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Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Little Time Off . ..

Wednesday, Jan 28: climbed up two hours onto Huntsman's ridge in the
falling snow. Chuck says, "it's like being in a Christmas globe." We ski
one run on the north side in the glades, plumes of snow flowing around
us as we turn. A flock of pine grosbeaks feeding high in the snowcoated
spruce trees.
Thursday: A short ski from home along the Stewart ditch above Paonia.
Scrub jays in the oak brush. Everything is melting.
Friday: Snowmass afternoon with friends. KT Gully, Hanging Valley Wall,
Sheer Bliss, High Alpine, one run down the old liftline at Sam's Knob.
Soft new snow. Lots of vertical on the quadriceps. Life is sweet.
Saturday: Mayhem at Buttermilk with five fiveyearolds on skis for the
first time, the "purple Pandas". Tears and tumbles. At three o clock I
crawl into Bumps restaurant, buy a paper cup of tea, get on the
chairlift, and sip in silent bliss, gazing at the Maroon Bells. I survived.
Sunday: One run early on the Buttermilk lift. I am the first to ski the
corduroy, which has an inch of new snow. True first tracks laid down by
the coyote and fox who cross the slopes when the mountain is theirs
alone. At nine oclock: Purple Pandas, day two. We are a team. After 12
hours on snow together in two days, the fiveyearolds are making turns
and (usually) stopping with control. Voila: skiers!
Monday: Kicking and gliding up the road at Steven's Gulch in the waning
afternoon light, when I see a dozen turkeys a quarter mile ahead. Pip
charges after them. Good dog comes back when called. At home, I reward
her with snitters and bits from the roast turkey for dinner.
Tuesday: A few laps skating around County Line with Pip and Chuck. Warm
sun, fast snow "like a bobsled run" as Dave A says when we meet him on
the trail. Gray jays, ravens, mountain chickadees, a three-toed
woodpecker. Looking for crossbills high in the treetops.
Wednesday: Climbed up TV hill up Steven's Gulch with friend Jan. The old
woodies get a workout coming down on the suncrust. We watch an immature
golden eagle making his own turns.
How was your week?

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