Keystone Ski Day

My wife’s cousin and his family had moved up to Colorado a few years ago. We had meant to visit them sooner, but something made it difficult over the past few years. We put it on the books a couple months before and made it happen.

The main goal was to hang out and get in some good family time, but he does live in Colorado, we were visiting in the winter and he skis. Sounds like I’d be remiss to not have a ski day.

We woke up a around 5am and headed out about 5:30. I figured there’d be traffic but nothing like it was! I feel like we were going 10mph for a 30mins! It took us 3 hours to get there from his house in northwestern Denver, but we made it by 8:30 when the lifts start spinning, so all good!

Got a discounted lift ticket from the cousin’s epic pass a few days beforehand, (still $181), picked it up and we headed for the River Run gondola. After getting up to the top we cruised over to the back side of the mountain to get away from the base area crowds. The first run was pretty crowded but the snow was nice and the sun was out. It’s been many years since I skied a larger ski area and it was nice to be able to cruise for a ways.

We spent the morning cruising the runs on the Outback, never stood in line for more than 5 minutes and the high speed chair gets you back to the top quickly! I found a fantastic tree run with some nice soft snow, and the bump runs had some great lines. The runs weren’t crowded at all on the backside, we had a fun morning and got in 9 runs.

We hit up Labonte’s Smokehouse BBQ at bottom of North Peak for lunch around 1pm. The line was pretty long but they got you through there pretty quickly. The brisket sandwich was pretty tasty for quick on mountain food, and a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale washed it down nicely!

Had a nice afternoon session and found some more good open glade skiing, but I’m not in the greatest of ski shape (day 4 in the past 3 years), and I was starting get pushed around by the mountain around 3pm, so we decided to call it a day.

After the long cruise back to the base area we loaded up and headed back to Denver. I enjoy having Arizona Snowbowl as a place to ski in AZ, but it was nice to be at a bigger resort, the last time was Park City in 2010. I got in 13 runs, felt really good skiing the bumps and tree lines, this was my best day on skis in 10 years!

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