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Skiing in 2010

Colorado

Sunday, February 28, 2010: Oakland to Denver to Keystone, Colorado

Andy (my friend from Australia), Julia, and I flew out of Oakland today for Denver in Colorado and then on to Keystone. We arrived through a thick layer of cloud. Once on the ground icy cold weather greeted us. A storm front was moving in and this meant fresh snow. However, there is no free lunch; as my American friends like to remind me. And this was true of our drive from the airport to our accommodation in Keystone. The drive normally takes two hours and follows a road high into the Rocky Mountains via several elevated passes. Because of the heavy snow falling from the powerful storm our drive took considerably longer than two hours. We were in the car for over four hours. We, along with every other vehicle on the icy road, had to stop constantly and wait while some ill equipped traveler's automobile slipped off the road or spun around on the spot. The cacophony of slipping and sliding continued all night long, and often ended badly. However, we had wisely rented a four wheel drive Jeep and were immune to these shenanigans. Eventually, we arrived at our accommodation and were glad to be off the torturous roads and tucked snugly into our beds.

Monday, March 1, 2010: Keystone, Colorado

It snowed all night long and it did not stop falling all day. So our first day of skiing in Colorado was a cold, snowy, and overcast experience. None of us had skied at Keystone Resort and given the poor visibility we had for most of the day, our experience with the area remained limited. We spent our day navigating ski slopes covered with fresh powder snow. We appreciated the snow cover (at least I did) but we could have done with better visibility. However, we three skiers generally enjoyed our day at Keystone Ski Resort.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010: Breckenridge, Colorado

The location of our accommodation near Keystone Village offered us spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and the frozen Dillon Reservoir. More importantly, it put us just a half hour drive from the Breckenridge Ski Resort, which is where we skied today. It was dusted with new snow over night and the sun shone brightly for us all day. It was perfect skiing conditions. We explored the mountain's peaks (numbered 7 to 10). We looked longingly at peak 8. It is just two feet shy of 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) above sea level and makes Breckenridge the owner of highest ski lift in North America. Well at least Andy and I looked longingly at peak 8; Julia was not interested in scaling its heights as the only way off were double black diamond runs. We put the thought of scaling it out of our minds for this day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010: Breckenridge, Colorado

Another sunny blue ski day greeted us this morning. We were so impressed with Breckenridge we had to return. Andy and I could no longer resist the siren call to scale peak 8 so up we went. It took three chairlift rides to get us to the top, but it sure was worth it. The view up there on an ultra clear day was magnificent. However, even though we were at 13,000 feet Mount Quandary towered above us in the near distance. It was at another thousand feet higher and reaches up to 14,265 feet. All this was great, but now we had to get down. And the only way was via a variety of double black diamond runs. We carefully chose one that seemed the least intimidating and slipped over the speed cliff onto the wide, steep, and bumpy run. It was a bit of work, but we both made it down without falling or any ill effects. Spectacular!

Thursdays, March 4, 2010: Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek Ski Resort is about an hour drive from Keystone Village. We decided to take the trip to see what the up-market end of the skiing world was like. We had another lovely sunny day so the drive was without drama and gave us spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. After a slight miss-guidance by our GPS we eventually found the resort. The motto at Beaver Creek is: "not exactly roughing it". And this was certainly true. From its up-market shops and accommodations in the village, to its many on-mountain restaurants (most that require reservations) it is at the upper end of ski resorts. I have no idea how long the runs at Beaver Creek are, but it took us a long time to ski top to bottom at this mountain. And it was glorious skiing.

Friday, March 5, 2010: Breckenridge, Colorado

We spent our last day of this ski trip skiing at Breckenridge again. It is the best resort of my experience in the area as it has so many runs above 10,000 feet. This means that the snow quality is better than other places even when there had not been new snow in a while. However, new snow was not an issue this day as it snowed, and snowed all day long. Powder skiing was the order of the day and gave us a great end to a fantastic ski trip.

Skiing 2010 Video Part 3

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