After a relaxing Saturday of chorizo and egg burritos and catching up on email, we struck out around 3:30pm for Durango, CO. After initially missing our exit for US 550, we quickly got back on track and heading high into the desert. There was some snow in patches on the rocks around us and by the time we rolled into Durango around 8pm it was a full on snow shower. We ate and Scoot n’ Blues and were treated to some live music from a local jazz group. After dinner we checked into the Hampton Inn just as the pool and hot tub were closing for the night. Not that it really mattered anyway, we were planning on getting an early start on the slopes in the morning.
It ended up snowing all night and when we got down to our free breakfast around 7am there was almost a foot of new snow on the ground. Fortunately Paul’s Subaru has 4 wheel drive and we were able to quickly get on the road. The first ski rental place we hit in town was PACKED with high schoolers from Texas so we decided to head for Durango Mountain to rent our equipment there. The roads up to the mountain were pretty snowy and there was a good bit of traffic, including several idiots who felt it necessary to pass in the middle (unplowed) lane. Paul kept a steady course and we arrived in one piece.
The rental line at Durango Mountain went quickly, like a well oiled machine. While in line two men offered Paul and I lift tickets for $25 (retail $59) and we decided to bite. I was a bit nervous that the tickets might be counterfit but in the end they were legit. Chris returned the two tickets he had just purchased for us so it was all good. Paul and I ended up renting the “Performance ski” package for $32 and the skis were awesome and just what we needed for the 2+ feet of powder we encountered on the mountain. I’ve never skied that much powder and it definitely took some getting used to. Few of the trails were groomed and by the end of the day almost all the trails were “bumped.” It was a great chance to learn to ski powder and to find out why I need to buy new skis.