Monday, December 17, 2007

Mid Winter Ski Conditions at Arapahoe Basin and Great Winter Skking and Riding

We, my son and I, were finally was able to get back up in the Colorado mountains and ski this past weekend. We left Boulder Saturday AM for Arapahoe Basin. I had not been to the mountains for several weeks. It was before the last several rounds of significant snowfall. It has been a major transformation of ski and snowboard conditions. The day offered mid winter conditions and cold, with lots of terrain open. It was cold crisp day with soft snow and broken powder available for those in search of soft snow and variable powder conditions. We started the day going directly to the top of the mountain. First the Exhibition lift and then over to the Lenawee lift. We jumped into nice soft corduroy to start once we slid off the lift. Compared to several weeks ago when it was hard and you needed to search for soft snow, now one could let the skis run and turns just flowed like a hot knife through butter.

After a top to bottom run mixing up groomers wiht broken snow, we decided to head for the Pali chair that was serving runs off of the west wall. It sure looked inviting and off we went. One of the great beauties of this day and many of my weekend days is I get to enjoy it with my skiing/riding buddy, my son Nicky. He is 10 and made the conversion from skier to boarder when he turned 7. He now rides the entire mountain as he loves to freeride, search soft steep snow and get off the beaten track. Once in a while he will jump into the park, but he enjoys the snow, different runs and exposures the mountain has to offer. We are still at a comparable pace and in a few years I am confidant it will be me struggling to keep pace.

The snow off the west wall is broken soft day old powder. Great cover and not very crowded. After dropping down and hitting the cruiser back to the bottom we decide one more shot at Pali for a different line before taking a warming break. Temps were high of 10 at the top and with the wind much colder.

In the afternoon as we had lunch we saw they had opened the main Palivacini run. We immediatley headed for the Pali chair after lunch. Patrol was at the gate letting us know there were exposed rocks, a thin snow pack for this time of year and to use caution. We gladly nodded our heads and off we went. The snow was very good. there were spots with some rock exposures, but to be expected. For December 15 it was excellent. One run here was adequate as the family we skied this with did not love it quite like we did.

The rest of the day was spent looking for different exposures of soft broken snow across the top of the mountain. We headed out around 3 to beat the I 70 traffic and had a quick easy ride home. The legs had some burn and it sure felt good to get a day of all mounains kiing and riding in.

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