About finding couloirs, powder forests and been alone in the whole national park.

Finally we had over this weekend those dream conditions when mountains are stable and there is a solid layer of powder, and that meant a mandatory expedition to our favorite playground, the Aigüestortes national park.

On the menu we had for saturday a strong activity involving skiing some big terrain on the high mountains and hopefully been able to put a bit of alpinism in the equation. Then for sunday, it probably should be an easy day of happy riding in the forest as it seemed that the storm was about to roll in.

We did not had a cleat line, but we decided to go exploring a new sector, that I had severely studied from my front yard with the binoculars. A goddamn beautiful big bowl that is always there, tempting me while I work at home. When you choose to go exploring instead of the easy option, generally it’s quite a pain in the ass, because you need quite a few tries and errors before finding the right passage, the right col,  before finding the areas with accumulated snow, well; that means a lot of transitions and a lot of unnecessary uphills and downhills, but of course it’s part of the game, and with powder it’s never a drama.

 

At the end it was quite a tough day, with a lot of transitions, some 1300m and 14km accumulated. However, all our turns were gold, we linked several dream slopes and we found a hidden really aesthetic corredor that dominated the whole circus.

 

Moreover, Julen was extremely anxious for shredding hsi brand new Atomic 109, so he wouldn’t let me grab my Black crows 91 that I generally use in this kind of days, so he made made grab the Kufo 108/188. Strong. Well, even though monday it’s been quite a sore leg kind of day, it definitely was the right choice.

 

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We spent that night in the Saboredo refuge. Surprisingly we kept breaking track all over the Val de ruda. ¿Were we really alone in the whole national park?

The forest was gorgeous and loaded in snow. It really felt sort of British Columbia. It was quite strange that we found a stranded helicopter on the middle of the forest, later we learned, that it’s been there since some days due to a mechanical failure. (Yeap, the pilot hit a tree, luckily nothing bad really happened). Once on the refuge, we ate in an hour and a half the equivalent in calories to three meals, then we piled all the blankets in a sort of igloo structure and we falled asleep straight away.

 

I bet it was below zero inside the refuge during the night, as the snow from the boots and the ground didn’t even melted, but the truth is that we didn’t even got cold. In fact I woke up kind of warm at some points of the night. We were almost hopping of a quite overcasted sunday, so we would just do something easy and then head back home. However we woke up to an incredible day with a renewed layer of powder.

 

Dam! I guess we are doomed to be riders. No time for sore legs, skins on and time to tackle some big slope. We didn’t found a proper passage to the couloir that we aimed, and we didn’t really felt like having the energy neither the time to try another big project, but on the meantime, we still found gold in the pillows on the lower forest. Not bad for a day were we ambitioned happy riding.

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