11.29.2005

Burning Those Calories

It was nice to have a 4-day weekend, and I definitely filled it up with lots of outdoor activities. Unfortunately the majority of my friends were out of town, so it was solo Thanksgiving for me. I went up to Beaver Creek for the morning and skied, they had some good stuff open in the Rose Bowl, but they definitely did not have as much of a base as Vail did the week before. After skiing I came back and made myself a bit of turkey dinner. I didn't go for a whole turkey, seeing as I was by myself and wasn't interested in 3 months of leftovers! I just got a turkey breast and made some potatoes and veggies for sides. For Friday I decided to burn off the calories with a nice ridge hike over near Loveland Pass. Back in April I got snowed off of my attempt at Grizzly and thought with the clear skies now would be the time to re-try. The pass is paved, and is at 11,990' providing easy year round access. The area is popular with backcountry skiers, and I even played "ski lift" to a group of skiers that had skied down. Most of the people up at the pass were either skiing or taking pictures, but there were a few people on the ridge ahead of me headed toward my same goal. The ridge crest itself didn't have much snow, it was windblown and not too deep. It was a bit windy and cold though, but I was dressed for it and with such a clear day the weather was not a problem at all. I had to also climb "Cupid Point", my turnaround point back in April and another ranked peak before reaching the 13,427 foot summit of Grizzly Peak where the other climbers I had seen were having a snack. Turns out they were from out of town, visiting family nearby for the holidays. All in all it was a great day to climb, considering it is November!

Saturday it was back to the slopes, this time to Vail where the conditions kept getting better as the day went on. It startd snowing around 11am, and by the afternoon it was snowing hard with low visibility and driving winds. This was making everyone on the slopes turn into a popsicle, and most of the tourists decided to call it quits after lunch. Die-hards like me, however, were rewarded with fresh snow and some great conditions, especially in the trees. The wind blew all the snow into the trees and there were fresh tracks to be had, even at 2pm! Also the trees helped with visibility and blocked some of the wind. It turned out to be a great day, despite my frozen state. I finally melted out on the shuttle back to the car and had a late lunch before relaxing at home the rest of the evening. The snows continued overnight, and Sunday morning there was more great skiing to be had. Of course everyone came out of the woodwork to ski and it was tracked out by 10. Once again the trees held some good snow, and once again a lot of the people cleared out after lunch. I guess they had to give themselves some extra time on the roads for all the snow. There were several accidents and closures over the weekend, and all of the blowing and drifting snows caused problems even after the flakes stop falling. In fact the highway was still closed Monday near the Kansas border because of the winds. Weekends like these defintely give me a reason to "give thanks" for living up here, especially seeing as I didn't have to drive through the blizzard to get home! Hope you all had a great weekend too.