Podcast: ‘Mayor of Pow Town’ Gary Fondl describes skiing through weekend storm
It was quite the past couple of days at “Frisco Ski Resort” for “The Mayor of Pow Town” Gary Fondl.
The Summit County local and his friends found the goods during this past weekend’s snowstorm that dumped upwards of 3 feet of snow across Frisco Ski Resort — Fondl’s nickname for the secret spots he and his friends ski in their neighborhood backcountry.
Despite the highway havoc and the collection of both human-triggered and naturally occurring avalanches in the county over the past couple of days, Fondl was able to make it out on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for about 18,000 feet of human-powered vertical skiing. That amounted to seven runs in total all across “the resort” for Fondl.
“I’d say (it’s been) a good couple years since we had snow that deep,” Fondl said. “And, a few of the guys I was out with, they were saying this was the deepest day they’d ever had.”
This past weekend’s skiing for Fondl and friends came with the utmost preparation, care and experience. Fondl said conditions were so precarious through the weekend that he and his buddies stuck to more safe terrain, spots that they’ve been skiing and assessing all winter. That meant nothing steeper than a 30-degree slope and nothing above tree line, among other safety specifics.
The depth of the fresh snow also meant Fondl and friends had to enter what they call “the pain cave,” or the arduous process that is breaking trail in deep snow.
“It’s a lot of work,” Fondl said, “but once we get up there, we’re going to be skiing some of the deepest snow we’ve ever skied. And it was well worth it. What usually took us two hours, it was just about three.”
In the above podcast conversation, The Mayor of Pow Town takes us through his weekend of skiing. Fondl gives us the lowdown on the care it took to maintain safety throughout the backcountry through the storm, filling us in on his observations along the way. He describes the terrain along the dangerous side of the Tenmile Range where multiple avalanches naturally descended into Ten Mile Canyon over the weekend. Fondl also touches on his ongoing journey of consecutive months skiing. After getting creative and finding snow near Rollins Pass this past autumn, Fondl’s currently at 102 months.
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