Friday, February 8, 2008

Sally Barber Mine and Big Air

Last Saturday, we took a day off from skiing and snowboarding, and instead we went on a snowshoe hike to the remains of the Sally Barber mine. The hike starts just a couple miles outside downtown Breckenridge, so not surprisingly, it was quite popular. We saw several groups of cross-country skiers on our way out to the mine and back.

We started hiking up through some lovely forest, with typical Summit County mountain views:

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After just 1.5 miles or so, we reached the mine:

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It’s situated in a beautiful spot, on an outcrop with views of the Keystone ski area in the background:

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Here’s the view from right behind the mine remains:

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After a few minutes of enjoying the views, we were joined by a dog that kept jumping on us and gnawing at our hands. Then its owners showed up, a couple of cross-country skiers, who offered to take our picture:

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After that, we headed back down.

We had seen in the local newspaper, the “Summit Daily,” that the U.S. Freeskiing Open was going on at Copper Mountain, which is just a few miles west of Breck off I-70. So that evening, we headed out there to watch the Big Air competition. That’s where skiers go off a huge jump and do massive tricks in the air. The Switch 1080 was by far the most popular trick in this year’s competition – that’s where a skier goes into the jump backwards, does three full rotations in the air, and lands backwards. Many skiers spiced it up a bit with grabs in the air.

We were in the front row, so we had a great view of all the action. After his first jump, Jossi Wells, an X-Games medalist from New Zealand, came over to his posse right next to us and debated the merits of various possible tricks that he could do on his second jump. Wells was a fan favorite after his interview with the two sportscasters who were commentating for the SkiNet webcast of the event. While most of the interviews were inane, Wells spiced his up with some off-the-wall answers.

We watched the qualifying round, where 39 skiers each did two jumps, with the best score counting. Then the top eight moved on to the quarterfinals, which were a head-to-head single-jump competition to make the semis. At that point, we were freezing, so we headed out. The next morning, we found out that Jossi Wells had made it to the final, where he lost to Colby West. Some pretty cool photos of the event are online here.

3 comments:

Dharshan said...

Thats a great view from the top!

twoinatent said...

Yeah, and imagine if it had been a sunny day! It's amazing how many ski mountains are around here. From Breck, you can see Keystone and Copper. From A-Basin, you can see Keystone and Breck, and so on.

Ellie said...

Well written article.