Last Day of Winter – First Day of Spring

February and March have been, mainly, a bust for me.

Work has quite literally been making me sick (twice!), there has been a lot of last-minute weekend evening work that  has gone south, and my time bank has been taking a hit. The warm winter means that the skiing conditions have been mixed, too.

Makes for a grumpy guy.

But I did get some skiing in on this weekend that spanned both seasons. And not only according to the calendar, but also according to the weather.

Saturday was truly winter. I did a classic Nordic tour on (new to me) skinny skis perfect for covering distance. I typically buy any new winter equipment at this time of the year as it is less expensive.

The day was truly winter. Cold snow, fairly powdery (if still somewhat wet snow in spots) and gray skies.  It was nice to have a taste of winter after all the warm weather.

A nice ~15 mile out and back was had along the single track Nordic trail.

Being asked for some photos recently for various outdoor projects, and realizing most photos of me are about two years old or more, I attempted to take a winter photo.

Alas, I look merely pissed off about something instead. 🙂 Note to myself: Wait until you do a trip with a friend if you need new photos.

paul-mags
Serious bearded guy look. Now with more gray!

I had an uneventful, if enjoyable, ski back, quickly unpacked my gear and then proceeded to work from ~7PM until 12:30AM. 🙁   (My understanding boss is addressing this issue..)

On Sunday, due to my late work night, I slept in a bit and did a ski a little bit closer to home than I had originally planned. If Saturday was winter day, then Sunday was truly the first day of spring.  The snow was crustylicious or slushy depending on if the snow was in the shade or in the sun. On the way up to the trail head, I noticed how much snow melted versus less than twenty fours previously. Amazing.

I’d ski up to near Niwot Ridge. Even the road was a bit steepish. My seldom used Tele rig would be the gear of choice.

The snow was sticking to my climbing skins or icing up a bit in the shade. But it was beautiful day out and I enjoyed being out.

I soon reached the boundary of the nearby Boulder Watershed.

The city of Boulder actually “owns” a glacier that is the town’s water supply. The forbidden zone, as I call it, is off-limits to most people. Some high peaks aren’t accessible, most of the lakes and the glacier of course I’ve long heard of people who patrol this area. And a recent Colorado Public Radio detailed how people live at, and monitor, the watershed full-time. I always thought that would be a fantastic job.

Well, I had the chance to ask as I saw two people patrolling right at the boundary on snowmobiles.  They were very friendly and polite, but firm, in wanting to make sure I didn’t descend into the watershed and did not go past the fence line. I assured them I would not.  I cracked the joke I get in trouble with my a past partner already..didn’t need to tell her I was getting fined as well! They laughed and wished me a good day.

I made it to a clearing, called it good, had my hot drink and continued to notice how rapidly everything was melting.

I took one last view, skied down and wondered if this may be the last ski for a bit? Time to look to points west and south for some backpacking!

 

2 thoughts on “Last Day of Winter – First Day of Spring

  1. I find it funny they are worried about people, but not worried about the pollutants their transportation choice spews in the same area.
    Sounds like fun.

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