2006 Winding Down

Seeing as I am heading home for the holidays on Thursday, it looks like the outdoor activities for the year are winding down, minus New Years weekend anyway. Saturday was our office Christmas Party, so before the party a group of about 7 of us headed to Beaver Creek to ski together. We mostly skiied on intermediate runs with a couple of mogul runs thrown in to keep people on their toes. The snow was pretty good, after a snowy week things have really softened up out there. The fresh groomers in the morning were just about perfect! We even took a few runs in the terrain park. I avoided the rail and box features, I always seem to fall and hit my hip on those! I did go over a couple of the jumps, no tricks or anything, just air. The party was fun too! It was in the same place as last year, we even had a lot of the same waitstaff and menu items. That was fine, the steak with the mushroom sauce was worth another round! We then had our "famous" white elephant gift exchange. No santa thongs this year, but there were a few interesting gag gifts. As usual wine and booze were popular and switched hands many times!

Sunday was a climbing day. Despite some morning snow on Vail Pass I headed to Empire to meet up with a few other people. I got there late because of the snow and there was no one at our meeting place. So after waiting for a while I thought maybe they headed on to the trailhead without me and drove up to Berthoud Pass. I didn't see anyone there either, but wasn't surprised. If they did go on ahead they already would have been hiking. There were several backcountry skiiers and boarders out so I decided to head up Colorado Mines Peak on my own and see how the day went. It only took about 45 minutes to reach the top and the weather wasn't looking bad. It was a little windy and occassionaly there would be a brief snow shower but visibility was good and the sun kept making appearances so I continued on along the ridge. I made it Mount Flora in another hour, and decided to go one peak futher to Mount Eva. That too took about an hour and I had a nice snack break on the summit before starting the return. I had to reclimb Flora, but was able to traverse around Colorado Mines on the way back down to the car. I had already been up Colorado Mines and Flora last spring, so it was nice to pick up a "new" summit on the day. These were also the first peaks I ever summited in December, now only February remains as a month with no summits. I later found out that the one person I was supposed to climb with canceled due to the snow, but I didn't check my email the day before and missed the message. Oh well, next time.

I hope to see as many of you as I can this weekend when I am back home, and for those I don't get to see have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and all that jazz.