Archive for January, 2006

Milo in Seattle

January 16, 2006 Leave a comment

Milo in Kirkland

January 15, 2006 Leave a comment

CO Backcountry Trip

January 8, 2006 1 comment

My January 2006 ski trip to Colorado started with a half day of skiing at Winter Park, complete with nice, fluffy, and fresh Colorado powder. Keith got me a ticket for free, since his is on the Ski Patrol there, but I earned my ticket this time. Lisl and I put up a fence while skiing (she is an ex-ski patroller) and around noon we were in the ski patrol hut when the call came in that they were closing down the Pioneer Express chair lift due to a mechanical problem. That meant the hill would have to be cleared of skiers, so Lisl and I volunteered to “sweep” with the other ski patrollers. The guy in charge said OK, so Keith, Lisl, and I grabbed a rope on the back of a snow mobile as another patroller drove it across the mountain over to the closed chair. It was a blast getting pulled up and across the hills – sort of like waterskiing. I got to sweep the Gambler and Aces and Eights runs (trail map) and since it was only noon on a Tuesday, I was able to make tracks in fresh snow right in the middle of the runs. It’s the best skiing I have had at Winter Park so far.   


The next day, Jeff, Keith, and I drove to Eagle, Colorado, put the skins on our skis, and started our 5 mile hike into the mountains towards the Peter Estin Hut. We started at 9,060 feet and the hut is at 11,200 feet, so we had an elevation change of 2,140 feet, which took us about 4 hours. We only had about 45 minutes of daylight left by the time we got to the hut and we were pretty exhausted, so we unpacked, ate dinner, and relaxed for the evening as the other 4 people staying in the hut arrived from their day of skiing.


In the morning, we woke up to fresh snow, blue sky, with temperatures at about 5-10 degrees (F). We started the day hiking up Prospect mountain (hill?), which is right behind the hut and about 800 feet up (12,000 feet). It was tiring, but the snow was perfect! We skied this part of the hill 3 times during the day: 2 before lunch and 1 after lunch. We probably had enough sunlight for another run, but we were beat, so we called it a day. Three runs in a day might not sound like much, but our “run” consisted of fresh snow on a southwest facing slope, half of which was wide open and half was in the trees, so the entire run was a blast to ski.


The next morning we packed up and headed out. This means we had full packs, minus all the food we had eaten, but more great skiing in store for us. We were able to ski right from the hut down more great open slopes, eventually ending up in a creek bed where we had to hike a little. Thankfully, none of our hiking on this day required the skins, because we were able to hike a bit and get a few good turns in once in a while too. Remember, this is the 5 mile run that we hiked in on, which is a pretty long ski run. We hit one hill side that had about 3 feet of fresh snow on it, but no snow packed under it. We skied it, but I think some of our turns were on top of bushes and rocks, but with fresh snow up to our waist. That made for some tricky skiing with full packs on our backs.


If you plan to go, which I highly recommend, I suggest you train for it by exercising quite a bit so your lungs and legs can handle it. We were able to have a great time, but others in the hut were in better shape than us, so they got an extra run in each day compared to us.


Photos are in the "CO Backcountry Trip" photo album. If the link doesn’t work, go to Photos at the top of this web page.  


January 6, 2006 Leave a comment

The Dogs in December

January 2, 2006 Leave a comment

Resting is not their normal state of being, but here’s
proof that they do slow down once in a while.

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