A Grand Mesa Birthday
Snowcatcher and I spent a heart-filled birthday and Valentine's Day on Colorado's West Slope. We spent Snowcatcher's birthday on the Grand Mesa and then spent the evening in a rose petal- and candle-filled room. Our intention was to ski Sunday as well. However, stormy conditions on the passes had us heading home a bit early. Following are some pics from the weekend under a big sky at 10,600 feet in elevation. In the following pic, a pickup in the upper left can be used for scale. Albeit the snowpack has settled a bit, depths stilled averaged 4 to 5 feet.
Groomed trails exist for classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing. Off trail skiing abounds too.
The Mesa having been warm and without fresh snow for a week or so, existing snow was beginning to take on spring conditions a month early. This will change; it's still February. Our big month for snow accumulation is March. Nonetheless, as seen below (blocky fracture of snow), there was a bit of firnspeigel (sun crust) developing.
... and baby blue was the color of her eyes.
Baby blue like the Colorado skies...
A heart for two!
The Flake Master at work!
Pinwheels can result when dry snow (cold winter snowpack) becomes wet (melt) for the first time. Pinwheels are more common farther into late-winter/spring when the snowpack is taking on spring-thaw conditions and becoming saturated. Pinwheels also are called "rollerballs" or "snow snails". They indicate a good time NOT to be on steep slopes. We easily stayed off steep slopes this trip.
That's it for this round. Check back. I always have some sort of adventure to share.