Day 11 Tue Feb 2. Beaver Creek 5400m vertical (42300 total)

And it just keeps coming …

Beaver Creek reporting 5 in overnight and 12 in the last 24 hrs, and we had to clear snow off the car for the third time in 24 hours.  Grabbed coffee downtown then a very slow drive up Glenwood Canyon.  Snowing steadily and while right lane was OK moving into the left lane to pass had to be done very cautiously.  But once out of the canyon conditions improved and had a pretty good drive up.  Had carefully researched the free parking options last night – paid parking is $25 for a full day here! – and headed for Bear Lot, only to find it full.  Looped up through the lower village to a control gate where a friendly lady told us to head for Elk Lot instead – which we of course had passed on our way in en route to Bear Lot.  Oh well.

When finally parked, wandered over to the bus stop where we got to watch a man throwing salted sand into the path of one of the buses which had no traction and finally got it moving, and eventually the parade of buses yielded one that picked us up and whisked u off to the village base – quite some way off – we sure won’t be walking back! After getting off the bus I realised what most ski areas are seriously lacking in – escalators! 3 of them to get you from bus stop to lift base – very civilized.
I’d never skied here before – other than a very short session on their XC trails (which are at the TOP of one of their lifts!) many years ago, and had heard wildly divergent views on the place, but we had a ball. Looking at the map it seemed to offer limited intermediate opportunities, but it was far more interesting and varied than I would have thought. Headed to the summit first off – at 3500m a bit lower than at Snowmass yesterday – where there are a fine array of easy runs. One warm up here then next run veered off down Redtail which had great variety of fresh ad groomed on offer. Was about minus 10C at the base and a fair bit cooler than that up top so were happy to head in for elevenses after a few runs.
Basically then went exploring – mainly on relatively easy groomers with a few delightful patches of powder and some fun bumps thrown in along the way. Snowed lightly much of the day but also quite good visibility. Basically worked our way across to Bachelor Gulch and as we started to head back across the hill Trevor decided it was cold enough to call it quits while I opted for a couple more runs. Back up Larkspur which was now in shadow and felt like my nose was going to drop off from cold – frantically trying to get the neckwarmer to cover all exposed bits. Great run down with virtually no-else on the run.
Back up Birds of Prey with the intention of doing one long run back to base. Cold was really getting to me now – had taken outer glove off to take a photo but even with liner glove still on almost lost all feeling. Turned off onto C Prime for one of the best runs of the day, thinking I could cut back onto the home trails from the bottom, but I’d misread the map and had to get the chair back up for yet another run down – by now circulation is almost shutting down. Fantastic long run back to base, caught up with Trevor, enjoyed the luxury of the escalators again – SO much easier than trudging down steps in ski boots – then had to do a quick visit to the creperie – I hadn’t eaten since elevenses – and while the crepe was very tasty it was almost impossible to eat without making a complete mess as it was served up as a wedge in a foil wrapper.
Virtually no wait for the bus and we were off for a few km of snow covered road on the old Hwy 6 before turning onto the interstate which was now basically dry. With Trevor driving I got to enjoy the novelty of being a spectator for the trip back down through the spectacular Glenwood Canyon – a road I’ve driven several times over the years. Was snowing lightly in the canyon but pretty much stopped by the time we were back in Glenwood. So many options here we’re going to extend our stay here to five nights. Started editing photos and may get some up later but ….

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