Getting humbled, one way or another

Skiing a Historic Line February 7, 2011

Filed under: Skiing — sarahallen24 @ 5:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

Skiing has been around for a long time. While the equipment may look different, skiers of the 1940s and today still have the same thing at heart. We just like to make turns down a mountain in the deepest white stuff possible.

Yesterday my adventure buddy and I decided to snowshoe for some turns in the morning. Partly to offset the probable overindulgence in guacamole and chips that would come later in the day (why does football give permission to make bad food choices? Why do we have to snack while we watch other people exercise?). Anyway, we knew the Grand Mesa snow would be good with Powderhorn having gotten 16+ inches that week.

What is now commonly refered to as “Old Powderhorn” actually used to be Mesa Creek Ski Area. Mesa Creek opened in the 1940s to accommodate the growing number of skiers in the area. They used two rope tows. A Ford Model A motor ran the shorter tow and a Buick hearse motor ran the longer tow. If you ever learned to ski with a rope tow, you know it’s far more difficult than it looks. I learned on the “Mighty Mite” rope tow at Antelope Butte, WY (another lost resort). I remember grabbing hold of the rope and my little body being ripped right off the ground..possibly even out of my boots…only to smack down a second later and be drug up the hill. After you gather your gear and pull your underpants out of the world’s worst wedgy, you repeat this cycle of whiplash until your body’s survival mode figures out the mechanics. So, with that said, I think these 1940s skiers were a hearty bunch. No resting the legs during the lift ride here!

As the Mesa Creek Ski Area became more and more popular, a new area was needed for expansion. The US Forest Service recommended the nearby Big Beaver Creek Basin, a group formed to raise funds for the move and in 1966, Powderhorn was born.

The old Poma lift at Powderhorn. Don’t even get me started about these things.

Photo: Powderhorn

Now that you’ve had your history lesson, back to the pre-Super Bowl adventure. Carrie, me and The Doodle snowshoed up to the top of an old Mesa Creek run. Far from the sledders and I’m-teaching-myself-to-snowboard crowds. (Other runs are accessible via highway and see lots of traffic).

It was snowing lightly through much of our little trek. More icing on the cake for Carrie and The Doodle.

The dog always gets more face shots than anyone else

We ran into the Outdoor Junkie while we were skiing down. Check out her blog, she’ll probably have more BC Grand Mesa pics soon.


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