Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Vacation Week

On Monday Dan ran up around the Boulder Reservoir and I swam at the pool.

On Tuesday we rode our bikes to Flagstaff and ran up the mountain.

On Wednesday I rode my bike to Boulder Valley Ranch and ran the Lefthand trail. Donna cooked a yummy Thanksgiving dinner and then we drove up to Winter Park to stay at Donna and JJ's skihaus.

On Thursday we skied at Winter Park. There were a handful of runs open that were a lot of fun.

On Friday all four of us hiked up at the Roaring Fork Trail near Lake Granby. It was cool to hike on the "other" side of the Divide. There wasn't enough snow to warrant snowshoes, but it was very pretty. Dan and I drove home Friday night.

The roaring fork

Lake Granby

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Niwot Ridge Ski

I drove up to the CU Research Center to try my first cross-country skiing of the year. The Niwot Ridge Road had enough snow down low for me to ski right from the parking lot.

As I climbed higher and higher up the trail, the snow got deeper and deeper. I didn't see anyone or anything until a ptarmigan caught my eye above the tree line.

I skied down a nice, deep bowl just south of the trail and then retraced my tracks down to the car. On the way down, I did see a few other skiers who thanked me for breaking trail and I ran into another teacher from my school. Pretty cool!

The snow on the road closer to the car was getting melty and slippery with the warm sun. Unfortunately, I took a turn too fast and fell on some small exposed rocks. I fell so hard that the rocks ripped through two pairs of pants and managed to skin my knee and give me a pretty good bruise (it took three weeks before I could kneel again). But, overall it was a gorgeous day of skiing!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lost Lake

Today Dan, JJ and I drove up to the Hessie trailhead outside of Eldora. It was 32 degrees, snowing lightly, and the wind was blowing consistently at 30mph with gusts 10-20mph stronger. We layered up at the car and quickly put on microspikes for the icy road up to the actual trail. The wind was blowing from the west, right into our faces until we got into the trees, about a mile from the car.

Much of the trail was also wind swept (and covered in fallen trees), so we buckled down until we got to higher elevations and more tree coverage. Once we got to the Lost Lake turn-off, the snow did get deeper and we had a bit of a reprieve from the wind.

Unfortunately, the reprieve didn't last long, because we soon got up to the lake where the wind had a huge, flat surface to whip across. Here, we also put on our snowshoes to try to circumnavigate the lake. Our explorations led us off-trail and up a rocky slope.

We then carefully side-stepped down a very steep hill to get back to the shoreline. The rest of the trek was uneventful and as we headed back to the car, the clouds cleared a bit, the wind settled down, and the sun started showing its face. Overall, we hiked 6 miles and gained almost 1,000 feet.

View Lost Lake in a larger map

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flagstaff with Donna

What a great day to go hiking with Donna today! We got a bit of an early start but the day warmed up quickly and the clouds didn't show up until after we were done. Our route went up Gregory Canyon to the Greenman Lodge, then to the summit of Flagstaff, before heading down the Flagstaff and Crown Rock Trails. We hiked 4.6 miles in about 3h30m.