After last ski season, I think saying that we Coloradans are powder starved would be the understatement of the year. Sure when I look back on last year, there were a few bright, shiny days of good skiing conditions. But mostly it just felt like I spent all of last season waiting for the season to start. Then it was March and 50 degrees, and I wrote off the season and started hiking on the weekends. I’m hoping, praying and wishing for better conditions this year.
This past weekend there was finally cold and snow in the forecast so naturally I had to have a full weekend of skiing!
On Saturday I headed to A-Basin with my friend Joel, who is my friend Amy’s husband. We totally did not take Loveland Pass to get to the Basin because Amy told us not to and we would never do anything against what Amy tells us.
I can guarantee we did take the tunnel on the way back from A-Basin because it was snowing the entire time we were at A-Basin. Surprisingly even though the Basin had gotten 4 inches on Friday night, the parking lot was not too crowded. I guess a lot of Coloradans are still holding out for more snow. No loss in my book because I’ll gladly take easy I70 commutes any day!
The first couple runs of the day felt pretty good, and it was nice to be making some turns in new snow. It was also, however, super cold and after three runs I had to take a break. Joel and I headed into the lodge to warm up and eat some snacks.
After our first break, the conditions on the mountain turned even colder and windier. It was snowing at the top of the mountain, and there were practically whiteout conditions which made it hard to ski. Joel has this great theory that eight ski runs makes a complete day, and so we made it our goal to make it to eight runs. Luckily, it was a lot warmer on the bottom half of the mountain and we reached our goal. Perhaps the greatest thing about having a season pass is the removal of the “guilt factor” when skiing. You don’t feel like you have to ski 9-4 to get your money’s worth. If you are done skiing at 2:00 and want to head back home, you can do that with no problem! This is exactly what Joel and I did and we were back in Denver by 3:00 p.m. It was glorious. I spent a cozy evening at home with Indian takeout and Mad Men season 5.
On Sunday I had plans to go skiing with my friend Britt at Keystone. I dragged Britt on a lot of 4:30 a.m. departure time hikes this summer so leaving Denver at 7 a.m. felt like sleeping in to us! All of the resorts got hit with snow on Saturday night, and we were pumped to hear that Keystone got 6 inches of freshies. The drive up I70 again was a breeze and the worst part of the experience was waiting for the Keystone parking lot staff to park people. They seemed a little (a lot) overwhelmed. After getting parked and suited up, we got on top of the mountain for our first run down Paymaster.
The first run down Paymaster was awesome because there was no ice! The 6 inches of snow had really done their job. A couple of runs later I was freezing and we had to take a break at the lodge. This seems like a common theme for this past weekend but in my defense I bet it was legitimately 2 degrees at the top of Keystone mountain. Eventually I warmed up and we had a pretty full day skiing Paymaster, Dutchman and Spring Dipper. Although there was just limited terrain open Keystone definitely does an awesome job of getting the mountain opened quickly. Keystone definitely had the most terrain open out of all the resorts on my season pass this past weekend!
All in all, I had a super solid weekend. I just hope the weather cooperates this year and I have many, many more two day ski weekends.