Sunday, May 8, 2011

Last Day at Loveland - Arizona Trail Record

It was closing day at Loveland, and Will-J and I went up to enjoy our one day of spring skiing (it was 14 degrees last weekend up there). I found it surprisingly subdued - it was fairly quiet, and the promised band was still fiddling around with their equipment when we left at 2:30 or so.

It was an interesting contrast to closing day at Crested Butte - when I worked there, closing day was an outrageous party. At Loveland, people put on their Hawaiian shirts and ski around. Oh, and other people cordon off large areas of the (nasty dirt) parking lot with police tape to host "private" parties. So that I can't get to my car with my tired son. Boo on private taped-off parties in the Loveland parking lot.

Our goal today was to take every lift. Will-J did just fine. Here he is at the top of Lift 9 on the Continental Divide:

video

And here he is mugging by the West Ropes:




We won't be renewing our Loveland passes next year, and as we drove off I was a bit sentimental - Loveland helped keep me sane during a particularly difficult job period this year, and on one cold January day I had one of the best days of skiing in years. But the terrain is limited, and they do a few weird things practically designed to annoy season ticket holders (like practically give away tickets on random weekends/closing the Valley too early). It was a good year to hold a pass - they nearly broke the snowfall record. What's next? Catherine says Copper, but I'm not sure.

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I've enjoyed following Mr. Bradley/Krudmeister/Monstro on his record breaking Arizona Trail trip. The cracks on my feet haven't even healed yet from my own minor adventure, and here is this guy hiking the whole thing in something like two weeks. It's like a Cliff Notes version of my hike. He posts a photo from the Superstitions, and then the next day he posts a photo from the East Verde River. Um, those two places are separated by 100 miles of really difficult terrain (to put it mildly). And now it takes a turn for the weird - apparently there's someone out there racing him for the record. They're passing each other out there at night and whatnot - there was a veiled accusation of someone cutting trail.

Which of course reminds me of the epic Continental Divide Trail yo-yo battle between The Onion and Mr. Magoo. These guys are out there, doing crazy superhuman mileage, in many cases without a net. To me, it's petty/compulsive and compelling simultaneously.

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