Vail & Aspen

After Copper Mountain on Monday December 10, (I’m nearly caught up to real time when I write these) we stayed in Frisco one last night. The next morning we headed to Vail!

We definitely thought Vail was going to be epic, but it mostly turned out to be a parking nightmare. The mountain was okay, but a pain to get to due to the lack of uncovered free parking. Which we gave up on and ended up just paying for parking. Because of this we only spent about a half day at Vail.

The next day, Wednesday Dec 11th, we went to Beaver Creek. Sadly, it was a pretty icy day. So another half day done. Although, we did get to see the site of the 1999 and 2015 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.

That night we found an RV resort in Gypsum. This was a very fortunate find, since at this point we really needed to plug the batteries in to check if we had ever even fully charged them. Turns out we had not, but after 2 nights there the batteries were actually fully charged and correctly synced to the monitor. We also got some showers and I attempted a photo shoot with the dogs. It didn’t go quite as planned. With the down time Eric found an incredible deal through Expedia for rooms in Aspen for 90% off.

We made a impulse decision and booked a room at Aspen Mountain Lodge for the next week (Mon-Fri). I honestly thought it was too good to be true, 4 nights for under $200 in Aspen. We just needed to figure out something to tie us over the weekend until our booking.

Our travels continued along the I-70 on Friday afternoon, taking us into Glenwood Springs. We originally had booked a hotel there for the weekend so we could shower and do laundry, but with the Aspen deal and the RV park we cancelled those plans. Which ended up being a very good idea, cause the hotels we passed were not the kinds of places you would really want to stay. Other than the sad hotels, we did get to visit Doc Holidays grave, even the dogs got to visit. Although the trail was a little icy and dicey in places.

Since, we couldn’t find anywhere in town to park overnight we headed into an area that said there was BLM camping. This was false. Only after travelling along an unplowed winter dirt road did we realise it had been purposely blocked with a snow pile to try to prevent people from driving on it. No idea why they even tried to this because there are private ranches along the road that clearly are still functioning in the winter and the road had obviously been driven on many many times. Luckily Eric is a fantastic driver and got us through a few sticky situations.

Soon after we left that forbidden road, we came across a parking lot for some hiking that we stayed at for the next 2 nights. For anyone who is curious it was legal and safe, despite still not being on plowed roads. The dogs got to run around, but we still really need to get some some snow booties. The next morning we had breakfast at a Mexican place in town then saw Bohemian Rhapsody. Spent the night (Saturday Dec 15) at that parking lot near Carbondale/Basalt.

The next day, Sunday, we headed into Aspen to look around. We attempted to find a coffee shop in town and once again were met with a parking nightmare. Eric really wanted to find some climbing, which we did. Although, it turned out the rock was partially sand-stone and not the best idea to climb when wet. It looked okay, but the temperature was actually above freezing for once and there was still snow on the top near the anchor bolts. I thought it was a little sketchy at least. Instead we took a little hike down to a river.

Eric managed to find a parking lot in Aspen where we could park overnight (it was actually the transit center for commuters). But, it worked and honestly that’s the point we are at with Colorado’s anti-overnight parking situation.

The next morning, Monday, we headed to Buttermilk Ski Resort, the first of four ski areas in Aspen. It’s a small mountain so we knew it was only going to be a half day. We did get to have a free mountain guided tour for 30 minutes which was pretty cool. When we finished, it was still a little early to check into our hotel so we went to the supermarket. Which was the smallest most cramped market I’ve ever been to in America. Almost no parking, super busy, tiny space with way to many groceries, and the oddest cashier who acted like it only ever the customers job to pack their groceries. We couldn’t get out of there soon enough, fortunately the hotel let us check in early.

Today we went to Snowmass Ski Resort. The bus system in Aspen is incredible. Buses are everywhere, and it is fairly straight forward to navigate. Snowmass was pretty great skiing despite the lack of snow fall recently. We hit a double black for the first time this season and I think I’m finally getting the hang of going down moguls. After our very full day of skiing we headed back to the hotel for their daily Apres Ski Wine and Cheese, which Eric is in love with.

Tomorrow we’re skiing Aspen Mountain, which is only a few blocks from where we are staying.

Adventure Talley 
Resort Skiing: 10
Backcountry: 2
Climbing: 1
Hiking: 3
Biking: 1

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