Skiing in 2010
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Friday, March 5, 2010: Breckenridge, Colorado
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