One of the nice things about living in Colorado is that you can wake up on a Tuesday morning, and decide to spend the weekend at a world-class ski resort. Saturday morning we loaded up the car with ski gear and headed for Steamboat Springs. 20 minutes later we headed back home to pick up the ski poles that I forgot to load into the car.
On Saturday afternoon we skied to Walton Peak from Rabbit Ears Pass. Walton Peak is a cross-country ski trail, but there are some nice hillsides to practice our turns. Next time we’ll bring the telemark skis!
On the way down, we took the advice of some locals by ignoring the trail and descending a scenic drainage. The snow was deep soft and silky, as we glided downhill through the trees. Cross-country nirvana.
Sunday and Monday we went telemark skiing at the resort. Apparently, everyone in Steamboat spent Saturday night drinking heavily for New Year’s, and spent Sunday morning in bed with a hangover, because the trails and lifts were empty. I think we had 8 people in front of us in the gondola line first thing in the morning, and no lift lines the rest of the day. The weather wasn’t so great, as the top of the mountain was a pea soup fog making it hard to see your ski tips. But the snow… Ahhhh…. I think the official reading was 9” at the midway station in the past 24 hours. Off-trail in the trees it was far deeper. It’s been years since I’ve had a day of lift skiing that was as good as this.
The snow wasn’t as good on Monday, and the weather had some shortcomings (actual freezing rain on the Morningside lift. In Colorado???), but the slopes were even less crowded. A late check-out at the ski-in/ski-out hotel allowed us to shower and change after skiing and before driving home. Talk about comfort!
We met some new friends on the trip. We met Malcolm and Carolyn on our shuttle bus downtown Saturday night. They’re originally from New Zealand and Australia, but now call Atlanta home. We spent some time chatting with them on the bus ride. Sunday morning we met them at breakfast, and met them again at the top of the gondola. We tried to ski a run and got separated, but fate could not be cheated. That evening they recruited the front desk staff to help track us down so that they could invite us out for dinner and drinks. We had a really great time hanging out, and our meeting was definitely a highlight of the trip.