. My love for skiing gets me out searching for turns amongst the rocks as early as September and as late as July here in the high mountains of the Colorado Rockies.
Colter and Tim Durtschi Take on Moab
More often than not, I find myself walking. It’s not easy; it’s type 2 fun at best and often type 3. Walking with my skis, boots, skins, crampons, ice axe, full water bottle, lunch, camera, shovel, probe, first aid kit, and more strapped to my back. But the with prospect of harvesting high-alpine turns in new zones, I find myself walking – usually at 1 in the morning – with all of my gear strapped to my back. It’s for the love of it, right? Something like that.
The slogs – those long days deep in the mountains have become a staple of my spring. Last May, I decided to capitalize on this, and even pieced together a project, Sandstone and Snow. We skied the north face of Mt. Tukuhnikivatz – a technical climb and ski that involved a dicey rappel mid-line – and I was still hungry for more.So as I left behind those sandstone cliffs of the La Sal Mountains, I started scheming, plotting my next mission.
My route home took me south of the La Sal Mountains towards Telluride and the San Juan mountains of Southern Colorado. Late in the afternoon I came into the town of Naturita. To the south, a striking peak rose out of the horizon, basking in the last light. It looked like a mini volcano. I saw a sign for the local forest service office and pulled up, looked at a map outside and quickly learned that the mountain was aptly named Lone Cone with a summit elevation of 12,618 ft.
I wasn’t planning on skiing anything on the way back to Aspen – my thoughts were focused on peaks closer to home – but the weather was nice, and I didn’t have a reason to book it home. My thoughts quickly focused on a solo mission. But I was hungry, and I don’t think well when I’m hungry. Or if I have to pee really bad. So I went and got a slice of pizza on Main Street in Naturita as I contemplated my next move.
In the end I decided I might as well give it a shot. I ordered a couple extra sliced of pizza for the road and followed National Forest Access signs towards Lone Cone in the fading light. Eventually the road got muddy and rutted out, and I decided to find a flat spot and call it a night. It would be the farthest my truck would go. I pulled my dirt bike out of my truck, pitched my tent, and scarfed down one last slice of ‘za.
Not a bad place to start the day. Photo: Colter Hinchliffe
I slept in – a rare occurrence on these adventures. I planned on skiing the North Face of Lone Cone. The couloir itself that had a big wall that would shade the slope well into the afternoon. Corn o’clock is a fickle and fleeting beast, and too many times I’ve found myself too early or late to actually harvest her bounty. So I chanced it with a late start, departing shortly before sunrise.
I only made it a few miles on my dirtbike before I had to switch to foot power. So, like many of these half-crocked ideas, I soon was hoofing it with all my gear loaded on my back, trudging through the low angle flanks of this volcanic megalith. For what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled around, unable to see the objective. I was navigating off of pure luck and hope. But I’ve made enough wrong turns in my life to trust my instincts, and sure enough, I crested into the basin of my planned ascent route.
Pushing the West Ridge of Lone Cone
I kept moving up the west ridge. I switched from skins to crampons and began directly ascending the ridge, front-pointing most of the climb. The breeze kept things firm, and I was in no hurry; so naturally I took a bunch of selfies with my go-pro. GTS at all costs, am I right?! There’s something enjoyable about being alone in the mountains. I can move at my own pace, chose my own route, listen to music, and waste as much time as I want taking stupid pictures.
I dilly dally’ed my way to the top of the frozen Lone Cone hoping the sun would begin to do its thing, gracing me with soft corn to plunder. But it never did. I dropped into that North facing couloir around noon and skied frozen snow 1500 feet – not exactly the reward I was expecting. The angle finally eased and the snow began to soften for another 500-1000 feet of mellower skiing into the basin that drains the north face.
I followed the basin and followed it and followed it until it ran out of snow. It was only this point I realized how far west I had travelled. I would have to backtrack to my campsite – plus the additional 2 miles to my dirtbike. So I ditched my gear and moved quickly on the road with no weight. At camp, I re-hydrated, switched from ski boots to hiking boots, and jogged up to my dirtbike. By late afternoon I was rambling back down the muddy road with the Lone Cone in my rear view mirror. Satisfied, relieved, and happy that I just went for it.
As for now, it’s 10 PM here in Aspen, and the stars are not shining. In fact, its snowing. It looks like I will be sleeping tonight. But the entirety of #NotOverIt season lies ahead. I am just beginning to feel the inspiration to endure early mornings, long days, and less-than-great snow. I know the inspiration to push onward and upward will come. It always does. I usually just need to see a mountain to light the fire.
How Not Over It are you? Check out the LINE Not Over it Photo Contest on Facebook. Upload a shot of you showcasing how far you’d go to get your summer shred on, and enter to win a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists!
The 2014 SIA Snowshow just wrapped in Denver and we’re showing off what’s in stores later this year including the all new Magnum Opus and Supernatural series.
Mag•num Opus from the Latin meaning “great work,” refers to the largest, and perhaps the best, greatest, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an artist.
From Eric Pollard’s brain comes an impossibly light powder ski with futuristic materials and over 15 years of powder ski development behind it.
“The goal of the Magnum Opus was to create a ski that had the same all mountain performance as the Opus, but with increased float. I approached the design with a few ideas on how to accomplish that; larger waist, longer length, and a new tip outline & profile”
– Eric Pollard
The Supernatural Series
The formula for freeride fun is here. Take the industry’s first, mix in proven weight savings technology, freeride specific geometry in a collection of widths for any condition on Earth.
