Skiing in Colorado: Where Water Boils at 90 Degrees C

We didn’t realize until arriving, that our resort in Keystone was 10,000 feet above sea level. That’s where water boils at just 90 degrees Celsius.

Unlike last year’s balmy spring skiing in Utah, we were in for a shock this time around. Just before we took off, we looked up temperatures in Keystone to find it a mere 6 degrees F (negative 11 degrees F with windchill). Not having packed for such cold temperatures, Sihao and I had to swing by Sport Authority to pick up some gear – and thank goodness we did!

We arrived in Denver late Sunday afternoon, and before we headed out to the ski resorts, met up with Ms. Rebelle and her boyfriend for dinner. We had met online through another guy’s blog nearly three years ago now, and have kept in touch virtually on all things outdoors and finance. So it was good to finally put a name to the voice and face!

Monday morning, the five of us awoke, excited and anxious to hit the slopes. After much deliberation, we finally decided on skiing at Keystone. It was good to be on skis again, and I was glad I soon found my momentum. But boy, was it cold out! At the top of a one trail which we really loved for the fresh powder, it was a veritable gale. In the words of one of the ski lift operator, there was a couple inches of fresh powder, but most of it was in the air.

The conditions were similarly frigid the second day, but at least this time we were prepared. Pauline and Mike got new baclavas; Sihao and I had new gloves. 🙂 went to Loveland Resort this time, and the snow from the night before gave us even more fresh powder to ski on. Sheer delight!

While Pauline practises her boarding on the gentler slopes, the four of us went in search of some bowls. We did find a relatively nice trail, but the snow was a little crusty. Unfortunately, it was here that Jeff took a pretty nasty fall and hit his head. Thank goodness that be had his helmet on, but the knock left him pretty winded so for good measure we brought him in for a checkup – and hooked him up to some oxygen (much to Sihao’s envy).

Pauline and Mike left the third day, which was a pity as the sun finally came out. It was the best ski day ever! Jeff felt re-energized by the oxygen, enough to ski again, so the three of us headed to A Basin for a half day’s skiing. Simply perfect skiing conditions! We had seven inches of fresh powder and miles of gorgeous runs down waist deep snow in certain parts. Though we were all by then pretty sore from the past two days, we still tackled the moguls with glee – and much more confidence.

So therein ends my skiing for the season, and most likely the year. Already looking forward to next year though! On the agenda: perhaps Idaho, where I will bag my 45th state; perhaps somewhere else in Europe. 🙂


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