When POWDER Contributing Photographer Liam Doran was mountain biking yesterday, June 8, he was sweating bullets. He had no reason to believe the week would look any different than it did then. The weather this spring and early summer has been remarkably dry and hot, so when Doran’s friend Gary Fondl hit him up to tell him of an incoming snowstorm, Doran shrugged him off.
That is until he took a peek at the forecast himself. Doran saw a remarkable cold front with a shocking amount of precipitation heading for the Front Range that night.
“It’s not unusual to have June snow, but this was powder!” Doran said. Temperatures plummeted well below freezing and the snowline dropped down to 6,000 feet in some areas. Utah recorded its lowest maximum temperature ever for June—a high of 29 degrees Fahrenheit at Alta Ski Area.
Doran and Fondl made plans to meet at the Loveland Pass trailhead at 6:30 a.m. They took separate cars and practiced social distancing while skiing and shooting photos together. The pair bootpacked up their line and skied eight inches of cold, dry powder.
“I was only able to ski one run,” reported Doran. “By the time I got to the bottom, my phone was blowing up with text messages about a missed Zoom meeting. But it was legit good powder skiing—there were some wonky coverage issues, you just had to know where there was snow underneath.”
The pair skied a face that tubed in a bit in the center and opened back up below.
Fondl is keeping up his “turns all year” goal. He’s skied at least once a week for the past 88 weeks. While Doran ran off to go to work, Fondl took another run.