There are times when I miss living in the Colorado Rockies, especially in winter. I long for deep powder snow, wide open mountain bowls, and bluebird skies. Drab, grey winters punctuated by rain showers are often the norm nowadays. Fortunately, I have a nearby solution if I’m looking for a snowy, alpine fix: Roan Mountain. It’s only 45 minutes from Boone, but an extra 3,000ft in elevation puts Roan in an altogether different climate zone. It’s got wide open summits, big mountain weather, and sometimes…a bounty of fresh snow. With the forecast calling for double digit snow accumulations, the timing seemed perfect for a Roan Mountain ski tour. I’ll let my pictures tell the story, but I have to say it was a sweet experience to ski above the clouds in a frozen world of “snow ghost” trees . Bombing down the incredibly tight and twisty Appalachian Trail was a good lesson in humility. I believe I still have some spruce boughs in my hat.