Saturday, January 09, 2010

Skiing at Brainard

I had a beautiful day of back country skiing up near the Brainard Lake Recreation Area with one of my friends who's also been laid off.  It's about 50 minutes of driving on icy, snow packed twisty mountain roads to get there but the roads were plowed and sanded and I drive like a little old lady in those conditions so it was no problem.

The combination of the 10,000 ft elevation and steep, hilly trails made for a challenging day.

Waldrop Trail

It's been years since I've skiied on the Waldrop Trail and I'd forgotten how challenging it is with some super steep hills on a huge camber with turns and rocks thrown in for good measure.  I had to get off my skis and walk down a hill or two because the camber was too scary but I made it down one crazy ass steep hill without needing a new pair of pants.  Just.  The portion of trail shown above is a not so bad part but you can see how rolling it is.  I didn't realize it but it's rated as a black diamond (difficult) trail and I have a friend who took a bad tumble off his mountain bike and cut himself open on one of the hills.  We were rewarded with a nice view of Mt. Audubon at the end though so it was worth it.

Mt. Audubon is the highest mountain in Colorado that I've hiked to the top of.  It's something over 13,000 ft.  I don't like hiking for very long or very high above treeline, it's rocky and I find it boring, so I have yet to attempt a 14er.

I was bundled up in a lot of clothes for skiing but it was cold and I was dressed just right.

We opted to take an easier blue diamond (intermediate) level trail home (CMC South).

My friend insisted on shooting some video so you can have a laugh at me shuffling through the snow.  I do not have crazy mad kick-glide skilz.

I was on the lookout for moose the whole time since there'd been a number of sightings and we came across a guy who saw a pair of bull moose but they were about a mile away in the wrong direction and I figured that by the time we got there they'd be long gone.  Didn't see any this time but maybe that's a good excuse to make another trip up there.  I think I'll wait for the next snow though because the predictions for sunny skies and temps. in the high 40's, low 50's for the next week down here in town sounds to good to leave behind for the cold high country.  Maybe the agility field will even be melted by next week and we can get back to work on those darn weave pole entries.


  1. That looks fantastic. I envy you!

    What kind of dog boots do yours wear, and do they stay on?

  2. I think these are the modern day version of what Lola is wearing:
    But I bought them maybe 6-7 years ago so I could be remembering the wrong name and they look a bit different from the ones in the photo but kinda the same basic idea.

    Strummer's are made by Ruffwear and I checked their site but can't find any booties that are similar. I bought them many years ago heavily marked down out of the bargain bin. I don't like the booties that they now have with the really hard sole because I worry about what that would do to their gait and their feet. I have no proof that it's a problem but I've seen those types of boots in the store and it's something that would worry me. I noticed that you can now buy sock liners as well which made me laugh. As if it isn't a big enough pain to get the booties on 8 paws.

    The booties mostly stay on depending on how good I am about putting them on. It's all about getting them on tightly enough without them being too tight that it hurts them (I've done that too). Also I discovered Lola was clenching her paw and curling her toes under when I put her bootie on so I had to help her relax her foot all the way into the bootie before I tightened the strap.

    They have more of a tendency to come off if the dogs are running off leash in deep snow than if they're trotting along on leash on a snow packed sidewalk.

  3. One other thing, Lola's booties have a cuff at the top and I see the new version doesn't. I'd avoid booties with a cuff at the top because it's a huge nuisance to get their paws through it and it doesn't help at all except with maybe keeping snow from falling into the bootie.

  4. Beautiful scenery! Snow is cold but it sure can be gorgeous. I loved my 2 days in the snow over new year's.