I’ve been asked this a few times when I share with family and friends back in Indiana, and who am I kidding, my husband, what I wanted to do a few Sundays ago. I repeat that I want to meet some friends, and my rock star dad, in the parking lot of Mary Jane Ski Area at 6:30am and hike up to Lunch Rock (the restaurant/bar at the top of the mountain), then ski down, ideally before anyone else. I’ve seen folks do it, whether it be on Berthoud Pass, Cranmer to the top of Winter Park, or somewhere off Little Vasquez Road in town. The deal is you find a friend with the same size boots and skis who will let you borrow their Alpine Touring (AT for short) gear, or you head to Icebox Mountain Sports in Fraser and rent some equipment for about $60. I was lucky enough to be able and borrow some! Since we would be in bounds at the ski resort, the standard avalanche safety gear wasn’t necessary. What I did need was a backpack with extra layers, water, a snack and my helmet/goggles for the way down. The gear includes skis with bindings that lift up at the heel so I could actually hike and a pair of skins – think of a carpet like fabric that adheres to the bottom of the ski so you don’t slip when you traverse uphill. After gearing up, the group began the ascent to the top. Staying to skier’s left of the hill, we slowly began to climb. It’s amazing how quickly I was out of breath and sweaty! Taking our time, everyone went at their own pace and stopped periodically to take in the views and some extra oxygen. I snapped a few sunrise pictures (my favorite part) and went on my way. All in all, it took the group about one and a half hours to get to the top. Just in time for the first passengers off the Super Gauge to hop off the lift. Seeing as how we now weren’t going to be the first ones down – the unanimous vote was to head into Lunch Rock and enjoy a Bloody Mary during the 8:30-10:30am happy hour. Best Sunday ever! Now, if I can afford to purchase all the right gear, I might make this a weekly habit.
Author:Amanda Solomon Phone: 303-246-4843 Dated: February 3rd 2017 Views: 1,134 About Amanda: I hail from the mid-west, in Indiana, where I received a BA from Indiana University and moved to Col...
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