It’s hard to believe that it’s already June 9th. As cliché as it is, time does actually fly when you’re having fun. I arrived back in Vermont last night after a whirlwind two months of adventuring, training, and spending some down time at home in Colorado. Although the snowpack in Colorado was desperately low for pretty much the whole winter, the backcountry ski conditions up high in April were still fantastic. I spent most of the month exploring new lines and skiing old favorites, and the corn skiing was exceptional. To top everything off, it started dumping snow in late April, and conditions turned from really good, classic spring skiing to nearly mid-winter conditions with mother nature dropping several feet of fresh, cold powder over the last part of April and into May.
After taking full advantage of the great ski conditions, we felt like some Mexican sunshine was for sure needed.
My girlfriend Sophie, sister Jenny, her fiancé James, and my mom and stepdad packed up our climbing gear, surf boards, and wedding outfits and headed south.
Our first stop was to El Potrero Chico, just north of Mexico’s second largest city, Monterrey. El Potrero is one of the more famous big-wall, sport climbing areas in the world, and after a week of climbing some of the coolest multi-pitch routes on amazing limestone, it was easy to understand why so many of our friends have come home raving about the place.
From there we flew down to Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula, for the wedding of my friends Jenna and Jake. The culture shock that comes with checking into an all-inclusive resort after spending a week in rural, inland Mexico, was quite impressive. But we had a great time trying to soak in the whole experience and be the best American tourists we could be, and the wedding was gorgeous. Our last stop south of the border was in the surf town of La Saladitas, just north of the popular tourist destination Zihuatanejo. We found great surfing on some pretty massive waves, and it was great to finally be able to get some fresh fish tacos from one of the many oceanside restaurants that scattered the beach just down from our house.
It was a quick turnaround when we got back to the states with our Park City camp starting 24 hours after our flight back from Mexico. Since we normally head to Bend, Oregon for our first camp of the year, it was a strange feeling being in Park City instead and knowing that we would not be getting on snow during those two weeks of camp. But our training block was still very productive and it was great being able to utilize the resources, strength training coaches, and physical therapists at USSA’s Center of Excellence (and, of course, all the Chobani yogurts you can eat isn’t bad either). It’s always getting the team back together after everyone has headed off on their own all spring. There are always some great stories of tropical surf adventures, great backcountry tours in the Chugach, and of course the relaxing time at home with everyone’s families (which becomes much needed in April after 5+ months on the road).
Needing to wrap up a few more things in Colorado after camp ended, I travelled back down there from Park City for a just a few days before heading back out to Vermont. That turned into a pretty great since there was still incredible crust skiing to be had on top of Independence Pass. I figure anytime you get to have really good skiing in June, and you’re not boarding a flight to Norway to do so, is pretty darn cool. And especially when you can add in classic Colorado sunshine, warm temps, and great friends.
I’m getting super psyched for the summer ahead and am really happy to be back in Stratton with my great teammates. The atmosphere on the team is awesome right now, with everyone carrying a super high level of motivation. My next blog post will be the day after Sophie, Jessie, Ben, Andy, Paddy, and myself arrive in New Zealand for our July camp. So check back in then for a wrap up of June in Vermont and what conditions are looking like down in the Southern Hemisphere! -Simi