Paddles to Poles

Fall has so much to offer in the mountains. The leaves are the perfect reminder of the power of letting go.

I touched base with fellow team athlete Kerri Rougemont to see if we could have a play-date and she let me know that John Blackshire was planning on a trip down the Lower Blue..

John let me know that it was running at 765 CFS, which is absolutely perfect for that section! I have looked up the data from last fall and it would have been completely unrunnable at 35 CFS. This got me all excited because Keystone had opened up the earliest I have seen it in years on October 12, 2019.

Paddle to SkiThe day before, I inflated blew up my board and started looking for all the items on my checklist for both sports. I had all of my paddle gear mostly ready:

Then it was time for the ski gear:

  • Helmet
  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Ski Pass
  • Gloves
  • Ski pants

Once the car was packed off I went from Edwards up past State Bridge and turned up Trough Rd. It was 34 degrees at the take out when I got my dry-suit on. You could see your breath in the canyon.

Paddle to SkiJohn is so fun to paddle with because he plays down the entire river splatting off everything he can in both directions. It is such a great skill to learn and makes the short 4-mile stretch go on for much longer. The time flew!

Paddle to SkiWe were at the takeout by 1 pm, just in time to go off to Keystone to meet my friend Susan Johnson. The afternoon has warmed up all the way to 65 degrees! The snow was perfect spring skiing slush with incredible coverage. It is always fun clicking into skis for the first time of the next season.

Fourteen years ago I learned how to do headstands with my skis on. It has evolved over the years from tele-skis to full alpine gear. It is just a silly thing I like to do as a dedication for another great ski year.

Paddle to SkiWith a dry-suit, it makes it great to be able to paddle anytime the weather gets around 40 degrees. I am hoping to paddle at least once every month this winter. Who's down for a 2 sport paddle date?

Post written by Trinity Wall, a team rider for Hala Gear.

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