With four wild fires burning in our county the past few weeks this last weekend’s weather was awesome. Friday night rain came through that lasted more than four minutes and turned out to be a soaker. Saturday morning was the bonus round with more rain and fog. The storm came in quiet. Little to no lightning and thunder. Nothing beats a Fall morning with rain hitting the metal roof to let the ‘soul unwind.’
Quote of the Week: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ski Haus Bike Repair Shop Manager, James Koch, riding the new Flash of Gold Trail near Buffalo Pass, Colorado. Riding your bike gives you plenty of time to think and sort out priorities. Today being September 11th – it is the perfect day for a bit of reflection. A good day to remember. A good day to look forward. Be kind. Be helpful. Every new day is the perfect opportunity to be grateful.
Photo: Tom Scilacci
Quote of the Week: “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude. Brene Brown
I am always amazed at how much better I feel when I am on a wilderness trail. And it’s not that I’m feeling bad, or stressed, or upset about anything earlier… It’s just out on a trail or bushwacking between trails exploring new terrain – how much better I feel when I’m out there. What is it about the aroma of a pine forest, or hearing the sound of a mountain creek, or the minutes spent examining a tiny spruce struggling to grow out of an old gray stump cut long ago… what is it about those things that makes a soul feel complete? Perhaps it is simple rejuvenation both within the self and the wild. What is perceived as old simply isn’t…
Quote of the Week: “What is the scent of water?” “Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.” Elizabeth Goudge,
Yes, the total eclipse of the sun was spectacular. Yes, it was incredibly special. We drove from Steamboat Springs through North Park, the towns of Walden, Cowdry, Riverside, and Medicine Bow. We found a dirt road that cut north and drove on it for miles and miles… and then drove more miles… in our determination to find the perfect secluded eclipse spot away from thousands of people who had the exact idea. We kinda felt crazy for the effort.
Our dirt road paid off. The further we went the fewer people we saw and we found our perfect spot way out on the Wyoming high plains. Far from any town. Far from the crowds.
When the eclipse first began it wasn’t even noticeable. But that soon changed.
As the moon traveled its path blocking the sun we compared the dimming eclipse light with the familiar light we know… sunset light, sunrise light and the shadowless light from approaching thunderstorms… nothing compared. We were experiencing a new world. We felt like we were on a brand new planet.
The temperature easily dropped 10 to 12 degrees. We stared up into the sky and watched the thinnest sliver of the sun disappear. The second we took the glasses off and realized what we were seeing – it was a shock of spectacular!
Looking at the corona, seeing the sphere of light, knowing the sun should be blinding us but witnessing the total eclipse in its place was stunning. Were do you look to take it all in? Look around to take in light you’ve never seen before? Look up at the sun and the moon and the corona you’ve never seen before? Take a picture to record it the best you can? Sit still and only look up?
Once the eclipse was over comprehension slowly came around we realized how special an event this was. The few minutes you have to take it all in is not enough. For now I can only dream of it for more of it. About half way home we realized it would have been crazy not to make the effort to see it.
Photos: MS and CJ
Quote of the Week: “I’ve been around a long time, and life still has a whole lot of surprises for me.” Loretta Lynn
What is it about feeling like you can touch the clouds? Is it a sense of flying? Perhaps being at a higher elevation, with the clouds so close, a sense a heaven on earth overtakes a person. Or maybe, it is just wilderness and beauty and quiet and a feeling of solitude that stops you in your tracks and you know this is dang good. Maybe that is enough. Maybe all that this is called is satisfaction…
Quote of the Week: “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” E. O. Wilson
Getting above treeline in the mountains around Steamboat Springs is the perfect prescription to getaway from the summer holiday crowds in town and beat the heat of summer. The alpine tundra is bursting in color. The deepest of snowdrifts still linger offering a cooling effect and boot skiing for humans and great opportunities for dogs to roll in winter memories. Ahh. Time to head for the hills. (Flat Tops Wilderness, Colorado)
Photo: CJ and MS
Quote of the Week: “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” David McCullough Jr.
It is amazing to think about how deep the snow gets around here and how smothering and monochromatic winter can be. So once winter loosens its grip on the Yampa Valley and it begins to green up the shock of color is stunning. Each Spring and Summer, even though we know the grasses and flowers will grow, even though we know aspen trees will leaf with new green, and the pines and spruce will extend their branches and tops – their beauty is never any less stunning.
Very near the beginning of the Silver Creek Trail there is a magnificent crop of Columbine. No they are not rare. Yes, you can find these wildflowers just about anywhere. The question is did you go look?
We suggest you shorten your work week by a day or two. Schedule a long lunch break. Rip that to-do list in half and get out and look and see. Ready? Set. Go.
