Warm skiing and cold hiking

This past  Saturday,  I did a loop I’ve been wanting to do. About 12 miles round trip, and skirting the wilderness boundary in view of the Continental Divide, I figured it would be a good way to spend chunk of the day.

Pushing almost 60F in Boulder, I expected warm snow. A day perhaps best for red wax or even waxless skis.

More like April ski conditions more so than January.

In any case, I made it to the trail head that morning. My usual snow test was done.  I made a very wet snowball.

I had neglected to pack red wax. Damn…

The trails were also very packed down and icy.

Not unexpectedly, I had trouble getting up even modestly steep hills.

As I was herring boning my way up on even the simplest incline, I am sure I amused the many fat bikers out on the trail passing me.

Yes, 2016 is apparently the winter of fat biking in the Front Range of Colorado.

Unusual for this area, I saw no snowshoers.

Everyone is polite and nice, but the etiquette is still being sorted out by most.

Snowshoers usually don’t push far into the trails. Fat bikers do…at least if the conditions are not powdery. In other words, more people are going further back than before.

The road I eventually went up had no bike tracks..but a few ski tracks. Every skier I spoke to had a similar reaction to the snow as I did: “Yeeeech!” 🙂

Eventually I made to where no else had been. I had to break trail. Luckily, and rather enjoyably, I was breaking trail downhill.

The trail was not to be found. But, with some basic map reading, that is not an issue.

I was at the edge of the wilderness boundary and could see the Continental Divide above.

After some easy off-trail skiing, I reached the single track again.

I soon reached where all the fat bikers had turned around and even caught up to some “hike a bike folks.

I suspect the fat bikers turned around soon after I saw them.  They soon passed me on what was now flat trail!

My vehicle was arrived at and the day ended.

A good and vigorous ski day…if not the best snow conditions.

The following day, not wanting to deal with suspect snow where I had originally planned to go skiing, I did a local hike instead.

The new Joder Ranch trail was something I’ve been wanting to check out. On a cold day, with snow on the way (and errands asked to be done by my someone!), it was a perfect and quick hike.

The hike was pleasant more than spectacular… Though, other plans are on the way for this space. For now, I suspect it will be mainly for bicyclists looking for an off-road option to connect to a popular biking route.

 The trail looks to be a lot of old road beds from the very recent ranching days.  It winds near or below a smattering of homes.

Eventually it leaves the edge of plains in Boulder behind and gets into the foothills proper. Native grasses are found.

The trail is perhaps at its most interesting towards the turn around point.

There are many obvious use trails in this area. The Open Space folks have closed them off. Suspect it may be part of the wider trail system planned in the near future?

And now it is snowing rather heavily. A perfect day for some backcountry touring.

Just this work thing gets in the way…..

So it goes…

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