What’s Left in the Lower 48: July 29, 2014
By, Barclay Idsal
Because there ain’t no cure for the summer time blues.
1) Timberline: Oregon
The folks in Oregon have it pretty good. Government Camp is one of the most underrated ski towns in the country and having Mt. Hood’s south side ski area, Timberline through the summer, makes it a Shangri La for board-short wearing skiers and boarders to satisfy their addiction to make turns. The occasional bikini flies down the glacier as the next Candide Thovex tries to throw a double off the melted out kickers. The Northwest wins again.
2) St. Mary’s Glacier: Colorado
An hour away from Denver, St. Mary’s Glacier is a junk show of summer snow sliding technique. Garbage bags, snowboards (belong in garbage bags), Pizza Boxes, and skis are carried up the Front Range’s most visible glacier. The skiing is sun-cupped but the laps are easy and the sheer spectacle alone makes it a great summer ski.
Photo by, John Scurlock via glaciers.us
3) The Wind River Range: Wyoming
Skis are rigged up on the pack and they’re hitting the back of your head making you wish you’d brought flip flops and not these fucking things. But once you get here with the Cirque of the Towers hovering above you and the Wind River Glaciers coming into view, the feeling sinks in. You set up a shelter and put your skis in the meadow grass. The next morning you ski steep mid summer corn three times until you can’t go anymore. You spend one more night and leave the next day. Strong work.
4) Rollins Pass: Colorado
The steeper snowfields that lie slightly to the north east of Winter Park Ski Resort are like two scoops of cold ice cream during a hot summer day… so go take a lick. It’s a bumpy 4WD road that will get you close but just like Dewey Cox says “Getting to the top of a mountain isn’t easy, it’s a long hard walk but I’m gonna walk… hard.”
5) Glacier National Park: Montana
They call it Glacier for a reason. 25 some glaciers (In the year 1850 there were 150) hold snow fields through the summer but perhaps not for long as climate change threatens these once behemoth glaciers (See protectourwinters.org and take the pledge). So get on these beauties before they go away forever and enjoy the walk home with a can of Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing. All Time.
6) The Middle Teton Glacier: Wyoming
This iconic American (sorry South America) mountain range holds one of the most special glaciers and adventure skis of a lifetime. The in isn’t really in and the out really isn’t an out but if you’ve got a fetish for the bizarre this one is right up your alley. Just ask Brody Leven.