Quote of the Week: “The precision of naming takes away from the uniqueness of seeing.” Pierre Bonnard
Creating a list of reasons to live in Colorado would be pointless. Fun, but pointless. First, the list would be spectacularly long both in number of reasons and time to create it. And then some may take issue with the numerical order in which it was created. Nonetheless, lets just assume for a moment sunsets are on that list somewhere… Nothing quite puts an exclamation point on the end of a spectacular day like a spectacular Colorado sunset. Here’s to great days and great endings.
Quote of the Week: “Living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Hans Christian Andersen
It is the little things that make a hike or even an entire day special. A little color catches your eye just enough to make you stop and look a little closer. Sure enough, a tiny Calypso Orchid, surviving tons of wind during the day and the overnight chill, to bring a burst of color to the forest floor. Thankfully, when the hype of the world says we are too busy, there is too much going on, there is not enough time – there are the times that prove that narrative false. Make time and keep your eyes open for the little things that will make your day special.
Quote of the Week: “Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. Sharon Draper
Living in the mountains lets you experience the changing seasons multiple times. Down in the valleys flowers bloomed a couple weeks back, aspen leafed out about three weeks early, while higher up the snowpack is taking its time melting out. As the snowpack drops we get to chase the next set of blooming plants and flowers the higher we climb. Spring can last for months if you’re willing to find it again and again. This Serviceberry bush just bloomed a day ago. Who will be next?
Quote of the Week: “It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” Winston Churchill
Dominguez Canyon Wilderness at sunrise. Ski Haus staff member, Kyle Babcock, had heard of Dominguez Canyon but had never been… so he took care of that detail and went exploring. Last week when the weather up high in the mountains was a bit rainy and unsettled, Kyle went west, lost a little elevation and found the Uncompahgre Plateau to his liking. No people, dry and cool, fade in and out trails, and beautiful light. Even if you’re not ready, maybe now is good time to go explore. Ask Kyle…
Photo: Kyle Babcock
Quote of the Week: “In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. Charles Lindbergh
Thunderstorms usually give you warnings. Usually you get chances to adjust your route, retreat, or hunker down. But not always. “Where did that come from,” is a familiar expression when a storm seems to appear out of the blue. Mountain weather is the hardest for meteorologists to make reliable weather forecasts. Usually the meteorologists are pretty darn wrong for forecasts made for the Steamboat area. The folks who have been fooled by predicted weather once are different from the folks who have yet to be snookered. Folks who have been fooled once, having been lead astray by meteorological gospel, are the folks who always pack rain gear no matter the color of the sky.
Quote of the Week: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady
We have been in luck this past week with snow and rain rolling up through our valley and over the high passes around Steamboat Springs. Spring is such a wild time of year around here. We watch the aspen tree’s new, green buds, slowly chase the melting snowpack higher and higher up the ridges that define our valley. New Green. Thunderstorm Grey. Bluebird Blue. Runoff Brown. Highwater White… just a few of our favorite colors of the season.
Quote of the Week: “Light in Nature creates the movement of colors.” Robert Delaunay
We guess there are three kinds of mountain people (certainly there are more – we’re just writing a photo caption here). There are those who hang onto winter and ski for as long as they can without even thinking of getting out a bike for a ride until they’re forced. And there are folks who drop skiing like a hot rock and switch to biking as quickly as they can making skiing a small distant memory. And then there are the folks who diplomatically continue to ski and ride on any given day. It’s tough to figure. Even the closest of friends can be one or the other and the great thing is they always remain friends!
Quote of the Week: “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” Isaac Asimov
Ski Haus employess, Kyle and A.J., spent the day splitboarding and alpine tour skiing over at the Nokhu Crags near Cameron Pass east of Steamboat Springs. We love this photo of the Crags, the big mountains, its coulior, and the spindrift snow floating and flying by. If you lived in a snowglobe, perhaps this is the scene you’d choose. Peaceful, idyllic, with deep snow!
Photo: Kyle Babcock
Quote of the Week: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
The forecast for yesterday’s Rabbit Ears Pass Marathon (17 or 34k skate race) was for a sunny mild morning. What we received was grapple and wind. It made for a chilly warm up. The track conditions were pretty solid to start. Or let’s say, “rock solid” to start. But what are you going to do? You sign up and line up! Overall, the day and the race was great fun and very successful. Thanks to the Steamboat Nordic Council for sponsoring the race and a huge thanks to Steamboat Snowmobile Tours for the wonderful course and letting us ski up there.
