Monday, February 11, 2013

Family Ski Weekend

F's school had a couple of extra days off last week for parent/teacher conferences and a teacher work day, so we decided to all head to the mountains for a little while.

Thursday we went to Loveland. F had an afternoon lesson scheduled with her amazing instructor, the inestimable Jungle Jim. I honestly can't say enough good things about this guy. If you've spent much time at Loveland, you've probably seen him - he wears a stuffed snake on his helmet, so he's pretty easy to spot. And F is crazy about him. She's been taking individual lessons with him ever since her first group lesson (with a different instructor) didn't go so well.

After dropping F off in the Valley, we hoped to get M into daycare for a little while so my wife and I could get some skiing in at the Basin. But it turns out that you can't really do half-days in the afternoons due to some kind of nap-time policy. So instead we went back to the Valley and rented some gear for M as well. He and I spent the afternoon doing run after run on the beginner hill with him between my skis, gripping the poles that I held horizontally in front of us. I'm certain he liked that better than daycare.

After the Loveland lifts shut down for the day, we drove up to Keystone to a one-bedroom condo we had reserved for the next two nights. It was pretty sweet, with plenty of extra sleeping space in the living room for the kids. The next morning we headed up to Keystone's Summit Learning Area for more skiing. Jungle Jim had arranged to meet us there for another lesson with F.

Meanwhile C, M, and I did our thing until around 1:00. Skiing for two is kind of tough work after a while, but it was a lot of fun.

We were all pretty wiped out, but after lunch and some rest time back at the condo, we made a half-hearted effort to get back up on the slopes. The wind had picked up and it was getting dark, so that outing didn't last long.

The living room of our condo in Keystone

Saturday morning we had to pack up and check out. We had planned to do some ice skating at the lake there in Keystone, but the parking situation was kind of crazy, so we just decided to hit the road. On our way east, we stopped by the Herman Gulch trail head to play in the snow for a few minutes.

Herman Gulch Trail

A weather system had moved in on Saturday, bringing some much-needed snow to the mountains. So on Sunday I just couldn't help myself - I was back at Loveland for a morning of solo skiing. In truth, it was the only chance I had to get any normal skiing in for the weekend. It was amazing and beautiful. The snow was good enough that I was emboldened to try some runs I hadn't done before (I think I found a new favorite); by noon I had run myself into the ground and it was great!

At the top of lift 6, Loveland Basin

And I got back into town just in time to meet the rest of the family at ABC Kids Climbing in Boulder to belay my kids on a couple of routes before going home to relax. Sometimes it's hard not to feel like the luckiest man in the world, but I hope that everyone is out there having this much fun.

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