One shot from last night

Last night I was more than happy to just sit around and relax, after being locked up in a hotel for a 50-hour week of training. I brought the camera out and took some shots; sadly, none of Scout came out. Here it is:

Tomorrow I’ll be at Berthoud Pass, so hopefully some good photos will come out of it.


Hotel Art

The Aurora Doubletree is an interesting place, though fortunately I’ll be going home tomororrow. After banging out five and a half miles on the treadmill after dinner (gotta do something while I’m here, sitting and eating all day is wearing) I snapped a few photos in the hotel. Not very high quality thanks to my old camera, but better than nothing (maybe?).

Cold dark early

I’m in training for the week, and although it’s only 15 minutes from home, the hours are long and they put us up in a hotel right alongside I-225. As I’m sure you all know, I-225 is a disaster and can have traffic jams at 4 in the morning in the summer. Last night came with snow and subzero temperatures, so 225 was sure to be in terrible shape. Not at all to my surprise, this is what I saw when I rolled out of bed at 6:45 this morning.

Traffic was at a crawl. It was cold, dark, and early. And all I had to do was throw on some clothes and head downstairs to breakfast.

Deep on Berthoud Pass

Berthoud Pass was amazing yesterday. I had been planning to go up there for a few laps with Brad most of the week, and a perfectly timed storm came in. As of 6am Sunday morning, Winter Park was reporting 24″ in 48 hours. Simply unreal. I was thrilled to see that, as my Districts have become more and more rockered in recent weeks, making them perfect for the deep, wet, heavy snow that was waiting. The wind was transporting snow from place to place up high, but down in the trees it was just deep and stable.

Seconds later…

And then the inevitable…

But it’s hard not to smile after going face first into two feet of fresh snow.

A few more seconds later, and I got the best shot of the day:

It was unbelievably crowded there today. The bootpack on the west side looked like the short hike at Breckenridge, and the parking was overflowing.

Completely and totally awesome up there today, and this snow is just what we needed after a week of high pressure.
On a final note, I’d like to thank the two ladies who picked us up and gave us rides back to the top of the pass. Not at all what I expected, but we sure did a good job of cramming people and skis into those tiny cars. It must’ve been a sight to see, little cars with big skis sticking out the windows. Good times. Also thanks to the old hippy dude with the incredibly cool dog for the info, the employee who was out visiting CO for all the awesome gear deals, and finally the Sweets Shop restaurant for a cheap burger and fried mushrooms at the end of the day.

Plans for the coming year

I’ve set some ambitious goals for the year, and it’s about time that I put them down in text so I can see how well I do, and maybe help me keep on track.

One lofty goal that is a big question mark at this point is skiing from the summit of Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. This is a long trek at over 20 miles each way, but would be a blast. It’s likely that at least three days would be required, plus the 450+ mile drive just to get there.

Rainier is of course on the list still, with exact route and date still undetermined. The plan has varied between Fuhrer Finger to Liberty Ridge to one of the standard routes, so who knows.

I’d like to ski several of the more interesting 14ers this spring, and I’ve met some guys who are pretty ambitious as well so this should go well. Maroon is on the top of the list, and I’m looking forward to a descent of Longs and Torreys as well.

I’ll be riding the century at Elephant Rock again which should be easy enough, and I’m thinking about doing another 100+ miler in the mountains as well.

I intend to do at least four full-weekend backpacks over the summer, locations undetermined.

Finally, I want to start looking seriously at a Himalayan trip. I won’t be going this year, but if I can get to Ama Dablam (6,856m) in 2010 rather than Denali, I’ll be beyond thrilled. Time is similar, cost isn’t that much more, and the payoff is far greater.