December 03, 2006

Backcountry Weekend

On Friday after work, Ashley and I drove into the mountains to visit our friend, Dane, who is staying at his parents' vacation home in Frisco, CO. The three of us went skiing on the slopes of Mt. Baldy on Saturday, and Vail Pass on Sunday.

The primary task during the Mt. Baldy trip for all three of us was to stay warm. I'm pretty sure the temperature where we were skiing never rose above 0 degrees F, but I'm not sure how cold it actually got. After the short approach to the skiable slopes, we found ourselves at an old mining structure. Dane combined his climbing skills (to ascend the structure) with his riding skills to create the entertaining video below.

After that point, it started snowing and we never saw the sun again. It became too cold to take pictures, but Ashley and I did pose for one shot, managing to smile and pretend that we were not experiencing the initial signs of frostbite.

The snow was deep and plentiful, but after two runs we called it a day and thawed our frozen lips out in a glass of beer at the Breckenridge Brewery. Still frozen, we returned to Dane's place for a hot tub.

On Sunday Dane and I went back out in search of more powder, this time at Vail Pass. Ashley stayed back to grade papers and study - that Ph.D. thing is always getting in the way. The sun was out all day, so the frigid temperatures didn't play as much of a role. We explored a new area, and found a bowl that appeared to have good snow and a good pitch. Upon dropping in, I found the snow to be deep, light, and consistent for several hundred vertical feet. On each turn I sank between 12 and 18 inches, my cheesy grin getting bigger with each turn. The run was amazing, and the next run that we did in the trees right next to it was just as good.

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