Quote of the Week: “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Henry Ford
Big days in big mountains. Corey Armstrong and Kevin McGarity went big in the nearby Gore Range and put their Alpine Touring skills to a good test climbing and then skiing “Oh What Big Eyes You Have,” East Red Peak, Gore Range, Colorado.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “Adventure is worthwhile.” Aristotle
Timing. Being at the right spot at the right time with the best people possible. That is where our Kevin McGarity found himself last Fall. On an extended road trip, rock climbing at some of the best spots throughout the West, he found himself at just such a time and a place. Above, Scott Eden stands atop Whiskey Peak after climbing Epinephrine, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. The rock climbing season is fast approaching… The road trip season, conveniently, shares the same timing.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go. Yogi Berra
We know this image isn’t the most dramatic but it was taken while cross country skiing up on Rabbit Ears Pass yesterday. In the far distance is the Flat Tops Wilderness and you can just make out the beginnings of a winter storm brewing over its table topped heights. The high country – where stout winter storms are born. When you see a storm brewing over the high peaks and backing down and filling in the valleys below as apposed to a storm just sweeping in low from the west – you can count on a good wintery blow. Today we are seeing the results of those early high skiffs… strong winds, consistent snowfall, and cold. Just the way we like it. Nice effort, Old Man Winter. We’re happy to see you back!
Quote of the Week: “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir
The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series hosted by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount continued this past Sunday with the Lake Catamount Nordic Marathon. The day was spectacular with cold cold temperatures, and big blue sky, an immaculate groom, really fun course options, and donuts at the finish! Above, Toni (helping with timing) and Jessica (skated the 14k), from Ski Haus offer up some big smiles for the day. If you are interested in the race results – click here. The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour is all about participation. We love to see folks racing and pushing the pace but if you are interested in a fun ski with friends we are equally excited (if not more so) to see you sign up and line up and be counted!
Quote of the Week: “We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
The ebb and flow of winter includes lots of cycles. Snow and blue sky. Freezes and thaws. Growing snowpack. Settling snowpack. Deep powder. Crust. Days of darkness. Days of longer light… This icicle captures much of what has been happening these past few weeks in and around Steamboat Springs. We’ve experienced a bit of mild spell here. Not much snow lately. Warm temperatures have been teasing the brain into thinking Spring. Ahh, but caution is advised. Don’t be looking for sprouting bulbs just yet. Icicles grow not only with warmth but cold. Fingers are crossed for a healthy return to winter, falling snow, cold, wind, and low-hanging, intimate clouds. Winter may have taken a hiatus but you can bet on its return.
Quote of the Week: “Now all you can do is wait. It must be hard for you, but there is a right time for everything. Like the ebb and flow of tides. No one can do anything to change them. When it is time to wait, you must wait.” Haruki Murakami
And now for something completely different. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Ski Haus employee, Kevin McGarity, took an extended road trip this past fall. He took some climbing courses to continue his guiding certifications, did some exploring on his own, and made plenty of new friends along the way. With at least two more solid months of winter we thought a little warm weather day dream was in order. Here’s to a 15 second break from shoveling, snowblowing, plowing, skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, snowshoeing, and bundling up! Climb on!
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean
A late Sunday afternoon cross country ski tour on Rabbit Ears Pass is a perfect way to wrap up a weekend. The bright, almost harsh, midday light softens as the shadows stretch across the snowpack reaching for the East. As the temperature drops, icicles on the tall, snow-smothered spruce trees lengthen as the last bit of water freezes into place. Beauty surrounds us in this winter wonderland. A few snow flurries fall and rise and sail on the faintest of breezes bracing our faces with a deepening chill. Rosy cheeks, smiles, warm skiers gliding along a track. Chickadees. The sounds of happiness.
Quote of the Week: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Gary Snyder
The 2017 Ski Haus Classic Nordic Ski Race was held yesterday at the Lake Catamount Ski Touring Center. This event is part of the Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series sponsored by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount. We had a record number of skiers turn out and everyone had a great time. We had skiers from Summit County and from the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park make the trek over to Steamboat. The NSCD athletes did awesome and we were psyched to see them come and race! We posted a few of our favorite photos on the Ski Haus Facebook Page. Keep up the great skiing everyone!
Quote of the Week: “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh
Winter comes in many forms. Soft powdery snow, really cold temperatures, long dark nights, and… ice. Ice climbing Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs is a rush. The hike to the falls gets your adrenaline pumping as you meander around powder puff coated rocks in the creek up to the vertical ice. The sound of flowing water is compressed and muffled. The scale of the falls and the canyon walls becomes real the deeper you work your way back. And then there is the sound of ice screws clanking, and ice tools thumping into ice and suddenly your winter perspective has changed. Winter becomes more in tune with your psyche. Winter is not something to be battled – only enjoyed.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Wilhelm von Humbold