I left a day early to take a leisurely drive to the San Juans, stopping along the way to ski Monarch Mountain. The snow fell beginning at 10 am, providing several inches of new powder by the time I left that afternoon. I slept in the back of the truck on Lizard Head Pass.
Day two was spent skiing in from the highway and getting set up in the hut. I got a few runs in on the hillside adjoining the hut that afternoon.
Day three was spent skiing an open south facing slope a quarter mile from the hut, the powder covered slope being added to by the snow that kept on coming down all day. Beautiful smooth turns while floating on a cushion of fresh snow!
On day four two others and I departed the hut and went to ski at legendary Telluride mountain under bluebird skies. A big mountain where we focused on finding stashes of powder in the trees and steeper slopes near the top of the ski area off a couple lifts. That night was spent staying at the New Sheridan Hotel in downtown Telluride, having a very well made dinner in the hotel's Chop House. The evening ended with a cigar on the sidewalk outside on the still busy street.
Day five found us skiing back up to the hut to do a ski tour up to the base of Sheep Mountain. Another cigar while sitting on chairs in the snow under sunny skies. A gorgeous sunset!
Day six had us pack up and ski out back to our vehicles. We loaded up and drove to the nearby town of Ophir situated in a deep valley surrounded by high peaks. We skinned up Swamp Canyon where we skied phenomenal snow on the east facing wall of the valley. That required a steep climb up a switch backed trail through the trees, an exhausting process that was rewarded with some of the sweetest turns in deep snow of the the trip. That evening was spent in a hotel in Grand Junction.
I spent day seven skiing Powderhorn on the north flank of Grand Mesa just outside Grand Junction, followed by the long ride back home to Denver. I knew I was home when I hit the crawling traffic jam on the west side of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
A great time exploring a less frequented part of Colorado with really fine snow conditions.