return to the motherland |

getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

First turns

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I’m the brat who has been upset about the 70 degree perfect weather we’ve been having in the Denver area the past week or so. I love idyllic fall weather just as much as the next person but ever since I went to opening day at Keystone last week I’ve pretty much been in full on winter mode. I want it to be cold so that I can start wearing nothing but leggings and boots and spend all my free time skiing in the mountains! That’s what winter is all about after all, right?

Thank goodness I have had my memories of Keystone opening day to tide me over during this miserable period of weather we’re having here in Denver. I happened to have this past Friday off from work which also happened to be Keystone’s opening day so clearly the universe was trying to tell me that I needed to be there. The universe’s wish for me to be at Keystone was only further confirmed when I showed up to free donuts at the base of the mountain.

Mmmm donuts.

I went to opening weekend at Keystone last year with a pair of brand new ski boots. If you’ve never had the extreme pleasure of breaking in a pair of new ski boots you are missing out. Let me describe the experience: I basically took one run and had to take my boots off for an hour before doing another run. This repeated all day. This year I was very much looking forward to skiing opening day in a pair of already broken in ski boots! I was also very much looking forward to skiing with my friend Cayce (okay he snowboards if we’re being technical), who was one of the members of my ski posse during graduate school a few years ago.

Me, Cayce and Mark.

I could tell we were in for a great day when even the gondola ride up the mountain made me happy. Although I spent all summer hiking 14ers and playing in the mountains there is still just nothing in the world like being back on the slopes. Reunited and it felt so good.

Only one real run, Spring Dipper, was open, however, it’s a fairly long run. Like riding a bike, my skiing ability came back to me quickly and my quads were definitely burning after a couple of laps. There was a sign just before the mid-mountain gondola ride telling skiers with tired legs that they could ride the gondola back down. I took this as a personal challenge. My legs were definitely tired but there was no way I was going to be one of those people.

Challenge accepted.

We took a beer break midday after about four runs and then did another four runs with a beer break afterwards. The early part of the ski season is really less about lapping runs all day and more about hanging out with your friends in the mountains and getting your ski legs back.

Friendly reminder from Keystone ski patrollers.

Looking down at a ski run = best sight in the world.

When we got back to Denver, we grabbed some food and then Cayce and I went to Kentucky Inn, a dive bar in my neighborhood. We spent the rest of the evening drinking Jameson on the rocks and playing Big Buck Hunter. Which by the way, why has no one ever told me how amazing that game is? I have been living under a rock.

New favorite game.

Skiing, whiskey on the rocks, Big Buck Hunter – life could really only be better if winter would hurry up and just get here already! Luckily there is some snow in the forecast this weekend, which I’m very happy about. I have some cute sweaters I’m dying to wear, and the day off on Monday. I foresee some skiing at Breckenridge in my near future.


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

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