Colorado February 2020

Dates: February 14 - 18, 2019

People: Mark, Luke, Seth, Marcia, Denny


  • 2-14 (Travel Day)
  • 2-15 (Ski Cooper)
  • 2-16 (Hartenstein Lake Snowshoeing)
  • 2-17 (Monarch Ski)
  • 2-18 (Copper Mountain / Travel Day)


Today's travel to the airport involved getting kids from school and then heading straight to the airport. We picked up Seth about an hour early. We stopped by home briefly for him to get a few things and then we headed north to get Luke.from Westland. We had a relatively short drive to the airport from there. We got to the airport around 4 pm. When we went through security Seth had his toothpaste taken away since he had a full tube of it. The boys and I stopped by McDonald's for a light snack. After sitting there for 30 minutes we suddenly realized that there was a new Chick-fil-A in the airport.

We boarded at A51 and our first leg heading down to Nashville left on time. During the flight I was pleased to find out that this was one of Southwest free drink days. It was Valentine's day after all. I watched Apollo 11 during the flight. I had the Lagunitas 12th of Never Ale.

We got into Nashville 26 minutes early. I had thought there was a Salsarita's in Nashville but we could not find it. I may have been mistaken and that was another airport where it was. So we ate at Popeye's and I tried to introduce the boys to their new spicy Chicken sandwich. After supper we sat at our gate waiting for our next flight to leave. It left on time. I had a rum and coke on the later flight. It was a 3 hour leg from Nashville to Denver.

We got into Denver 27 minutes early which pleased me greatly. We had a long drive ahead of us and it was already late and we wanted all the time we could get.Unfortunately Fox rental car did not help us at all with this. Their shuttle took about twice as long as every other rental company as we stood at the curb waiting. When we got to their rental desk the lady was reasonable in helping us get our car. I noticed on the keychain that the car said Mitsubishi Mirage. I did a quick Google search and this looked like a small car. I asked her what kind of car they were giving us and she said Mitsubishi Outlander. I didn't press the question but should have. (It turned out later she had grabbed the wrong keys) I assumed the keychain may well have been wrong. When we went outside, indeed we found a very small car. This was after she sent us outside with just the key and its fob and said just push the panic button and you'll find the car eventually. The customer service was very lacking. So I dragged the boys back inside and we waited in line another 15 minutes until I could get back up to the counter. I was very upset. I explained to them how they had given us the wrong car and I was talking to the attendant next to the gal we we talked to earlier. So she was overhearing us. They did eventually get us a different car and it turned out to be a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was excellent. This time they actually told us what slot to go out to. They said to simply hop in the car and go, there was no one at the gate to check us out as we left. This meant we could fill out the damage report at any time with no one to actually check it before we left.

So we started our way out of Denver. Of course there was traffic since they had i-70 down to one lane for a couple miles. eventually we made it out to US285 and headed west for Buena Vista. I picked up a Mountain Dew and Cheetos to try to keep my energy up during the long drive. It was a little past midnight when we left Denver. it was 2:40 a.m. when we arrived at Mom and Dad's house. For the most part my energy held up pretty well driving so late into the night.


We left the house at 7:35 a.m. to head up to Leadville. The goal was to get to Bill's Ski Rental when it opened at 8 am. It was about 8:20 when we finally made it. We got skis for Mark Luke and Seth. Paul was great to work with as always. We wanted to buy Mark skis ahead of time but the resale shop that we would use in Frisco didn't open until 10 and we would lose half a day skiing. So we rented Mark skis for today. From there we headed up to ski Cooper and we're on the slope by 9:15 AM. Temps were in the upper 20s but very windy today. Cloud cover held out for most of the day. Lines were reasonable for this being a busy Saturday in February. The lift on the back side of the mountain probably had the biggest lines, but we never waited more than 5 to 10 minutes.


  • Tenderfoot
  • Eagle
  • Uppershamrock - Burnout
  • Motherlode-Motherlode Flats-Lower Ambush
  • Pando


  • Trail's End - Peak-a-Boo
  • Vendom Burn - Last Chance
  • Lower Buckeye
  • Kamikaze
  • Slade's Run
  • Nightmare
  • Black Powder

Mom waited in the lodge all day. This allowed us to do do a sack lunch as we usual. Seth was also able to come in early at about 2:30 p.m. to quit for the day. At 3:15 we finally all had to quit. The main lifts went down and we had no other options.

We left Cooper and headed back to Leadville to return my skis. We then drove over to Frisco. We hit Recycle Sports to look through their vast selection of used ski gear. We were able to find a very nice pair of Salomon skis for $90. We also poured through all of their used boots and found a pretty decent pair for $85. This total was far less than what I feared we would have to pay for a set of used skis. We paid another $10 for them to adjust the bindings and make sure everything was good to go.

For supper we hit the KFC in Frisco. I tried the new Mountain Dew Sweet Lightning. It has a honey and peach flavor to it. After supper we headed back to the house.


I was up at 7 a.m. today. I talked to Dad for a little bit and then I headed outside for a run. I ran up to the Princeton Hill road and then followed it back down to the Elk Meadow road. There were patches of ice and snow on the road along the way. The temperature was around 25 degrees and it was very windy and when I had head winds it was really freezing me. I still had fun on the run and got 3 miles in.

