Day 102 & 103: Skiing to Winter Park and Back

After a few days of R&R from the Power of Four, it's back at it. We spent a couple days skiing from Nederland to Winter Park, up and over the Continental Divide. Here's the story in photos.

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Just starting off, shedding layers for the climb to Rogers Pass.

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When we got to Rogers Lake, the clouds socked in. Found a cool snow cave up here and made a mental note…in case we needed it.

 

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Elaine gets ready for the climb to the top of the pass.

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Approaching Rogers Pass. That snow section in the middle was absolutely bullet proof. Kinda wish we'd had some crampons for it. It went alright though.

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Elaine epic-ing on her way to the summit of Rogers Pass.

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At the top of the pass. Clouds were all ethereal and wispy up here.

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That's Winter Park ski area up head. Heading west on the Jim Creek trail. The drop from the pass down to here was dicey at best – breakable crust and we were not sure if we were on top of a cliff, but again, it went OK.

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Since we had Stella with us, we couldn't ride the shuttle bus. Instead we walked the two miles into town to our lodging for the night. Not sure why we didn't ski this. Checked into the hotel, and first stop was Hernandos Pizza, which we engulfed in five minutes flat.

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Not as many photos today, as we were kind of epic-ing out there, figuring out where the hell we were and racing the clock. For some reason we decided to head up Rollins Pass, which was WAY out of the way. We got lost on a maze of snowmobile trails, but finally made it here, to Riflesight Notch on the west side of the pass. That's an old railroad trestle, and this was one steep skin.

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Finally reached the top of Rollins Pass around 4:30 pm. We'd been battling icy, sidehilled sastrugi for an hour plus and weren't overly chipper at this point. And we were not sure what was on the other side.

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Elaine heads over the trestles. We chose this route cause we figured it would be safer, but in reality it was a series of traverses over bulletproof chutes that dropped 1,500 feet down. Sketchy and mentally challenging so late in the day.

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Right before a kind of heinous snow traverse and psuedo rock climb up and over. Girl rocked it though!

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Up and over the Needle Eye Tunnel.

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The road to the Forest Lakes Trail was broken between dry and snow. And there goes the sun. It got cold when that went down.

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We found the Forest Lakes Trail, which was bulletproof but well packed. The luge run out was actually fun, despite being teeth rattling. We got to the car just as the last light of day set. All in all a rad two days, but very different. Day one was a straight shot – five hours from Moffat to the hotel. Day two was a winding cluster – 8 hours and fifteen minutes of snowmobile trails, sastrugi and icy ravines. We're going to take a couple days off, and then it's back at it! Fun times with the best wife in the world, and the most bad ass dog ever.

 

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