Hi everyone! We decided to post our ski trip on our sailing website since it’s the only website we have. We were at Copper Mountain in Colorado the first two weeks of February.
Here’s the trail map.
We drove from Madison with clear weather, allowing us to come over Loveland Pass for the first time in more years than either of us can remember, allowing us to get a good view at the top and also to see the Loveland, A Basin and Keystone ski areas.
We arrived mid-day, settled in to our condo, and checked out the area just before dusk. Here are a few (clickable) shots of our first impressions.
We had a wonderful time skiing this new area for us. Here’s a compilation of days to give you a feel for what we experienced.
Ready Set Go!
. . . and there she goes!
Here’s a DropBox link of Barbie’s Skiing Video since the file is too big to load here. Andy did the real work skiing behind Barbie and video-taping as they went. The video & stills are on the green (easy) Soliloquy. While an easy run, the views all the way down are beautiful. We skied it non-stop, top to bottom on our last day and it was, perhaps, the most fun we had the entire time! Finished the final day on Andy’s Encore, glad that Andy had sharpened our ski edges and that our stamina – legs and breathing – were finally up to par.
Here are some nice views from various locations on the mountain. We had several days of “wall-to-wall” blue – Barbie’s mother Margie’s term for those incredible sunny days when the skies at that elevation and thin atmosphere are almost cobalt blue.
And here’s a spectacular Dropbox link to a Panoramic Video of the view from the top in 25 mph winds (fortunately on a warm day!).
We were very fortunate with the weather – completely dry for all our driving, beautiful 3″ of snow on our first day of skiing, the big 10″ snow the second day – Andy ventured out but Barbie skipped the heavy snow days, we both skipped the third day because it was -19 F with the wind chill, and then clearing with beautiful sunshine and nearly spring-skiing temperatures for the rest of our stay.
On several sunny days we took a break at the mid-mountain lodge called Solitude and enjoyed our snacks and hot drinks outside. We did modest birding from our relaxing chairs while the gray jay thieves did their share of “peopling”.
We had a very short (5 minute) hike from our condo to get to a position to be able to ski the remaining 5 minutes to the closest chairlift. At the end of the day we were able to ski right to the door of the condo.
On that cold -19 Monday we played hooky from skiing and took the 20 minute ride over the Vail Pass to Vail. While there we visited the beautiful jewelry shops in Lionshead and in the Village – it’s like going to an art exhibit – beautiful jewels, jewelry creations, and an incredible collection of large fossils, 6-colored jade pottery, stainless steel wall panels designed by etchings and heat. Andy bought one of the stainless pieces at the Copper branch of these stores for his former employers who worked in stainless steel and gave so much for our boat, NorthStar, in the form of inexpensive materials, use of equipment, etc. to form our swim platform and bow sprit. Here’s a photo of the piece (the depth of the piece is incredible but unfortunately doesn’t show up in the photo):
We also had a delicious lunch at our favorite lunch spot in Vail Village, Alpen Rose.
There we met an older German couple who now lives in Vail all winter and on one of the Finger Lakes (New York state) in the summertime. They were also taking the day off from skiing because of the cold. They had their “service dog” Nicki, a beautiful Burnese Mountain Dog and told us all about having her fly with them in the cabin of commercial planes. They were a lovely couple but we were astounded and had a good laugh about their dog’s “service” coat. We don’t think she rode up the chair lifts with them on the days they skied. (He had both knees replaced a while back so they only did the groomed black diamond runs.)
Actually, our first stop at Vail was to checkout the construction around our old condo. Even though our beloved Enzian 218 has been sold, we still love it and many friends have visited us there so we thought you’d like to see what’s happening. The construction all around is massive (you can click the thumbs to see better if you want to) and won’t be finished until next winter. View of some Enzian units will be obstructed, but fortunately 218 has a clear view as seen in the last photo in this sequence.
After about a week on a Saturday skiing break we took the 10 minute trip to Frisco, a quaint Colorado town where we did our shopping, and had a hearty lunch at a hopping cafe. We asked the waitress how to get to Breckenridge and she said go to the end of the road and turn right – it would take only 10 minutes. So off we went to investigate this as a possible ski day. Got there in 10 minutes but then it took an hour to navigate Main Street – ugh! Finally found our way to a little shop parking lot right next to this great ice sculpture display, an annual event for over 25 years. (It’s worth it to click on these to see the enlargements.)
Andy was also entranced by the wind-blown snow off the top of these peaks. Breckenridge has the highest lift in the country.
“Breck” looks like a great ski area but it was far too congested for our taste, so we probably won’t try it out. We do think we might go for a Keystone or Vail day-skiing-trip in a future stay at Copper, but we really liked Copper and have a lot more to explore there. Andy headed for one of the bowls on a day Barbie took off and enjoyed a lot of the black diamond runs. Barbie looks forward to this next year when expected to be in better condition.
The next day was Super Bowl Sunday so we hooked up with Madison friend Bob (left) and Mike, his skiing buddy from college days, who were staying at Keystone, at a Copper Village sports bar called Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe. It was a blast rooting for the Bronco’s in Bronco territory and we were glad to see Payton Manning take them to victory!
Here’s a look at our condo from the inside:
We liked the western-theme art work:
and the views:
and the TV (just kidding):
but especially “the kitties”:
We had a great dinner in Frisco two nights before we left. Because of the Frisco reservoir above the dam that separates it from the larger Dillon reservoir, there are lots of sailing references around the town (as well as biking and kayaking – active summer sports for high energy skiers to enjoy).
We capped off our eating extravaganza at Chances R in York, Nebraska – the midpoint stop on our way home. We found this place a few years ago, the last time we drove out. It has wonderful home-made vegetable beef soup and prime rib that is tender, juicy and delicious. Barbie originally thought it must have some romantic reference to that old Johnny Mathis song, but it turns out, while it dates back to those days, that the name has a totally different reference. The family started with a little corner sandwich shop and she wanted to expand and he said “chances are it’ll never make it.” Well, it’s a booming business replete with tiffany lighting throughout, leaded glass doors, etc., etc. It was really hopping but we were taking it easy and had a good time.
We got home Saturday night in the middle of the first half of the Badgers basketball team, which is really coming into it’s own after a rough beginning to the year due to a young bunch of starters. We got the kitties settled and enjoyed watching our victory over 2nd in the nation Maryland in a decided victory.
Good to be home and a nice fluffy snow greeted us Sunday morning.
Hope you enjoyed our vacation story. We sure had a good time!