Keystone Ski Area – 02/04/2012

Keystone Ski Area 02/04/2012 Photo Album

Jane and I watched the weather reports anxiously as the weekend approached. We spent a lot of money to rent our condo in Dillon for weekends during ski season, and the approaching storm could inhibit our ability to drive to the mountains on Friday, February 2. Was this storm going to deliver on its forecasted accumulation? As I completed my daily run on Thursday after work some fine snow began to descend from the overcast skies. The weather forecasters were right on the money as they predicted the storm would begin around 5PM on Thursday and continue until Saturday morning.

10 Inches on Grill

When Jane and I awoke on Friday morning, there was already perhaps eight inches on the ground at our house, and the overcast sky indicated no end in sight. We each left for work and at noon Jane called to let me know that she was getting out of work early to hunker down and wait out the storm. I kept checking the weather reports, and I noticed the accumulations were the greatest on the plains, significant in Denver but less than the plains, and diminishing as one traveled west into the mountains. If we could make it up the major climb just west of Denver, we could probably get to our condo.

When I returned home from work, Jane and I discussed the conditions and decided to make the trip. I shoveled the sidewalk in front of the house, and we tossed our gear and suitcases in the Santa Fe and took off for Dillon at around 2:30PM. The worst part of the trip was from our house to Idaho Springs, and I maintained a speed of 45 MPH on the steep downhill stretches in the mountains. Fortunately the trip was uneventful and we arrived at our condo by 4PM.

Kirk and Dave Display Their Kerchiefs

Kirk, a friend of Amy and Dan, was planning to join us later in the evening, so Jane and I checked out the Dam Brewery in Dillon for dinner. After we returned home Kirk arrived and we watched the Nuggets lose to the LA Lakers.

Unfortunately in spite all the snow in Denver, there appeared to be no fresh snow in Dillon as we awoke on Saturday morning and prepared to ski. We agreed to visit the closest area to our lodging, Keystone Ski Area just up the road. We had a nice breakfast and left the condo by 9:30AM and arrived at the ski area ready to ski by 10AM. It was quite cold all day, but no snow. We skied mostly on the front side of Keystone, but did take two runs on North Peak after having a nice lunch at the Outpost. Lunch was perhaps the highlight of the day as the skiing was marginal at best. Most of the heavily used slopes were packed manmade snow with a thin layer of groomed granular dust in places.

Dragon Fort

The best slopes on the frontside had icy scraped areas but enough softer granular snow along the border of the run to make turns somewhat  in the realm of accomplishment. On the last run on North Peak after lunch, Jane fell and sprained her thumb, so she rested in Summit House while Kirk and I did two more runs. For the final run we skied down Flying Dutchman to River Run which was a sheet of ice.

Jane Looking Great on the Slopes

We returned to our condo and had some snacks while Kirk found a Starbucks with Wi-Fi to study before dinner. At 6PM or so we had dinner at Murphy’s Irish Pub, a nice little out of the way spot on Blue River Parkway north of I70.

We returned home on Sunday morning to 15 inches of snow, but the roads were cleared and mostly dry. I did a cross country skiing loop in Central Park near our house before departing for a Super Bowl party at John and RoxAnne’s apartment.

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