Ski the highest 50 peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is the big goal of Austin Porzak and his skiing companions. Starting this winter they began planning and then skiing the highest peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Those that are familiar with the Park know all too well the effect that the winds have on the peaks. All winter long the winds peel snow off of every windward nook and cranny. Certainly the snow is deposited on the leeward sides of the mountains, but many of these peaks are just as scoured on the east side as they are on the west side.
Luckily, Front Range skiers such as Austin and his crew are able to take advantage of the wet spring upslope storms. These monster storms, if positioned correctly, can swing moisture counter clockwise and directly into the Park from the east. It feels like April and May have been snowier in recent years, and the Ski RMNP team is already taking advantage of the upslope storms for this project!
The Ski RMNP team is armed with the historical knowledge of the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park that was obtained by Austin’s father Glenn Porzak. In the 1970s, Glenn became the first person to summit the 100 highest peaks inside the park. Austin is honoring the accomplishments of his father by attempting to ski the 50 highest peaks in the Park. Not only are they actively climbing and skiing these peaks, but also they are doing it with style! Many of the Park’s peaks are difficult to access and are rarely skied. Austin and the team are finding unique and aesthetic lines to ski.
It is not clear if the team is attempting to ski all 50 peaks this season, or if they are going to extend the effort over several winters and springs. It will be interesting to see how they ski high and dry peaks such as Storm Peak and Mount Lady Washington. We are excited to follow their accounts and see what they do!
Austin is no stranger to ski mountaineering and has skied all of Colorado’s 14,000’ peaks. Austin and the Ski RMNP post great accounts of their trips on their website at http://skirmnp.com. They report on the approach and descents and this is valuable information for anyone wanting to follow in their boot steps!