Monday, July 1, 2013

Closing Weekend at A-Basin

After a day of getting repacked in Lake City, I got up early and drove to Arapahoe Basin for closing weekend of the ski season.

North of Salida, Colorado

Breckenridge looked like it still had good snow

And it snowed on me off and on all day at A-Basin (June 7th, mind you)

You can see Breckenridge in the distance and Keystone one ridge over

That's Lake Dillon down in the valley below Keystone.

Panoramic view from the top of A-Basin

After skiing on Friday I got on the Blue River in Silverthorne for an hour or so and caught my first fish of the trip--a 17-inch rainbow.  Then I headed toward Breckenridge to "camp" (read: sleep in the back of my truck) along the Swan River.  Dinner was meager at best, and it was below freezing that night, but the view in the morning was worth it.

The view from just up river of my campsite.

The escape vehicle, complete with a sweet camper top, at "the Beach"--the A-Basin parking lot. 

The East Wall.

On Saturday, quite a crowd gathered to watch people ski across a pond that was forming as the snow melted.  The pond was a few feet deep, but that was more than enough for people to end up completely underwater.  A photographer from the Denver Post was on hand to document the action and got some good shots, including one of me shooting video on a GoPro camera.  My video from the weekend, including me crossing the pond, is at the end of this post, but also check out some more pictures from the Denver Post A-Basin Slideshow.  

Skier crossing the pond.  Photo from Denver Post.

Skier failing to cross the pond.  Photo from Denver Post.

Epic failure on the pond.  That water is barely above freezing.  Photo from Denver Post.

More disaster on the pond.  Photo from Denver Post.

That's me taking in the scene at the pond before I tried it myself.  Hopefully this wasn't my 15 minutes of fame.  Photo from Denver Post. 

The drive back to Lake City took me through Leadville and past some snow-capped fourteeners.

I took the long way over Cottonwood Pass to see some new mountains and get in some fishing on the Taylor River on the way back.  On this side of the pass the snow was so high that this was the best picture I could get despite standing on a boulder and holding my camera up over my head.

The view from Cottonwood Pass toward Taylor Reservoir.

Cottonwood Pass

Taylor Reservoir

The Taylor River roaring through the Taylor Reservoir dam.  The Taylor Reservoir has mysis shrimp that get sucked through the spillway and into the river.  The trout in the river then eat all those shrimp and take on a redish hue (and get big and fat) as a result.  I had a couple of hours that evening on the river and landed about 10 fish, but none of them were especially picture worthy.

The trip to A-Basin was well worth the drive, and it gave me a chance to play around with my new GoPro camera.  The footage was at least originally HD, but I may not have uploaded it in the best format.  I recommend watching it on YouTube, choosing the highest quality (bottom right), and giving it a while to load before trying to watch it.  It includes elements of the following: pond skiing, random people falling, tiny jumps, cheesy slow motion, and me wiping out, as well as dynamite, pole vaulting, and hang gliding.

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