Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Snowshoeing Copper

Tuesday, February 26, was another powder day, this time with about 6” of new snow and clearing skies. The view from the condo in the morning was amazing:

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Mom and Lisa were tired from the adventures of the day before. Despite Brian’s protests that it was just wrong not to be skiing on a powder day, we headed to Copper Mountain for the snowshoeing hike we’d blown off the day before.

The snowshoe tour is sponsored by Redfeather and led by volunteer guides, and it’s free. That’s pretty amazing in an area where they seem to charge for everything, and most often charge really exorbitant fees. The hike is a three-mile jaunt on Forest Service land that Copper leases adjacent to the ski mountain. Part of the hike is in a lower part of the Guller Creek drainage, which is the same drainage we’d followed to Janet’s Cabin a couple of weeks earlier.

There were eleven of us on the hike and two guides. One of the guides brought along his dog, Bella. Bella bounded around with endless energy, delighting in the snow:

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The day continued to clear and shine on the newly fallen snow:

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Lisa took a minute to pose in front of the mountains:

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We eventually came to a large open area with more amazing views:

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At this point, the guide took the opportunity to show us how to get out of deep powder if you fall. The idea is to cross your poles, lay them on the snow, and use them to push yourself back up. As the youngest and most energetic member of the group, Lisa was volunteered to demonstrate. Here she is rolling in the snow and then recovering:

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Here we are continuing along the trail:

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Shortly, we entered a more wooded section:

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At one point, the guide pointed out a little decorated tree that the volunteers maintain as a “Christmas/Mardi Gras” tree throughout the winter. In the spring they undecorated it to leave the forest in its natural state.

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A little further along, there was a short but steep bank on the side of the trail with a rock at the top. The guide told us it was good luck to walk around the rock, so Lisa, Brian and Sarah promptly raced to the top. Lisa then decided that instead of walking around the rock she would jump off it:

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The trip finished off by retracing our steps from early in the hike. We passed back by the stable that houses the horses used for sleigh rides:

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Back at the condo, the clear day made for more pretty views:

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We finished the day with a soak in the hot tub:

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