return to the motherland |

getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

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Mount Evans: An electrifying experience

return to the motherland |

Revisiting the storm:

Sierra Trading Post is featuring “mistakes in the outdoors” on their blog this week and during their weekly #STPLive Chat this week on 3/27/2014 (Join the fun on Twitter at 6:00 pm EST/4:00 pm MST!). When I was asked to contribute I really couldn’t think of anything worse than when I got caught in a lightning storm on a 14er in 2012. Hope you can learn from my mistakes! ~Paula


Between missing the trail completely on La Plata Peak and my recent experience hiking Mount Evans, I am not having the best luck on 14ers lately. At a minimum, I’m certainly learning some lessons the hard way this summer!

The start of my day versus the end of my day.

My most recent hiking misadventure took place this past Saturday, when I attempted hiking Mount Evans with a group of friends. Mount Evans is often…

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Sibling reunion in Colorado

Last weekend I had the extreme pleasure of hosting my two brothers, Karl and Derek, and my “casi-hermana” (translation = almost sister) Kindra, my brother Karl’s better half, in the state of Colorado! We were missing a few members of our family, like my niece Harper, but it was still a blast to have my siblings visit. On a side note, Harper’s second birthday is tomorrow, so now that she is officially the minimum ski age I expect her participation in all future trips to Colorado.

1526902_624760439164_1200360238_nHarper = future Olympic skier?

Anyway, Karl, Kindra and Derek all flew in last Friday night, and we immediately caravanned up to the mountains. We stayed at Graham’s family’s cabin in Grand Lake for the weekend, and it was a blast to be able to share one of my favorite places in the world with my family. After making it up to the cabin and having a few celebratory beers, we went to bed in anticipation of an early ski day at Mary Jane the next day.

One of the things I appreciate most about have the Rocky Mountain Super Pass is the fact that you actually get real discounts on ski tickets for family and friends, unlike another pass that shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Bail Tesorts”. I was able to get passes for $59 along with half price on rentals for my siblings. Score! Because Graham and I always go to the Mary Jane side of Winter Park, we decided to haze my brothers on the steeps and moguls. After getting caught in a total white out at the top of the Panorama lift in the afternoon, we called it a day and headed back to the cabin.

IMG_0002K + K on skis

IMG_0007Derek shredding the gnar

Back in Grand Lake, I convinced my brothers it would be fun to take Cooper on a walk and check out the view of Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoir from the top of the neighborhood. After postholing and crawling through 3 feet deep snow, we finally made it to the top and enjoyed the insane view.

IMG_0024Lake Granby

IMG_0026Shadow Mountain

At the top of the ridge, the view is 360 degrees with Shadow Mountain on one side and Lake Granby on the other. Definitely a killer view. Karl kept commenting how the Grand Lake area of Colorado reminded him of Montana with lakes, rivers, valleys and mountain views. I have to agree. It’s a pretty awesome part of the state! 

On Sunday, our last day of skiing, I did a better job of leading my brothers around the mountains with less getting caught in white out conditions and skiing down steep moguls. It was a gorgeous bluebird spring day full of skiing! Kindra had to head back early to the airport due to a work commitment, but Karl, Derek and I went back to the cabin for one more night in Grand Lake. Graham was able to stick around too, and we journeyed into the bustling metropolis of Grand Lake for Mexican food.

After packing and cleaning the cabin on Monday morning, my brothers and I headed down to Denver. We were able to get in some rock climbing at Earth Treks before starting the airport runs, which was a lot of fun.

IMG_0018Climbing at Earth Treks

It was a treat to be able to climb at Earth Treks in the middle of the day. I’m used to it being so crowded after work on weekdays that it was nice to have the place to ourselves! I reluctantly dropped my brothers off and headed home to do laundry and prepare for facing the real world again the next day.

Takeaways? If you come visit me in Colorado I might haze you and make you ski moguls but I’ll take you to pretty vistas! (And don’t worry, Graham received full brother approval!)