CRESTED BUTTE SKI TRIP . DAY 3
By the third day of skiing, we were all getting a little tired but the sun for the first few runs was a nice way to start the day. Then the clouds came in and the sun went away, and we immediately felt the coldness. Still, there was fresh powder on the runs this morning which was amazing. We ventured all over the place but stuck to most of the same stuff we had been skiing the past two days. I headed back over to the East River Express with the older kids and did the black mogul Resurrection run with Emma and then the Black Eagle mogul run with Abby, Andrew, and Emma. At one point we thought we saw Madeline by herself going down a run when we were on the lift, so we waited at the top for Mike and when we didn’t see them Andrew and I flew down Lower Treasury to make sure she wasn’t at the bottom by herself. Turns out that we had just missed seeing Mike because Madeline was so fast. That Lower Treasury run was amazing and the fastest I skied all day. Even on tired legs I skied more today than I did the past two days. That was probably because Emma wanted to go back to the top after getting to the bottom with Madeline. Abby had lost her ski pass, so she and Mike were getting another copy. Andrew was tired so he took Madeline back to the condo and Emma and I went back up Silver Queen to the top and skied the Paradise bowl again. After doing that once we realized that we were also tired, so we headed back to the bottom and called it a day. We skied 14 runs with over 17 miles and 16,772 vertical ft.
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 2
Today was another great day on the slopes with the family. It was a tad warmer than yesterday but overall, the weather was about the same with the cold temps but nice sun in the sky. We did mostly the Paradise Bowl again today but went over to do some harder runs off the East River Lift later in the morning. Andrew, Emma, and I did a black run called Double Top Glades. The tree section is definitely my favorite before it drops off into some very steep black moguls. I made it down just fine, but it wasn’t always the prettiest watching me get through the deep mogul section. I definitely need work on learning how to navigate those better. Then we made it back up to the top and met up with Mike, Abby and Madeline who skied Lower Treasury. We all headed back to the Paradise Lodge for some lunch. We have figured out the best things to bring for lunch and it was nice that there were three of us with backpacks to share the load in carrying all the food. The favorites were the chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, snap pea crisps, clementines, and of course, the Oreos and other little treats we brought. After fueling up we did more of the Paradise Bowl before heading back down and doing one run off the Red Lady Express lift. We ended up skiing 10 runs with 13.5 miles and over 13,000 vertical ft.
Push up challenge for Emma's running club
Just because Andrew was crazy...he got back in the hot tub really fast
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 1
We were a little delayed getting on the slopes this morning but that was ok. Andrew needed to demo some skis and we realized that we had brought one correct boot and one incorrect boot for Madeline, so we rented boots for her. The sun was shining on the slopes at Crested Butte which was good because the temperature read 7F with a real feel of -5F. With the sun we were perfectly warm riding up Silver Queen Express lift. One of the coolest things about this lift is the view of Mt. Crested Butte right before you get off the lift. Madeline was more nervous than other years to go skiing but she did really well on that first sketchy cat trail like run to get to the Paradise bowl. We spent a good deal of the day going down the Paradise Bowl. The snow tended to be the best on this section of the mountain because we were as high up as you could go. None of the black back bowls were open so we all stuck together and skied with Madeline the entire day. Before lunch we ventured over to East River Express lift to try some of the blues over there, but it was kind of icy getting down there, so we took the lift and then headed straight back over to the Paradise lodge to eat lunch. After lunch we just hit the Paradise Bowl several more times before heading down to the bottom to try some of those runs. One of my favorite things Madeline said after finishing another run down the Paradise Bowl and the Lower Forest Queen run was, “We crushed it.” She truly did crush all of those runs and had no problems on the steeper sections. Crested Butte was practically empty today and we never had to wait in any lift lines longer than 1 minute except for when we went all the way to the bottom and had to wait in the Red Lady Express lift with all the inexperienced skiers. It was kind of a mistake to try and get on that lift, but Madeline did enjoy skiing some of those green runs, so we went up once and then called it a day. We ended up skiing a total of 11 runs with over 14 miles and 13, 776 vertical ft.
