Monday, July 20, 2009

St. Mary's Glacier Hike/Ski

See PHOTOS from our adventure HERE
See a sort VIDEO from our adventure HERE or at end of post.

Yes, Hike and Ski! We got our turns in for July this past Saturday at St. Mary's Glacier. 10 consecutive months of skiing now, hoping to hit 20 at some point.

St. Mary's Glacier stays around all summer and is only about an hour drive from Denver. Once you get to the trail head, there is a short 3/4 mile hike up to the lake. On the far side of the lake, the bottom edge of the Glacier can be seen stretching up the hillside. We made our way around the lake and started up the snow towards the top. There were a few other people hiking up and one guy on skis just finished his descent as we climbed.

The weather was beautiful with blue skies and a bit of a breeze to keep you cool as you hiked. It did not take us long to make it to the top of the Glacier where we threw off our packs and hiked up a bit more over the ridge line to see what was on the other side. You could see the top of James Peak (13,294 ft.) in the distance.

After a quick snack, we strapped on our skis and headed down negotiating the variable and wavy snow conditions. As the snow melts during the summer, wave like patterns are created across the surface of the snow. Tricky to negotiate, especially on teles. But we enjoyed our turns in the dirty snow that was soft in areas and crusty in others. Towards the bottom we saw a large group of snowboarders headed up with rails, shovels and coolers in tow. It would be a great spot to hang out for the weekend and build some jumps. We finished with almost 900 vertical feet under our belts for the month of July.

As we headed down the trail back to the car, with our skis strapped to our packs, we got quite a few inquisitive looks and comments from tourists taking a short day hike to the lake with their kids and dogs.

"Did you go skiing!?", one man asked, "You guys are hardcore!", another women stated. Guess we are hardcore, but we just think of it as a nice walk in the mountains with the opportunity to enjoy where we live.

We are thinking we may head up there again for our August turns. It should still have some pretty good snow pack then as well.

Colorado Rocks!

See PHOTOS from our adventure HERE
See a sort VIDEO from our adventure HERE or below.