It’s time to make some new friends who can keep up
The Supernatual Series incorporates a full height & lenght 80 durometer Elastomer sidewall over the edges to absorb vibration & shock for a smooth solid ride.
View Our 2014/15 Catalog
Our 2015 Gear on the Interweb!
Photos from the Insta-Selfie Taking Machine.
View the Full Gallery Here
Will impersonated animals for Freeskier Magazine.*
*and talked about his recent filming with Level 1 & weather woes
You can pick up next year’s 2015 Sick Day 95 at the following retailers HERE!*
We should be saying thank YOU Eric Pollard and the rest of the Nimbus crew. Eric Pollard has been an innovator from the beginning, in front of and behind the camera (as well as the editing computer). Enjoy the new En Route movie!
Thank You is exactly what the title states; a thank you to everyone who watches Nimbus.
Thank You begins by interviewing individuals from every walk of life about how they predict the winter. The movie then recaps the best of the last three years of Nimbus. Enjoy!
Nimbus Independent was started in 2007 by Eric Pollard in collaboration with Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, and Chris Bencheter. The four like minded skiers began Nimbus to bring a different perspective to the world of ski movies.
For more please subscribe on Vimeo and visit:
The Line Skis Mountain Command Team is a mix of the most talented, unique and individual skiers in the world. How can a bunch of individuals be a team you ask? Their creativity is the bond that connects them, driving the voice of our brand and beating the drum of new ways to look at the mountain, the streets, backcountry and everywhere in between. We’re proud of these riders who every day bring something new to all aspects of skiing. Where there’s snow and enough room to slide on it, you’ll find Line MCs. Enjoy the edit and please purchase/download/watch the films in the list at the end to support the companies that support these riders and help push skiing to new levels.
There are some out there (the fortunate few) who are getting powder days in as I am writing this. For the rest of us who are patiently waiting for snow, don’t feel like hiking 2000 feet or have 9-5 jobs, here are two episodes of KGB Productions’ Wyoming Triumph to keep your powder fix at bay. Sit back and enjoy Episode 1, which is a rerun from last year, and the brand new Episode 2!
Part 1: Snowing in Jackson (RERUN)
Part 2: Early Season in Wyoming (NEW)
For more clips and info, check out Wyoming Triumph’s site. Make sure to only vacation in WY, not move there. We don’t want to be responsible for pissing off locals.
In the latest string of headlines about Line’s own Andy Parry, private emails with Powder’s Intern will surely hurt Parry’s boyscout image. Not only does he paraphrase profane language but he even had the audacity to claim his disdain for the state of Idaho saying “Idaho? What the f*ck is that? Is that where my potatoes come from? So far the most time I have spent in that state was driving to Hood from Salt Lake.”Well at least he didn’t whip out his Chronic Cryptonites and jib old people at a park, right?
Go check out the full scandalous story HERE.
Oh and make sure to scroll down and read the comments from the good ol’ boys that aren’t fans of this scandal and how it degrades skiers everywhere.
Turkey Heliski Road Trip 09
In the beginning of March, me, my two best friends, a big bandog Buzi and my 17 yaers old Jeep Cherokee, we started a trip to very east of Turkey.
A beautiful sunset on our way
First we spended couple days in Bulgaria, which is on the road. We had some very nice riding there, especialy Rilski lakes was great like all the years before. ( I am coming to Rila mountains almost every winter for already 7 years). We did a lot of footage and filming here in cooperation with Moab production. But after visit of Turkish embassy in Sofia, where we realized, that there should be no problems on the road, we left Bulgaria, crossed Bosporus channel and kept on direction east.
After many many kilometres we finaly reached under first big mountainchain with biggest skiresort called Mt.Palandoken. It is a very nice resort with a lot of lifts and almost nobody is riding off-piste here so you don´t have to hurry up for first lines. An ancient university town Erzurum is the capital of this part of Turkey. You can take a bus or cab from the center and in ten minutes you are at the bottomliftstation.
We got good news from helibase, there is snowing as hell and it should be clearing up tomorrow.
We have to leave imediately Erzurum, cause of there is another five hundred kms through deep valleys and over mountain passes waiting us.
Many of the passes were closed cause of avalanches, so we had to find out new roads. The travel around the Kacskarmountains took us two days and we boiled the engine threetimes.
When we saw the coast of Black sea and the city Trabzon, we were very happy, there is only next hundred kms left.
Snowshoe Hiking is pretty exhausting!!
There are lot´s of faces like this one.
Ayder helibase is a center of Turkeyheliski( Check for www.Turkeyheliski.com)- a Swiss company providing heliskiing on the highest level. The boss Nicolas Clerk was very kind to us and gave us some flights for free. We have got one of the most experienced pilots of the world, guy from New Zealand with 34 seazons of heliskiflights. The drop-offs were just exact and perfect. We had so much fun enjoying our runs.
On the way back we visited the northest point of Turkey- peinsula Sinop, Istanbul- city of Islam culture and on the way to Greek we made a stop on lonely coast. We were riding with my jeep next to the sea and pulling each other on a rope behind it. Surfing the sea with my Prophets130 was one of the greatest adventure of this trip. I had no clue before , that you can ride the sea with normal skis so easily.
Prophets, also good as sandskis 😛
It was spring time in its full power, when we came back to Bulgaria, so my friend invited us to his boat. Rafting in Bulgaria on the Struma river was the final goal of our trip. We made five thousands kms in eighteen days. Heavy days, theese ones.
I hope you liked the story!
Have a great summer!
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