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 4
Today was our last ski day and we lucked out with good weather again today. It was already 20F when we got on the lift and although the sun was hiding behind the clouds, it peaked its way out after our first run down the Paradise Bowl. We did the Paradise Bowl a few times with Abby and Madeline while the boys took Emma down the black Crystal run. Then we met up with Emma so that the boys could hike up to the top of Headwall and ski down that double black run. They had so much fun hiking up and being able to put their skis on their awesome backpacks and then killing it down the powder steepness. The rest of us skied down Paradise to Yellow Brick Road and down the blue Upper Park run to Lower Twister. Then we took the Silver Queen Express back to the top and skied all the way down to the Paradise hut for lunch. After lunch we ran into some friends (some of the Richin kids) and showed them the runs on the East River Express lift. The oldest two kids (Lizzy and Andrew) went with the Andrew, Peter, Emma, and I down Double Top Glades while the youngest (Sarah) hung with Abby, Madeline, and Mike. We spent an hour over there before heading back to the Paradise lift where we did another run before heading back down the mountain. Later that night we had some the Borg family over to the cabin for some dessert and games. It was a fun way to end our ski trip at Crested Butte.
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 3
Today was an epic day on the mountain with the kids. Everyone except the boys left around 9:30am and walked over to the Red Lady Express lift. We decided to start the day with an easy green run. We headed down Peanut to Lower Twister. After that almost too easy run headed up the Silver Queen Express lift and took the catwalk to the Paradise Bowl. The boys met us there and we skied down the Paradise Bowl to Lower Forest Queen to the bottom of the Paradise Express lift. The snow was awesome, so we decided to do that run a couple of more times before heading over to the East River Express Lift. Once at the top of the East River Express lift the boys and Emma went down the black Double Top Glades tree and mogul run while Mike, Abby, Madeline, and I went down the ungroomed blue Black Eagle run. We didn’t realize the run wasn’t groomed until we came to some moguls. It wasn’t the most ideal run for Madeline, but I just had her follow my line through the moguls and she got down without any problems. When I asked her what she thought of moguls she said she liked them. I can’t believe this little girl doesn’t have any fear. After meeting the boys and Emma back up at the top, I separated from Mike and the younger girls and went off with the boys and Emma down the Double Top Glades run. I loved the first part of this run which was a ton of powder through the trees. Once out of the trees we dropped right onto the main part of the run which was covered with rather deep moguls. I am not the best at deep moguls, but I did my best to get down. Then it was back in some trees to the bottom. This was probably my favorite run so far this season. We all met up and headed back to the Paradise hut for lunch. After lunch we skied down the Paradise bowl runs for the rest of the afternoon and then headed down the mountain to the Painter Boy lift and did a blue on the other side and then headed to the bottom to end our fun day. Back at the house we snacked, relaxed, ate dinner, watched a movie, and started a 1000-piece puzzle together. It was a fabulous day!
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 2
We woke up to amazingly cold temperatures and no water running in the house. Apparently, the pipes froze overnight and the gasket on the water meter outside burst. After calling the emergency maintenance line, we just chilled in our warm cabin and waited for the repair men to come out and fix it. Luckily, it was a rather easy fix and water was soon running in the cabin. Hallelujah! We ate lunch at the cabin and then got our ski gear on to hit a few afternoon runs. The weather had finally warmed up to the teens and the sun was shining so we knew we would be ok. The walk down to the lifts wasn’t that long and we all managed just fine. We headed up on the Red Lady Express Lift and headed toward the Lower Ruby Chief run. We went up the Paradise Lift and skied down the Paradise Bowl. The snow was a bit chopped up already, but Madeline seemed to manage just fine over the “bumps” on the once groomed runs. We didn’t love that run so we decided to skip the Paradise Express Lift and skied down the Middle and Lower Gallowich run to the East River Express lift. The snow was much better on this side of the mountain, so we decided to head up the lift and do the Lower Treasury run twice. Then we made our way back to the Paradise Bowl and took the lift to the top so we could head down Houston’s access to the bottom of the resort. It was a rather short day on the slopes, but we still had some fun and spent time getting reacquainted with this ski resort. Back at the cabin we all spent time outside the cabin playing in the snow. Andrew carved out a nice little sled hill and we used cardboard boxes we already had to make little sleds. It’s amazing how the kids can have just as much fun sledding and playing in the snow as they do skiing on the mountain.
