I had grand backcountry plans for today. I met my brother Erik at his house in Breckenridge bright and early so we could hike up Peak 10 and ski down 4th of July bowl - an opportunity to put my avalanche gear to use for the first time in years. We geared up and rode the Falcon Express lift to the top of peak 10 and encountered howling winds and white-out conditions. On top of the questionable avalanche danger, it was miserable, so we nixed those plans and instead drove across the valley to Baldy Mountain. We hiked a few miles to a spot where the wind was tolerable, but unfortunately the snow was not. Terrible, wind-packed slab, a.k.a crap. At least it was some good high-altitude exercise, I suppose.
The good news is, I got a snowboard for the price of a 12-pack. I've been wanting to learn to board 'cause I'm convinced it will be more fun in the powder, and Erik is going to let me use his old board and boots to learn to be a knuckle-dragger. I gave him a 6-pack and his buddies in the ski shop a 6-pack in return for a full tune-up. Not a bad deal!