Xscape from Aspen
I left Aspen in the middle of a snowstorm Thursday. After a week of all things X writing about Xhilarating X-Games athletes, drinking Xtreme cocktails at VIP parties and having X-rated fun with some visiting friends I was flat out Xhausted.It was time to get out of town. I didn’t care about the powder days I was missing. I forgot I was supposed to race for my team Sunday in the Aspen Times Town Race Series.I just wanted to be somewhere else other than here, so I jumped in my car and took off – driving through a whiteout on Vail Pass, then taking the back way to Boulder through Black Hawk and Nederland.After a relaxing dinner with my parents Thursday night, I called my old friend Andy to see if he wanted to go snowboarding Friday. We opted to skip the I-70 hassle and head to Eldora, above Nederland, our old stomping ground when we were in middle school. If you’ve never been to Eldora, you’re not missing much.Think Buttermilk, except a little smaller and without any high-speed lifts. Also, without much snowfall, and with consistent winds, Eldora’s icy runs feel more like Vermont than Colorado.Still, the place has its own unique charm, like Loveland or Cooper. There are some fun glades on the mountain’s back side, and the groomed runs down the front are great for letting it rip. The snowboard park is also a good time – a throwback of sorts, with odd-looking rails and tiny jumps that could use a little work.Anyway, after a few runs with Andy, I felt like a normal person again. The slow chairlift rides were great for some good conversations, and the ensuing jaunts down the mountain were the perfect remedy for a long week sitting in front of a computer in the press tent.I don’t plan on going back to Eldora anytime soon. But I’m glad to know it’s there If I ever need to.Avalanche reportBackcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable above treeline and moderate with pockets of considerable for wind-loaded areas at treeline. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Watch for recent tender soft and hard slab formation in wind-exposed areas. Travel one at a time in avalanche-prone terrain.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.
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Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center has contributed to the state’s avalanche center for several years to help with forecasting for backcountry visitors. It cannot hold in-person fundraisers this year so its asking supporters to sign up for an annual membership.