A solid -3° this morning. I knew it would be a cold one after last night, as one of the lightest powder snows I have ever experienced blanketed the roads down in Boulder and all the way up to Nederland. Elaine and I enjoyed an evening meal at Sherpa's , watching the snow through the window, glowing in the Christmas lights. The snow stopped, but the cold socked in overnight, making it a bit challenging to go for a ski this morning. I had planned on a dawn patrol session, but dawn patrol turned into 10:30 am. No matter – it's a day off and it's good to take advantage of luxuries when you have them.
Arriving at the trailhead, I saw only one car. Surprising, as this locale has been getting heavier use of late, and I figured the foot of snow would bring out the masses. Not so though. I booted up and, with Stella in tow, was on my way. Rounded the bend and ran into the other skiers – pilots, friends of mine from my past life. I won't lie – I miss skiing with these folks, and I was pleased the meeting went as amicably as it did. I suppose baby steps are the best way. It's not that black and white…it's a shade of grey. Enough said. It was good to see them, and it was nice they broke a solid skin track to the top.
It was a cold skin. I wore my down coat for part of it, and had a lingering coldness in my right hand. It took awhile to get rid of that. Past the gate, and then things steepened. Went to a nice perch, ripped skins, and enjoyed a run down the face. The snow is so light that you still hit the crust layer below. My skis, the Dynafit Stokes, are taking a bit of getting used to (although by the last run of the day I hit their sweet spot…they are very nice). This was no one-and-done day. Skins back on, and up more to a higher place than the first lap. A cup of hot cocoa from the thermos to break the deep freeze, and then down again, a different direction then ever before, and then a new stash that I have never skied. Very nice, and in this place I was not hitting bottom. I like getting in three runs at least, so it was back up, and then further over still, down through exploding powder. Stella was in fine form today, ripping through the powder effortlessly with a big grin on her face the whole way down. Back down and then the last glide to the vehicle. A shade over 2,000 vertical up for the day. Twenty minutes later, I was home to Elaine (she's recovering from the deadly winter cold), a fire and an afternoon of lounging away.