Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gondola Evacuation

About a week and a half ago, my husband and I joined about 150 other volunteers to help the Breckenridge Mountain ski patrollers practice evacuating people (and dogs and kids) from gondola cars, in case of breakdown. We lined up at 8:30 AM to sign waivers, eat donuts, and get assigned to groups of 4-5 people per gondola car. Then we loaded into the cars, were sent up the mountain, and the lift attendants stopped the gondola when we were all in place. Then we waited while ski patrollers climbed up the nearest up hill tower then worked their way down the cable to the gondola cars below that tower. Our car was the third one evacuated by our team of patrollers. We were suspended above the Cucumber Gulch wetlands in the Breckenridge Nordic Center grounds.

In the first photo below, a ski patroller is standing on top of the gondola car uphill of us. He has finished evacuating that car, is hooked onto the gondola cable, and is about to slide down that cable to our car. In the second photo, I'm being lowered to the ground in the "diaper". The last two photos show my husband being lowered.

After we were gently lowered to the ground, we walked out on the hiking/snowshoe trail to the road, then back down to the base of the gondola, where we were served a delicious barbecue lunch as a thank-you for our volunteer service. A great way to spend the morning!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


A few days ago, a neighborhood friend called us to say that moose were currently hanging out near the retention pond below the Peak 8 Base of the Breckenridge Ski Area. My husband went up and took some photos of the large critters, and I'm sharing them below. Along with black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and foxes, they're just some of the wildlife that we share our town and its environs with.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visiting the Bristlecone Pines on Windy Ridge

Last week, my husband and I and some neighbors drove to Alma, Colorado, to visit the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, established by the U.S. National Forest Service on Windy Ridge overlooking the town. Some of the trees are over 1000 years old. As you can see from the photos below, Windy Ridge lives up to it's name. The force of the winds has bent the trees over. The wind even made it hard to walk straight!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Hiking to CJ's Cabin

I've hiked from my home to CJ's Cabin on the Breckenridge Ski Mountain between Peaks 9 and 10, three times in last three weeks. It's about a 3 hour round-trip. Once was a scouting hike with my husband and a neighbor couple to make sure I knew where it was. The second time, a week later, I led six other members of my Women With Altitude hiking group up to the cabin. And the latest time was a few days ago with a neighbor friend after a snowfall the night before. Below are some photos of the last trip. I now feel qualified to lead this hike anytime!

The stream burbling down Lehman Trail on the return trip.

Notice the ice forming on the branches crossing the stream below.

The view across the valley, with fresh snow on the mountains.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fall Colors on Angler Mountain Trail

Here are some photos from last week's hike on the Angler Mountain Trail near Silverthorne, Colorado.