We had breakfast and then headed over to Faith Lutheran for church at 10 am. After church we went into town and had lunch at Biggie's. Seth and I both tried their spicy Italian sub. After lunch we were back to the house to get ready for snowshoeing. Mom and Seth would stay near the house and do just a lap around the property to enjoy their time. Dad and Luke and I went to the Denny Creek trailhead to hike up to Hartenstein Lake.

Hartenstein Lake Snowshoeing

We headed back to the house after the hike. Mom was getting supper ready. We had fried steak, corn, tater tots. It was great. After supper we played some Apples to Apples Disney edition.


We left the house at 7:40 am this morning. We got down to Monarch just after 8:30 a.m. we were a bit concerned about the weather today. The temperature forecast was in the low teens and it was supposed to be very windy, but at least the sun was supposed to come out. When we arrived the winds were not too bad at the bottom. At the top of the mountain though the winds were pretty strong all day. The highlight of today at Monarch was the hoarfrost on the trees. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them and wondering at the beautiful trees. The ones at the top were nearly white from top to bottom. All in all though the weather held up pretty well today. The windchill was a bit rough at the top, but going down the runs the wind was not in our face and things worked out very well.


  • Rookie
  • Skywalker-Sleepy Hollow-Freeway
  • Roundabout-Sidewinder-Lower Tango
  • Sleepy Hollow-Serendipity
  • Little Mo
  • Upper Hall's Alley-Lower Hall's Alley
  • Roundabout-Liberty-Lower Tango
  • Romp - Drifter


  • Sleepy Hollow-Serendipity
  • Beeline
  • Great Divide-Ticaboo
  • Great Divide-Snowburn
  • Skywalker-KC Cutoff-Sleepy Hollow-Glade
  • Ramble On
  • Romp-North Forty
  • Sleepy Hollow-Serendipity
  • Great Divide-Snowburn
  • Little Mo-Doc's Run-Lower Hall's Alley
  • Ramble On
  • Ramble On

Things were fairly crowded at Monarch today, but the lines never got too long. Mom stayed in the lodge as usual and we had lunch with her in there. Inside the lodge was very crowded with lots of people. We stayed at Monarch till things closed at 4 pm. We had thought about going over to Salida to swim at the recreation center.but the boys wanted to go back to the house and so that's ultimately what we did. For supper we ordered pizza from Elkhorn Pizzeria.


We left the house at 7:35am this morning. We had all our bags packed and ready to fly since we'd be heading straight to the airport from Copper. We were hoping to get to Copper early enough to be at the lifts when 9am came.

We made it to the public free parking at Copper at 8:50am. Many cars were already coming in. In fact, on the drive from Leadville we encountered a fair amount of traffic of vehicles presumably heading into Copper. The highway had some snow on it as well which didn't help. It was amazing to see how much snow was on the ground in this area. The buildings in Copper all had at least 2 feet of snow on the rooftops.

We grabbed our gear out of the vehicles and then let Mom leave with the minivan. My rental car remained. She would be shopping in Dillon and then have a doctor's appt. We hopped the shuttle heading over to west village for the green hill.

We were hoping with this being a Tuesday we wouldn't hit too many people at Copper. For the most part this held true. There were still quite a few people there but the lines were never more than a few minute wait. We were disappointed that the TRex Grill didn't open by noon. I had wanted the boys to experience lunch on the mountainside in the snow. They were clearing two feet of snow off the top of the building and it seemed like this was delaying the grill's opening.

We spent the morning working green and a couple of blue routes above west village. We hit the cafeteria in West Village for lunch. I had a hebrew national dog, Luke chicken tenders, Seth a hamburger. We shared an order of cheese fries.


  • Woodwinds-Minor Matter
  • Soliloquy
  • Roundabout
  • West Ten Mile
  • Woodwinds-Minor Matter
  • Windsong
  • Copperfield-Woodwinds Traverse-Easy Feelin

After lunch we made our way to the middle of the mountain and all the way up to the Rendezvous Lift and to the top where we took in the spectacular views of the Tenmile Range. Our afternoon ran quickly giving us time for only a handful of runs until our self-imposed deadline of 2pm arrived.


  • Carefree (with a diversion onto moguls)
  • connector to Rendezvous Lift
  • Wheeler Creek-Coppertone-Easy Road-Loverly
  • Fair Play-Main Vein

We headed out to the shuttle and out to our parking. Mom was back from Dillon and waiting for us. We loaded our snow gear into Dad's van and we got our own backs packed in our rental car. We changed clothes to get ready for the airport.

We wanted to hit the road by 3pm and we were right on target. We wanted to give plenty of time in case of traffic or other issues on I70. Our drive through the mountains was sunny and the road a little wet but otherwise still good. In a way, we were fortunate. The prior day they were getting snow up there and had chain laws in effect. Loveland Pass still had the chain law in effect. If this were happening during our departure window we'd probably be in some trouble.

We made it to Fox Rental around 5pm and had an easy time getting the car checked in. I noted with the guy the damage we found on the car prior to checking it out and he said we would not be held liable for it. We quickly hopped their shuttle and made it to the terminal.

After bag check and security we headed out to B gates for supper at Chick-fil-A and then on to our own gate in C. We had about 90 minutes til our flight left. We left Denver on time and arrived in Detroit 30 minutes early. I was texting Sarah the moment we hit ground to let her know how early we were. Bags came well and we were picked up and on our way home. I think we made it home by 1:45am.