March 13, 2005

Colorado Cool Down



We spent last Sunday in Moab, visiting Brother Pat their parents. It was Dan’s father’s birthday. From there we went back to Crested Butte. Last time we were there our friends Alan and Liz were out of town and we had promised to return when they’d be around.

Alan is the Gunnison County Avalanche Forecaster as well as a very experienced backcountry guide. We decided to utilize his expertise for our first real backcountry tour of the winter. I got to try a split board for the first time ever, a split board is a snowboard which splits in half to be used like skis for skinning.


I have never skied. I learned to snowboard at 16 and never got around to learning to ski. This is a disadvantage in the backcountry where often skinning (skiing with a skin on the bottom of your ski to allow you to go uphill) is the best method. Prior to this day I had always snowshoed when riding in the backcountry.




Dan skiing the coullier.


Our line.


Me at the bottom.

There was a definite learning curve associated with the split board, and having my legs be able to operate independently of one another was a bit unnerving at first. But, once we got to the top it was all worth it. We found ourselves atop a nice 42 degree pitch with a 100-yard coullier in the middle opening up to a large gladed powder field.

The next day we skied at the area with Liz and our other Crested Butte friend Andreas, who is a welder/ artist. The day was cloudy and flurries fell from time to time. Still we had a blast. We got to see our buddy Eddy while we were there as well. Eddy was very busy, his paper just won a bunch awards and he won one for best editorial writer.




Dan, Alan and Liz.

Before we left on Wednesday, Dan, Alan and Liz hiked up another peak to get some spring skiing in.


Alan skiing Carbon, in the Crested Butte backcountry.

From there we stopped over at the Orvis Hot Springs. Orvis is a clothing option hot spring so no pictures are allowed. Trust me you wouldn’t want to see most of their patrons in the buff anyway. Orvis is very camper friendly. A night there is $24/ person, but this allows you two day’s worth of soaking and since a day pass is $12, it is like free camping.

Then it was back to Telluride to visit Eric and Jamie for a few days. This turned out to be a very expensive visit. You see Jamie and Eric, along with 3 of our other friends had been planning a trip to a foreign, warm, exotic place complete with surf waves right in front of their hotel. Since they are going somewhere we have never been and have always wanted to go to, we were easily persuaded to join them. Retirement is hard work, we think we've earned a vacation from vacation ;). So in late April we will leave behind our camper and fly off for a week in…. Well you’ll just have to wait and see.

Also while in T-ride we got to get our blood pumping, and Dan got to hone his firefighter skills when Jamie and Eric’s water heater caught fire just as we were getting ready for dinner. Thanks to the quick thinking of all involved the fire was contained to just the wood below the heater and since it was in the garage the smoke damage was negligible. We were all immensely thankful that we were home, and that we caught the fire really early, otherwise it could have been very bad. Sometimes you are reminded how truly small and fragile we can all be.

Now we are back in Durango for a few days. Dan will be working at Wolf Creek, helping out during the spring break rush, and I’ll be peddling ski equipment at The Ski Barn here in Durango. We gotta pay for this vacation some how.

Special note of thanks: The banner ads below help us to generate a small bit of income. They only pay us once we have earned over $100 in a month. Thanks to all of you we did that for the first time in February. We had thought we’d earn a few gas tanks worth, but since our earnings equal almost exactly the cost of a day of cat skiing we have decided that is a better use for the unexpected cash. We have been telling our buddy Marc (from Cerritos, Mexico fame) that we would have him guide us skiing for about three years now. So, on April 9th we will embark on our first ever “Reader/ Ad Clicker Appreciation Day” and get to go ski somewhere we have never been before, with some of our best friends. Many, many thanks to all of you who support us by supporting our sponsors.

20 comments:

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