4.11.2006

A Very Full Weekend

This weekend I was fortunate enough to get an extra day to enjoy the outdoors. Our office took Friday off for an office ski day at Vail! We lucked out, Thursday was a cooler day and it snowed most of the day in the mountains. In fact, Thursday night the snows really picked up and Vail had close to a foot of new snow for us to enjoy. This was probably the last good powder we will have the whole season, seeing as there are only two weeks left and the temperatures have really started to warm up. We got to really enjoy the snow, but seeing as it was an office day we had several meeting points throughout the day so we couldn’t completely just wander off by ourselves. At each meeting point we got a playing card (five in total) and after the day was over we met up at a bar at the base of the ski area and used those cards to play poker for a prize. I didn’t win. It was much nicer to be up to our knees in fresh snow than in work though, that is for sure!

Saturday a large group of my friends came up from Denver to ski at Beaver Creek. Most of them were dressed “retro” in neon ski suits straight out of a late 80’s Warren Miller movie. Beau took the cake with a head to toe neon pink one piece, especially when he did a “daffy” off of one of the jumps. The weather was completely different than the day before, in fact it was about 50 degrees and sunny all weekend up here. The ski conditions were soft, but at times sort of slushy and sticky too. It was a lot of fun, and afterward we all headed over to Beau and Evan’s house for grilled burgers and some bocce bowling.

Sunday I met up with my friends Tracy and Jody and headed for a peak climb up off of Hoosier Pass. We climbed North Star Mountain which is 13,614 feet, and the 187th highest peak in the state. It sits right on the Continental Divide suspended between the fourteeners Quandary to the north and Lincoln, Bross and Democrat to the south. The main spine of the Tenmile/Mosquito Range lies directly west and you can see eight other thirteeners along the range crest including 4 in the highest hundred. There are also distant views of Pikes Peak and LaPlata Peak and all of South Park to the southeast. The peak itself is really more of a ridge than a peak, and is laced with several false summits along the way. The slopes to either side are steep, and drop over 2000’ to the valleys below. There was snow on the peak, but in general it wasn’t too bad. Most of the slopes were either wind blown clear of the snow, or solid enough to be able to walk on without needing snowshoes. All together it was a pretty full weekend, two ski days and a bi-centennial thirteener! With the ski season winding down, there will be a lot more climbing coming soon.