Crested Butte Ski Trip . Day 1
After staying up way past midnight we all slept in and then packed for our Crested Butte ski trip. We divided all the stuff between two cars again and headed out in the snow for our long drive. The road conditions weren’t that great, but we all made it to the cabin in Crested Butte without too many problems. As we entered the town of Crested Butte the sun was still shining but the temperature was dropping fast. It’s a good thing we could pull both cars into the garage to unpack all our gear. It’s nice to have big kids to help with that part. The cabin we are staying at this year is quite spacious and really cool inside. Since we bought all our food ahead of time we threw in a quick dinner and enjoyed relaxing and being together.
It was so nice to sleep in this morning before heading out on our last adventure in Crested Butte. We packed our lunch and then headed out on Gothic Rd. We drove all the way to the Judd Falls/Copper Creek Trailhead, just past the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (which resembles a sort of eerie ghost town). The weather was much cooler than the day before and so we headed out with our jackets. This trail was lined with the most beautiful yellow aspens and the hike to Judd falls was just gorgeous. The falls was magnificent to see from the viewpoint up above and it reminded me of the falls at Salish Lodge in Washington. It was fun to read the history behind this area and how it started as a mining town, then turned to a ghost town, and then to a scientific field station. We decided to continue on the trail and head on the Copper Creek trail towards Copper Lake. As we neared an opening to the vast mountain range, we saw several cows journeying in the same direction. It was fun and unique to see cows on the trail. For sake of time, we decided to turn around and head back instead of trying to push it to the lake. This trail is one we will come back and do again when we have more time. After we got back to the car, we drove up a little further to a small lake and ate our lunch and skipped rocks for a bit. Everyone got into the rock skipping fun and we all took note from Mike who is the ultimate rock skipper. Our trip to Crested Butte was shorter than the year before but we had just as much fun hiking different trails while still enjoying the changing of the leaves. This is definitely one of our favorite places to adventure during the fall season.
Emma and I got up this morning and went for an early run before getting ready for a day of hiking with the family. Running at 9000ft is no small task and I expended a lot of energy just to keep up with her. It was all worth it, though, as we ran through the most beautiful scenery. The leaves were absolutely amazing as they were in the middle of turning colors for the fall season. We all hopped in the 4runner and headed back to Ohio pass to walk the Beaver Pond trail again. Since we were a week or two early from the peak time to enjoy the changing leaves, it was not crowded at all. We essentially had the trail all to ourselves which was amazing. Even though not all of the leaves had started changing, the beauty inside the aspen forest on this trail is pretty spectacular any time of year. At the beaver pond there was a beautiful section of yellow leaved trees across the pond. It was magnificent. We would have circled the pond but since the cows were roaming around we decided to head back the same way we came. On the way back to the car Madeline and I walked a little slower than the others so that I could take some photos of the aspen trees and enjoy the beauty a little longer. She was not disappointed at all to go slower and eat a fun snack along the way.
After leaving Ohio pass, we decided to hike up the Scarp Ridge trail to see the magnificent views of the Maroon Bells and other mountain vistas from the top. It was a brutal steep ascent and the sun was out in full force since it was the middle of the day so we were all a bit warm. The hike was more about the views at the top than it was about viewing the changing leaves so it took some of us a hot minute to be ok with that. The views at the top did not disappoint. It was pretty spectacular. We didn't spend very long at the top since the sun was hiding behind the clouds and the wind was pretty strong. We hiked back down trail until we met up with the 421 loop. We found a nice sheltered area along the ridge line and stopped to eat our lunch. We hung up the hammock between two small trees but only Madeline was small enough to sit in it since the trees weren't strong enough to hold us big people. The 421 trail was really pretty and I enjoyed going back down that way a whole lot better than the trail we took to the top. By the time we got back to our car we were all exhausted. I wasn't surprised since the hike was a little over 5 miles roundtrip and we ascended 1600 ft in the 2.5 miles it took to get to the top. We spent the rest of the night back at the hotel, refueling and relaxing.
Running near crested butte mountain