Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snowed in on Summit Peak

I wish my cellphone hadn't run low on batteries this weekend....
Otherwise we might have a plethora of crazy white-out photos from the mountain top!

It started out as a family ski trip plus Moriya, with all of us bunked up at Lake Dillon for the weekend. Then one teething toddler plus one screaming baby next door (impressively thin hotel walls!) meant Cortney managed less than 4 hours' rest our first night out. She weenied out instead, bailing on Saturday skiing & taking one for the team to hang with an exhausted toddler all day. And despite sleep deprivation, Dan & Moriya still went to play at Keystone until well after sunset, which was just about when the storm began....

By Sunday morning, Moriya was selling Daniel on an early departure time.

And no time would've apparently been early enough, given how things turned out!

Moriya still made it to the mountain Sunday.
Dan and I stayed back, managing to pack the room and car, stick Mason on a sled, and discover that while the little fella fancies the snow, he doesn't particularly enjoy it being whipped into his face on bone-piercing gusts of gale-force arctic wind.

Who knew??

We made our way up to Keystone early though, loaded up, and began venturing back to I-70 by 2 p.m. Yet even at that hour, it was already too late. We found our backup plan to bypass sluggish traffic & 3-hour waits just to get onto the interstate stymied early on with backroads closures (whiteout conditions, ice, and 80+ mph wind over two 11,000 passes), but luckily, our second fallback plan-- working our way around to 70 via a secondary route-- was a seamless move.... ultimately resulting in over an hours' wait in parking lot conditions once we made the highway.

Then CDOT closed the interstate, leaving nowhere to go except exactly where we sat!
70 coming up (Vail Pass), 70 coming down (Loveland/ Tunnel to Georgetown), and we were marooned on top of the world.
Which wouldn't've been a poor fate had Daniel & Moriya not needed to get back to work.
But they did, and Moriya
really did, so there we were:
Still sitting in traffic.

At a standstill.

For more than an hour over just 3 miles of highway.
Before it was closed AGAIN, even further up the mountain.

All in all, we were on the Summit 4 days and 3 nights.

Total ski/ board day counts:

Moriya - 2

Daniel - 1

Cortney - 0

Mason - 0

Total hot tubs visited:

Rooftop/ open air hot tubs visited mid-blizzard:

Daniel - 1

Cortney - 1

Mason - 1

Total hours spent in traffic on Sunday:

Total miles traveled Sunday:

approximately the same

What time we started Monday morning:

Cortney - 3:30/ 4 a.m.

the crew - 6:15 a.m.

Miles traveled in first hour of traffic Monday:

Total hours in traffic Monday a.m.:

Cumulative miles covered:

approximately 75+/-

Slip & slides in truck:


Slip & slides down frozen embankments by all-wheel drive Subauru Outbacks, nearly resulting in rollovers into Clear Creek
, stopping just short of a REALLY "really bad night":

Attempted tows of other overpriced, non-4WD SUVS:


Failed tows:

Comically big-haired ladies in early morning full face paint and fur coats, slipping on side of I-70 in teetering 3.5" heels in a blizzard, while spun-out SUV-in-snowbank received above-referenced tow:


Not exactly the smiling chocolatey-face we saw after this weekend's gridlock debacle...
(photo snapped post-Tuesday a.m. organic truffle binge)

Looks like we have another two winter storms blowing in the next 2-3 days;
Hopefully we'll be back next week with more pictures and higher ski/ slide tallies to post then!

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