Whenever I walk Ajax, our house pup, I’m baffled by his urgency to pee on everything. He’ll fall behind me on leash and when I look back, he’s hopping towards me on one leg while simultaneously Jackson Pollock-ing whatever is besides him. It is the strangest behavior. After taking out our splitboards (or split sticks as Emerson’s dad calls them) out though, I think I’m able to empathize with him a little.
There’s hasn’t been much snow the past few weeks, just several inches here and there. It’s also been windy and warm. It was difficult to justify the I-70 traffic for whatever conditions awaited us at the resorts. We decided to head out to Moffat Tunnel, somewhere familiar, I-70 immune, and protected from winds, to try out our splitboards. Repeat, for a manageable day away from crowds on the trail and on the road, go to Moffat Tunnel.
A wind vortex greeted us in the parking lot. It made our intro to putting on skins a rather unsavory experience. We endured though and soon we were stomping on up the South Boulder Creek trail while those who mastered the step-glide kept step-gliding past us.
We took the South Boulder Creek trail to the first giant meadow and turned right towards Arapaho Creek. A little ways after the turn, we looked up the slope to our left and saw one awesome track down. We wanted that. We didn’t know exactly how to get up there (because we’re newbs) but about 40 yards past the initial sighting, we found skin tracks up. With some desperate looking kick turns, we crept up to where they ended.
We took one run down and when we hit the bottom trail back to the parking lot, we immediately put on our skins so we can do another lap. The snow was not the freshest but it was pristine. The turns weren’t the rowdiest but I didn’t want to stop making them. I wanted to leave as many tracks as I could in the untouched snow, to mark where I’ve been, what I could consider mine. And there you go, I was more or less doing the Ajax!