Archive for the 'Ski/Snowboard' Category


The yearly trip to Ouray to go ice climbing went very well this year. I got to lead some easy, long ice and try telemark skiing for the first time (boy, my thighs are still tired). Midway through the trip Dave Ruel and I decided we were just getting too much snowfall to pass up Telluride and made the jaunt over to partake in the powder. The ice park was great, but every night we’d get more snow and the first person up a route would have to shovel their way to the top. My mom and the boys headed out with me again to see the sights and play for a bit in the snow. Good food, hot springs and some beautiful scenery always make for a good visit.

Ouray Ouray Welcome Sign Benjamin and Papa Placing a Screw Schoolroom Lead Topping Out

Ski Season for 06-07

This season was probably my best for skiing/snowboarding. Monika, Samuel and I had a blast whenever we went out, and we made the time to try to get up to the mountains whenever we could to slide around on the snow. Samuel learned to ski this year, and Monika’s riding just keeps improving. I switched back to skiing for the first part of the year (and whenever Samuel was with me), then snowboarded towards the end. I think I got in 20 days of riding this year, and hit most of the resorts that I wanted:

Eldora is close to home, kid-friendly and you don’t have to get on I-70. The downsides are no high-speed lifts, smaller terrain than other resorts and the season’s pass and ticket prices are about the same as larger resorts. Winter Park is great, lots of terrain, many blue runs and variations to keep it interesting. Copper is also great, the runs there are naturally segmented into beginner, intermediate and expert across the mountain. Breckenridge has a lot of good terrain over several mountains, but this makes it hard to get around if you want to ski something different. You’ll find yourself traversing back and fourth, but the upper bowls and the Imperial Express lift (highest lift in North America) make it worth it. I had my best powder day this year at Keystone, untracked knee-deep powder in the upper bowls. The downside? Hiking 1.5 miles to the bowls to access it. It felt like Keystone had some of the longer runs on the main mountain, and I had a great time riding there with Monika on easier trails, too. A-Basin is awesome, there are no high-speed lifts, but it has some great terrain, chutes and steeps. And it’s usually open through June! Great local mountain. Telluride has great views and terrain, but I was kind of put off by the McMansions all along the lower trails. Crested Butte seemed to be a great place to ride, but when I was there the snow conditions were poor and we weren’t able to access a lot of the expert terrain, something they are known for.

There are only a few other resorts I really want to hit in Colorado next year, Steamboat for the vibe, Vail for the bowls, Wolf Creek for the powder and Beaver Creek for the cookies in the lift lines.  I would also like to snowboard at Silverton, their setup seems to be a good mix between backcountry and lift-accessed riding.

Arapahoe Basin

Monika, Samuel and I went up to A-Basin yesterday to get a bit of skiing in. Samuel complained a lot, but he learned how to turn and follow me down the run fairly well. I think if I try to make up some games for him he’ll do better with his endurance. He only took 2 runs, but they were pretty long since he isn’t too fast. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and even though the temps were in the 20s it felt warm. I snapped a few pictures at the top of the first lift and stitched them together to get this panorama.

Arapahoe Basin

Holiday Greetings

This past month we were able to take advantage of some nice weather here and get some climbing, hiking and skiing in.  Samuel’s skiing is improving every time we hit the slopes, and he now prefers the chairlift to the rope tow.  Monika’s been snowboarding with her sister again at Winter Park, and I was able to get up there once, too.  I went to A-Basin today, it was a bit windy but the snow was very nice.  I found a few areas that still had a foot or two of untracked powder, definately worth getting up at 6am.

We took the family up to Chautauqua Park in Boulder to get a good Christmas picture, and made them into cards at Wal-Mart.  There are always people there taking photos, I think the Flatirons there are the most photographed place on the Front Range.  The next photo below is a view of the Indian Peaks from Green Mountain, just behind the Flatirons.  The third is a view of Boulder from the summit of the First Flatiron, I climbed it with Jason and Jessica Deugan earlier this month.  Cold day, but nice to get out and get some climbing in.

Family Flatirons Picture Indian Peaks Jason and Jess on the First

Samuel’s First Skiing Trip

So far this year, I’ve been able to ski at Copper Mountain, Monika has been able to snowboard at Winter Park, and today I took Samuel up to Eldora for his first time skiing. He did far better than I expected, I thought that we would only be there for a few hours and we ended up skiing for four. I tried to just make it fun for him and not expect him to learn anything, but he was able to move around on his skis pretty well by the end of the day. He even wanted to use the pony lift by himself! I let him decide when we were going to leave, and he kept wanting to do “one more time”. I would take him up the lift, then ski backwards in front of him and catch him when he was going too fast. He loved it. Here are some pictures from the day.

Having a Snack Tasting the Snow Samuel at Eldora Samuel at Eldora