Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another Great Trip

We had a great time in Keystone, Colorado. The weather was great, we had new snow on at least three mornings, and most days were sunny. The kids snowboarded, and we tried the tubing hill, which was great fun. We really had a nice time. The photo page has been updated with new pictures.

I did run, though not as much as I had planned. I ran 1 of 3 days in Denver (5,100'), in what started as a cool weather run that quickly changed into an "I'm burning up!" run when the sun came out from behind the clouds about 10 minutes into the run. The sun was that intense. My first run in the mountains (9,300') was an early morning run, since the streets were dry. I found my breathing rate was at a slightly higher rate than at home, but not too bad, though I didn't tackle any steep hills. I woke up at 5:30 every morning planning on running, only to find fresh snow on the ground, prompting me to go back to bed. I finally decided to go for a run one afternoon (after skiing all day), choosing to go a bit further, but not knowing exactly where or how far. I ended up running this route, an inquisition that had a couple of hill climbs in it, made worse since I didn't know where the top was until I reached it (turning on the elevation feature in the link makes it more clear). It might not be much for someone who runs hills or at high altitude regularly, but for me it was a challenge. I felt like I was do a geriatric shuffle, while breathing like I would in a 10k race. Perhaps I was a bit fatigued from six hours of hard, thigh-burning skiing, but even fresh, it would have still been hard.

I covered a great deal of ground, since I spent many days skiing without breaks, getting off the lift and going back to the base of the mountain without stopping (some runs are over three miles long). One observation is that people are being more careful, and more are wearing helmets. I didn't see a single yard sale (wipeout with stuff scattered everywhere) this year or even last, as I had seen many over the years. People have slowed down and are staying in control, likely influenced by the fatality reports and perhaps enforcement of the skier code; people are behaving more responsibly.

After sixteen years of Colorado skiing, it's time to start wearing a helmet. It's just the smart thing to do, and it's only right, given we make our kids wear one. There have been seventeen ski/snowboard fatalities in Colorado this season, and we unfortunately witnessed the aftermath of one, with ski patrol shoveling snow into bags for the cleanup (the guy was wearing a helmet, but succumbed from chest injuries sustained when he went off the trail at high speed and ran into a tree). An accident and a tragedy somehow made worse since it happened while he was on a vacation.

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