At this time last week, I was just finishing up my first day on the slopes of Breckenridge, and as the title of this post denotes, it was “Gnarly”! As I’ve posted over the past year, I’ve recently made a renaissance on the ski slopes. My mother thinks I am absolutely crazy, but I figure if it makes winter more enjoyable, and it gives me a great work out, I’m all for it! I head west to visit one of my best friends from college, Courtney as well as her Fiance, Dave. Luckily, another one of my best friends was able to join from Chicago. It was such a great mini reunion!
Prior to leaving for Colorado I was freaked out about my first experience powder skiing, so I put in some serious gym time. My work out schedule was comprised of, multiple Core Fusion Classes, Bootcamp classes, daily lunge series, running and other cross training exercises. I was worried that my inexperience with skiing would make me tire quickly, thus cutting my powder time short. Luckily, since I worked it so hard (many times pulling “double sessions”) that I was delighted to find that after a complete day of skiing my legs barely felt the burn!
Our day at Breck started early, the alarm went off around 5:40 am and we fumbled around half awake for about 45 minutes before finally packing all of our skiing and snowboarding gear into Dave’s Subaru (the official car of CO & VT, in my humble opinion.) We hit the road and after about an hour and a half, we arrived at the Gondola parking area, YEAH! After strapping on our ski pants, boots and helmets, we were good to go. Luckily, Courtney and Dave both have the Colorado Pass, which means that Kathryn and I were able to buy companion passes to Breckenridge for $60/each. That is FANTASTIC savings compared to the average $93/each pass at the ticket booth, ouch.
We finally hit the slopes and, WOW, it was fantastic! We took several runs on easier green runs on Peak 8 and then moved over to Blues Squares on Peak 9. My friend Courtney apologized for the lack of fresh powder, but compared to the ice of the Northeast, this was absolutely fantastic. I found that though my legs never tired yet, I did become light headed and thirsty extremely quickly due to the altitude. Luckily, I was able to take a few water breaks and regroup and rebound to my old self in order to enjoy the slopes until the end of the day. I even was able to tackle a Blue/Black run, which was much more steep and difficult than anything else I’ve skied on this season, hooray for me! All in all, it was a great day with good friends.
Here are some pictures from the day at Breckenridge:
Day Two was at Arapahoe Basin (affectionately referred to as ‘A-Basin’), which is a much smaller, and advanced mountain. Prior to leaving my brother told me how much he enjoyed skiing at A-Basin, stating that it was skiing at its finest: gorgeous views, ungroomed trails devoid of massive condominium developments on the mountain. The drive from Breckenridge to A-Basin was breath taking, I couldn’t get over the gorgeous views of mountains that surrounded us at every single moment.
When we arrived at Arapahoe Basin we were treated to a spectacular blue bell day, now this is what it’s like to ski in Colorado! On our first run I could feel that all of my leg muscles were aching; ouch, I guess I did feel that long day of skiing at Breck. Luckily, I was able to push through and enjoy a fresh coat of powder on the slopes, awesome! Again, we stuck to Blue Square trails but I went out on a limb and attempted the Montazuma Bowl, a difficult and steep long trail on the back side of A-Basin that treats skiers to some of the best views in all of Colorado. We ended up hitting the road at 1pm, a significantly shorter day than Breck, but it was worth it!
Check out some photos from A-Basin:
Our ride back to Denver was a gorgeous, yet, a little nerve racking as we wound through the curves of Loveland Pass:
So it was official, after nearly four years, I finally made it to Colorado! In the car I nudged Courtney’s shoulder and said, “Well, thanks for having me. I hope you’re ready, because now I’m coming every year”, she laughed and said, “great!”.