Sourdough Trail Ski Traverse

The Sourdough Trail is ~15 miles of classic Nordic ski tour terrain.

A steepish climb of about 1500' elevation gain, then almost all downhill to Peaceful Valley.

What made this ski tour especially attractive was the fresh snow that fell in the few days before
we attempted our tour.

What a gorgeous way to spend a Saturday. The day had those magical Colorado winter qualities of blue skies, intense sunshine, fresh powder and gorgeous scenery. Life really does not get much better than that.

The cast of characters involves my usual companions as of late: Terry and Mike "D-low". Also with us were Kelda, Theresa and Colorado newcomer Deanna.

We met at Moe's Bagels for the all important morning coffee (as D-low is finding out quite quickly, I am just shy of useless without my morning coffee!) and greasy bagel sandwich fix.

Properly fueled, we split into two cars so as to park a car on both ends of the route. A quick shuttle and we debarked at the Rainbow Lakes TH.

At the start of our day. L>R: D-low, Terry, Deanna, Kelda, Theresa

The day, as mentioned, was simply gorgeous. I can not over emphasize how much fresh powder can contribute to a memorable day. The sun reflects on the snow so that the fresh powder sparkles. You get into a Zen-like mode as you glide along. Even the climbs seem to go by quick as everywhere you look is just clear skies and mountains covered with snow.

We made our way to the high point of our route. The view can be described as expansive. Looking over the tops of the pines covered with snow, the foothills to the East, and we could see all the way to Pikes Peak. Throw in some warm sun, and it was a perfect place for a quick snack.

Looking East towards the foothills and the plains.

Then the fun began. A mainly downhill jaunt to Peaceful Valley. We skied past the zoo that is Brainard Lake and made our way to St. Vrains creek. A perfect lunch spot. As usual, I whipped out my thermos full of hot mocha (more caffeine!) and pulled out a surprise that is only present this time of the year: GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! Samoas and Thin Mints always make the day go well.

We proceeded on.

Due to the rolling downhill nature of the final part, we made excellent time. Near the Beaver Reservoir, we were able to look up and notice the very windy divide. I was thankful for being in the trees for most of the day!

One last lovely downhill spurt on a trail that had seen NO ONE (freshest of the fresh powder), and we made it to the car parked at the other end of the trail.

This day was easily one of the best days I've had this winter. All the ingredients were there. The magical Colorado day alluded to earlier, a good group of people and remarkable ski touring terrain. It is days like this where I am thankful for the life I have made for myself in my adopted home state.

Fifteen or so miles, and many smiles, later we finished.

After this epic and wonderful day, D-low, Deanna and I went to my favorite post-winter fun place: the Kathmandu restaurant in Ned. What better way to end the day than a glass of wine accompanied by some delicious Nepali food? Life truly is good. And I don't see any reason why it won't continue to be good..or get even better.

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