You’ve Skied How Many Months in a Row?
“…I get a lot of funny looks and comments when I’m walking down a trail, no snow in sight, loaded up with ski gear…”
Corbeaux athlete Doug Evans on skiing 196 consecutive months and counting
It wasn’t until he was sixteen years old that the self proclaimed “city boy” Doug Evans was able to make skiing a regular feature of his everyday life. From then on, well, it became an obsession, and he would drive himself up to A-Basin whenever he got the chance. Three years later in late June, after scrounging turns all day on St. Mary’s Glacier, a nineteen-year-old Evans struck up a conversation with a couple guys at a house party in Denver. It soon became apparent that, despite the fact that no ski areas were open, his newfound friends had, like himself, spent a day on the snow. He was ecstatic to find others who shared his boundless passion for the sport, and sparking the kind of conversation that flies back and forth when kindred spirits unite, Doug and his new, turn-obsessed, compatriots excitedly compared notes on where to find summer snow.
From dirty, runneled slush ice, to low angle mountainside gulleys a mere forty-five minutes from downtown Denver, to sparse and sporadic early season dustings high above in the Front-Range, Doug’s horizons were expanded as a life-long pursuit was solidified. “I [realized] mountain ranges are full of snowdrifts…and I was going to find them and ski them.”
Skiing 196 consecutive months (that’s 16.33333’ years, by the way) is undeniably an impressive feat, yet for Evans, skiing in the “off-season” is just a part of his regular routine. His gear is always in his vehicle and as his commute to work takes him past terrain that’s skiable ten months out of the year, “I [he] can just pull over and make a run on my way home from work, as late as August on a good snow year.”
Certain sections of the calendar are a bit more challenging than others, it must be noted. While April may be the cruelest month for T.S. Eliot (catch up on some poetry), for Evans, it is the month September that presents the problems. “It’s always difficult. I usually count on an early storm putting down enough snow above thirteen thousand feet to make a few turns…sometimes those early storms don’t come, however, and I have to seek out some sketchy ‘old-snow’ turns. These endeavors usually end up being a good case of Type 2 fun.”
Type 2 fun indeed, for his coming-up-on-two-decade-long endeavor hasn’t all been smooth shredding. “In 2008, I broke my tib/fib pretty badly in February.” Five weeks later, however, Evans buckled into a single ski boot on his good leg, and complete with a “boot cast” on his…slightly less than good leg, made a handful of squiggle turns down a small hill near his house. A month later, he remembers painfully stuffing his still fragile broken leg into a ski boot for a much needed groomer lap at Loveland.
Yet committed he remains, and will remain until the summer snows run dry. “It’s surprising that I’m still finding new places to go skiing,” Evans muses. Interestingly enough though, he’s noted that the recent warm and somewhat wet winters have made for better snow in the summer.
“I prefer the ‘annual’ snow patches and wind drifts because they typically have a much smoother corn-like surface…but I’ve started noticing how the summer snowfields have been changing year to year depending on the previous winter’s snowfall and wind patterns.”
Though Evans is among the host of skiers who look ahead, salivating for the snows of winter, his imagination stretches beyond the “late” season spring skiing to the virtually boundless possibilities of early season summer skiing and beyond.
“I get a lot of funny looks and comments when I’m walking down a trail, no snow in sight, loaded up with ski gear. I’ve even had people try and talk me out of bringing my skis because ‘there’s definitely not enough snow to ski up there.’” Ignoring the naysayers, Evans plans on maintaining his streak as long as he’s physically able and there’s a patch of dirty snow out there in need of a set of ski tracks.
Be it Type 1 or Type 2, fun, Evans remarks: “the amount of joy and satisfaction that I get from even a small breakthrough or advancement in my journey to find [that] unattainable perfect run is greater than almost anything else I’ve experienced in life….I plan on continuing the ski adventure that I started as a teenager, and learning as many lessons as the mountains are willing to share.”
From the horse’s mouth: Hey Doug, what’s your go-to Corbeaux piece of choice?
“Definitely the Chinook Hoody…it’s the piece of gear I’ve been waiting for the most. The lightweight material allows me to wear the hood under my helmet, keeping out the snow on winter powder days. In the summer it breathes incredibly well on the uphill, while the hood protects my neck and face from the harsh Colorado sun (the Tempo fabric has a natural UPF rating of 50+ thanks to its weave) and wind.” We’re right there with you, Doug, and stoked you’re a part of the Corbeaux squad.
– Words and editing by Christian Johansen