I hiked up this gnarly ridge

February 26, 2009 @ 12:56 PM – Sam Haddad

In the spirit of taking my snowboarding to the next level and circumnavigating the plateau, which I’ve been happily reclining, with a glass of red wine, on for the last, er, eight years, I’ve decided to hike more and get some freestyle skills. More of the park stuff later but to get the ball rolling check this K2-style ridge that I hiked at Aspen Highlands in Colorado.

The summit of the Highland Bowl is like 3777m, practically Everest Base Camp without the litter or laptops, give or take the odd 500m. And I managed to hike for 35 minutes without passing out or getting a pulmonary oedema (like all good hypochondriacs, I google local ailments prior to travel).

And now check the ridge on the day we did it:

Look at those deadly winds whipping up the snow and how cold, terrified and woefully bad at having my picture taken of myself I am!

Only joking, it was just some light cloud, and having been there for three days the altitude was surprisingly fine, and the hike quite flat in places. But we still felt like heroes when we reached the summit, and high-fived each other to reflect as such.

The run down was seriously immense. 40-42 degrees of steepness and almost half a metre of fresh Colorado pow, all totally avalanche-blasted so we didn’t have to worry about getting buried. I love the Americans! There was even a comedy “Spanish guy losing a ski in deep powder and laughing a lot” moment on the way down.