It’s April and spring has begun, which means it’s once again time to look at what sort of fun I had during the previous season. This post is actually half a month late because… I’ve been lazy about writing here. For winter, most of the fun I had was with skiing. I took my first flights since the COVID pandemic started and skied in Colorado for a week. Also skied in PNW. Here are the photo and video highlights.
Like the last ski season, I purchased an Epic Local Pass, and set out to ski enough to make the pass worthwhile. I skied a few days at Stevens Pass and Whistler-Blackcomb. All of these are day trips, and I go to Whistler when I visit Vancouver. Whistler is so big that there are still parts of the resort, such as the Blackcomb Glacier, that I have not skied. Hoping I’ll still have a chance to get a spring ski day at Whistler.
The highlight of my ski season was my week-long trip to Colorado. I flew there and skied the four Epic Pass resorts along the I-70 with a friend. We hit Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail (2 days), and Beaver Creek. It was a wonderful trip. Weather was cooperative for the most part, and we got a few bluebird days. All four resorts have plenty of skiable terrain and are memorable in their own way. Breckenridge has the highest altitude ski lift on the continent amongst its 5 peaks. Keystone had a Mardi Gras party in the its resort village when we visited. Vail is the flagship and largest resort in the state, and has its legendary back bowls and pretty swanky resort villages. And Beaver Creek is probably the most upscale of the bunch.
I definitely enjoyed skiing in Colorado. Would have been better if there was a little more snow, especially at Vail’s back bowls, but otherwise everything went well. I’m no expert skier by any means, but my skiing skills have improved over the previous season, and I can handle steep single black diamond trails if they are not too bumpy. Moguls are still a challenge. My toughest run during the ski trip was when my friend led me down a single black mogul run. I took a long time to get down and fell a couple of times, but I learned from that experience. I also skied my first double black diamond trails on this trip, but it was Breckenridge’s Imperial Bowl trails, and those are not really double blacks in terms of difficulty.
In addition to skiing, we did some sightseeing, such as at the Loveland Pass. We also visited Leadville, which is the highest elevation city in the US. There are towns in Colorado that are at a higher elevation, but Leadville is the highest “city”. We visited the National Mining Museum and Hall of Fame located in Leadville. The Mining Museum is larger than we expected and has some really interesting exhibits. I especially liked the sets they had replicating conditions inside the mines. Of course, the shiny rocks and minerals were cool to look at too.
The main reason we went to Leadville was to see the ski joring festival. Ski joring is a competition where a horse rider pulls a skiing along a snowy course, and the skier has to hit a number of jumps and collect some rings, all while trying to hang on the rope. A pretty good crowd showed up to the annual festival. It’s the first time I’ve seen or even heard of ski joring, and it was a fun event to witness. They should put this exciting event into the Winter Olympics. Would certainly help viewership.
I had a lot of fun on my Colorado ski trip. It was a good first trip after lifting of pandemic restrictions. There are still a lot more ski resorts in Colorado and elsewhere I want to visit, so will probably be getting another season pass for the next ski season.
Other than skiing, I spent the holidays in Canada with my folks, and helped them shovel some snow. We had a White Christmas, which is rare for the Vancouver area. During periods of good weather, I also visited some local parks. The highlights of that was visiting Seattle’s local zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to a zoo. I like zoos when I was a kid, and Woodland Park Zoo was decent in terms of size and variety of animals it had.
That’s all the highlights for the 2021-2022 winter. The weather is getting warmer, and the daylight hours are getting longer, so I will probably start hiking and collecting shellfish. Canada has finally lifted it’s border COVID testing requirements, so it’s easier for me and my folks to travel across the border, and maybe we can finally do some family trips again. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll have a wonderful spring season as well.