Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bemrose Ski Circus

By Saturday, February 10, we were ready for a day off from skiing and snowboarding. It was a beautiful sunny day, though, so we still wanted to spend some time outside. We looked through our book of Colorado snowshoe hikes and found a place called the Bemrose Ski Circus, which is just south of Breckenridge on Highway 9. The book described it as a short hike, just a mile each way, that offers great views of backcountry skiing. It sounded perfect for a rest day!

The parking lot was right at Hoosier Pass on the Continental Divide:

We crossed the highway and looked back. Even from the road, the views of the surrounding mountains were amazing:

Above the parking lot, we could see some of the skiers’ lines through the snow:

There were a lot of different cross-country ski tracks, so we just picked a set of tracks that went up the mountain and followed them. With the sun beating down, we quickly realized that we were overdressed, so we threw some layers of clothing into our backpack. After skiing at Breck, frequently with below-zero wind chills, being too warm was a very welcome change!

The surface was a little bit crusty, but the snow underneath was often light and fluffy, and we postholed pretty frequently. We got our snowshoes when we lived in the Seattle area, and they work great on the wet, heavy Pacific Northwest snow. On Colorado’s powder, though, we sometimes wish we had bigger snowshoes for better float.

We kept hiking upwards, and the views got even more amazing. Here you can see our snowshoe tracks, right next to the ski tracks we were following, with snow-covered mountains in the background:

Here’s Brian on the trail:

After hiking up the mountain for around an hour, we decided that we didn’t really know where we were going. We didn’t seem to be any closer to the backcountry ski area – it very well may have been down one of the other sets of ski tracks that we hadn’t followed. It had been a beautiful hike, though, with constant amazing views. At the point where we decided to turn around, we took a few more pictures.

Here’s Sarah in her snowshoes:

Then we headed back down. We didn’t reach our planned destination, but a gorgeous day made for a fantastic hike all the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!