Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vail Pass & Silverthorne

This past weekend I didn't work! Yay! We went up to Summit County for some snowmobiling and a little backcountry skiing.

YAY snow!

I went out with Collin and Jake on Saturday and we stayed out until it was dark. Thank God for headlights! They got stuck a bunch of times since the snow was soo deep and the bottom layer of snow was like sand making it difficult for the sled to grip and get out of the hole it dug.

Digging out

While they dug and tugged, I took pictures of the beautiful sky 

So excited, haha!

Chowing down on a granola bar
 As we were going up one of the narrow trails we ran into a couple on a snowmobile who were getting ready to hike up and telemark down one of the hills. The guy asked Jake if he would tow them up half way and he did.

It was 5:30 pm by this time and getting dark so I was a little surprised they were just getting started. The guy said he was a guide at one of the local snowmobile/dog sled places so he probably knew that mountain better than most people.

While Collin and I waited for Jake to come back we checked out this abandoned forestry cabin. Very cute.

The guys warming their hands over the engine. Time to call it a day!

The next day we went back out, this time with Mari too...and our skis/snowboards. We cruised around for a while and then found some smaller trails that the guys wanted to check out first. So Mari and I hopped off while the guys went to investigate. 30 minutes later... there we stood in the middle of no where, on a mountain, with nothing but complete silence around us. Sweet, thanks a lot!
We decided to start walking down the mountain but then thought maybe it'd be better to walk down the trail that they took in case they were stuck. We drew some arrows in the snow and started hiking.

Whew, soo tiring. It's so hard to walk in that knee/waist deep powder, especially up hill! After probably 30 more minutes and many stops to catch our breath, we heard motors. They had both been stuck and were dripping with sweat from digging out.
After a little rest we got back on and tried to find something to ski!

This is what we found.

It looked nice but because of the snow conditions lately (hard crust over soft sandy snow), which has been a cause of the recent avalanches, it sort of sucked. It was really hard to turn because you could hardly break through the top layer so it caught your edges and pulled you where it wanted.

We took a few runs there and found a few other hills to try too. On our last run, the snow was horrible. Collin went first and I followed. We both got stuck under the top layer half way down and struggled to get out of the sandy stuff underneath and back on top. After I got up I took off and tried to get down as fast as I could. Collin on the other hand was no where to be found for a good 20 minutes. I started hiking back up (didn't work so well) and Jake went back up on the sled to see if he could see him from the top. Nothing.
Finally, I spotted him basically swimming through the waist deep snow towards me. He had gotten stuck under the snow, half in a tree well, and couldn't get his board back on so he walked/barrel rolled his way down. He was so exhausted that we called it a day.

Somehow I scratched the crap out of my skis. I was sad!

We went to The Mint for dinner that night, just the two of us. The Historic Mint is a "grill your own steak" place in Silverthorne that Collin loves. We were both so tired by the time we got there that we each ordered something that we didn't actually have to cook ourselves. It was yummy! We passed out quickly when we got back to the condo.
The next morning we were packed and ready to go by 10 and headed home. Collin worked a half day and I, unfortunately, worked a full shift that night. I was super tired to say the least!!

I work this weekend so Collin is heading a bit west to see one of his college friends in Crested Butte. I am, however, looking forward to my Monday and Tuesday off when I get to see some of my family who is flying out for some skiing!! :)

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