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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ski Colorado!

I had planned to post and comment while vacationing in Colorado - but that didn't happen.  Oh well - sometimes things just don't work out like we think they might or should.  But the important thing is we had a great time skiing in Colorado - Sunday evenings flight into Denver was no problem - we picked up the car and headed to Frisco.  We arrived at our hotel around midnight Sunday.  After unpacking we jumped into bed so that we could get up and ski on Monday morning.

Monday:  Breckenridge
 Jan and Charlie bright and early at the parking lot of Breckenridge - getting ready to jump on the gondola and head to the mountain.  
Charlie and I on one of the lifts at Breckenridge.
We headed to Breckenridge on Monday.  My friend Jan has a friend, Shelia, who lives in Breckenridge.  We met up with Shelia at the base of the Gondola and headed to the mountain for a day of skiing.  Skiing conditions were wonderful - the top of the mountain was socked in by clouds - so we didn't venture up there - but skied peaks 7, 8 and 9.  We had wanted to make it over to peak 10 - but just didn't have the time and I didn't have the energy.  Plus peak 10 is mainly blacks . . . and I only starting to feel comfy (that is a relative term) on some blacks.  But we had a great day of skiing.  We stayed in town after skiing was finished - walked down main street and ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant.  After eating we headed back to the hotel - sat in the hot tub and headed to bed.

Tuesday:  Loveland
Tuesday we headed over to Loveland Ski Area, which is basically built on top of the mountain that the Eisenhower tunnel is built through.  The ski resort is the second highest resort in Colorado with the peak at 13,000 and a drop of 2,400 feet.  It was a cold day with temperatures in the teens and fairly windy conditions.  The wind probably wasn't that bad - but when you are on top of a mountain - even a little breeze feels strong.  We had a good day of skiing at Loveland.  We probably won't go back to Loveland - the runs aren't that long and you are above the tree line for much of the mountain.  But is was still a good day of skiing.  When we were done - we headed back through the tunnel and stopped at a local bar and met up with Shelia for appetizers and a couple of beers.
The mountain top, which is just beyond the trees is where we are headed.  
Charlie and Jan at Loveland Ski Area
Wednesday:  Vail
Wednesday morning Jan's friend Shelia picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Vail.  Vail is a huge resort at 5,300 acres.  We headed to the back bowls and skied there most of the morning and early afternoon.  We didn't stop for lunch until after 1:30 and then headed back to the front side of the mountain and skied there the rest of the day. In my opinion, Vail isn't really built with snow boarders in mind - to move to the back bowls and from peak to peak, there are a lot of traverse area's which make using a snow board a real pain.  Although my son likes the runs - moving around the mountain is a pain in the butt.   
Charlie, Shelia and Jan at Cloud Nine in Blue Sky basin. 
When we were done we walked back through Vail village, stopping at The George, which is a local restaurant for Apres - drinks and food never tasted as good as after a day of skiing.   

Thursday and Friday:  Copper 
Thursday and Friday we skied at Copper Mountain.  My son and I had never been there and we LOVED it.  It was a great resort - the conditions were wonderful.  We had two days of low 30's and sunshine . . . so it was GREAT.  

Jan, Shelia and me at Copper - Check out that blue sky!

Both Shelia and her hubby Andy skied with us during both days.  On Friday, Andy and Shelia took my son Charlie on a mountain tour, down double blacks and through trees and into area's that only the regulars know about.  At times they were outside of the boundaries, leaving the marked "in bound" skiing areas.  Charlie loved it and got to ski through tons of unmarked powder.  This is well beyond my abilities. 
Charlie and I at Copper

Jan and I skied some runs on the front side and eventually met up with them at the end of the day.  It was SO nice being with people that really knew the mountain.  When we were done on Thursday we stopped on the hill at Jack's for a couple of drinks.  
Andy, Jan, me, Shelia and Charlie enjoying a beer or two after skiing!  

On Friday we headed back to Denver and then had an early flight home Saturday morning.  When I got home I took the dog out on the frozen lake to play catch - she had a great time slipping and sliding.  I was exhausted and did some laundry and basically vegged out for the rest of the day.  Sleep in my bed felt so good. 
Tomorrow I am back to work and will be running in the morning.  Looking forward to going to the Hood to Coast movie on Tuesday evening with a group of runners from Madison - 

Peace and Joy to all!

P.S.  2 of my items on my list of 55 things to do during my 55th year involved skiing.  
#9  - Ski at 5 different ski resorts during my winter ski trip - didn't quite happen.  While we DID ski all 5 days - we only skied at 4 different resorts.  Since the year has only begun - I just might still hit this later in the year.   
#14 - Ski 55,000 vertical feet during our ski vacation.  Yup - we certainly did that.  On Wednesday at Vail we hit our high of 18,500 vertical feet (Shelia has a pass that tracks all of her runs - so I used that number for Wed and estimated the other days based on my garmin and phone app's.)  My estimate is that we skied well over 80,000 vertical feet over 5 days.  

LOVE LOVE Colorado.


  1. beautiful pictures! looks like an incredible vacation. i went out on lake wingra today. it was quite the experience!
    see you tuesday!

  2. What a wonderful vacation! I haven't skied since we used to take our kids...I didn't miss it, until I saw your pics :) Totally reminded me of the fun we had.

  3. I can't wait for our ski trip (less than a week to go!). Maybe one of these days I will make it to Colorado but for now Tahoe it is.
    Looks like you had tons of fun. Your pic make me want to pack NOW.

  4. I so so so wish I could ski. Your trip looks like so much fun.

    As for the Madison 1/2 vs the Lake Monona 20k, I'm inclined to say to do the 20k. It's smaller and more scenic than the Madison 1/2.

  5. awesome pictures, linda! you look fabulous in that nice relaxing beer photo!!! :)
    Skiing is something I've never done and wanna try this year.
    Love that you had this awesome experience together!!