29 January 2010

Frisco to Breckenridge and Back

There are those times when you just have to get out and spend a day skiing in the woods. Last Saturday was it for me, a 20 mile roundtrip from Frisco to Breckenridge and back along the Peaks Trail. It's not a real difficult route, but mostly it allowed a bit of solitude, good physical effort and some truly fun backcountry skiing.

The start of the Peaks Trail, just past Rainbow Lake and about 2 miles from where I started from Frisco.

New snow left gorgeous marshmallow lumps in all the creeks.

One of the main intersections along the way - the Miner's Creek Trail heads east to Hwy 9.

Next intersection about another half mile on leads to Wheeler Junction near Copper Mountain ski area and would be a challenging 9 mile trek west. Maybe next time!

Lost the route here and had to break trail in 2-3 foot snow over downed trees and stumps in really gusty winds and blowing snow, but just enough sun to see shadows.

Middle Barton Creek crossing near Breckenridge.

Broke another trail on the way back that was more direct but still a slog.

The treat for all my efforts: a moose! I had just found a loose binding and had taken a break to eat and fix it. When I stood up, there was a moose cow about 20 feet away and I startled her and she took a few strides and made her way behind some trees before I could get the camera out. So beautiful!!

And that was my day in the snow...the 20 miles took about 6 hours, though I did a fair amount of just oggling my surroundings and chatting with the few folks I met along the way. Got lots of kudos for making the roundtrip and numerous comments about wishing they had done the same. Don't we all feel like that sometimes?

22 January 2010

18 January 2010

Ten Mile Canyon Hike

Took advantage of the limited snow to hike the entire North Ten Mile Canyon trail about 10-12 miles roundtrip. 17 below zero to start at 9am, but it warmed up by the time I made the turnaround point under Eccles Pass in the saddle where the trail ends. A great day in the snow.

Saw no creatures or people for over 4 hours. There was a sundog that formed overhead around noon-time but difficult to get a photo of it. So much glorious silence!

Hiking up about 1700 ft. from the trailhead near Frisco, CO. A fairly easy hike.

Amazing snow formations...also creeks had swollen and frozen into huge whalebacks of pure ice, even covering one of the bridges for over 40 ft.

Time for contemplation...and lunch.

Shadow guy...enjoyed sunshine most of the day, but still clod in the trees.

The only tracks were mine at the very end...well, the turnaround point. From here on it was post-holing, even with snowshoes.

Taking a break at the Gore Range trail crossing.