Backcountry Ski Winterim

Day 4
Today's goals were centered around team cohesion. In the morning, our group ventured to El Dorado Canyon for a snowy walk along the gorgeous and peaceful South Mesa Trail. Along the way, the team got a feel for everyone's hiking speed and practiced dialing in the group's pace to meet everyone's needs. This year's team also explored the effectiveness of their layering systems, and the walk was so enjoyable we decided to extend it. All told, we covered about 5ish miles!
Back on campus, the group continued to come together through a game of PELT, a vulnerability exercise, and the setting of group expectations. With skiers of all levels present, the group expressed their commitment to support, encourage, motivate, and help one another. One more day, this team will be ready to head into the backcountry-- their hard work is hopefully rewarded with pristine powder and the camaraderie of being outside together. 

Day 5

We began our day early with a trip to the guide company and a quick stop for breakfast along the way. After everyone was fitted for their alpine touring boots and skis, we learned about the nine different types of avalanche problems and did a deep analysis of the weather and avalanche forecast on Red Mt. Pass. We then loaded the bus and drove to the summit of the pass, where we put on our skis and climbing skins and completed an awesome ski tour, applying our newly acquired knowledge. With the snow falling all around us, our strenuous skin up the mountain was rewarded greatly by our first powder turns of the trip! Back at the bus, we reflected on our experience, noting what we could improve for our expedition into the yurts tomorrow. After the trip back down the pass, we returned to the VRBO for pizza and laughed over a heated game of Uno Flip! We leave the VRBO early on Tuesday to meet the guides and head into the yurts (elevation 11,600 feet), our home for the next three nights!