Okay, here's the text-only portion of my Day 1 trip report (pics will be uploaded upon return to the Looney Bin.... er, DC)....
Friday - Copper Mountain:
Having used Thursday as my "sea level to high altitude" adjustment day, I awoke (still on Eastern time) to drive over to Copper and meet a bunch of people I'd never met outside these hallowed bit-bucket grounds. They were a most welcoming bunch, to say the least, and matching up screen names to faces and real names was a fun challenge. Mr. Vertical was also most generous with the 2-for-1 coupons, which made the day's skiing a real bargain.
Atop the first lift of the day, the mob split into two groups. I went with the higher-level group, and we immediately headed for the top of the mountain and the various bowls and open areas.
Thankfully, a summer full of long-distance cycling paid off, as the altitude didn't phase my legs or head. While the powder wasn't always deep, it was almost always a soft surface, and the lack of crowds meant few challengers for first tracks. cgeib, DonDenver and segbrown all knew the lay of the land quite well, and showed us some great spots for fun times.
(And it was tough to lose Don, with his OHMYGODITISGREEN jacket - even the occasional whiteout couldn't block him from sight.)
Our first few laps were on the R and S lifts, where we found some decent lines between rock outcroppings and tree islands. I heard Kaptain Karl cheer us on from the S lift - as I somehow managed to thread a couple of outcroppings for some untracked powder.
After a while, ssh's group caught up with us, and Spaulding Bowl was the next destination. Riding the poma to the top of Copper Peak reminded me of trips to the Alps, and it was the perfect lift for the winds that buffeted the top of the peak.
That wind deposited a wonderful blanket of powder on the leeward side: Spaulding Bowl. A bunch of us made the leap (literally) into Patrol Chute, which was soft up top but more firm toward the bottom. Bud, Paul-who-shall-not-be-named, segbrown and I all found fun ways to the bottom of the pitch.
Patrol Chute also had a few "mineral mines," one of which caught CirqueRider by surprise when he made the drop into the chute. It basically stopped him cold, causing a doube ejection and a tumble down the chute. He received some assistance from fellow Bears in retrieving his wayward equipment, and we all carried on.
The bottom of said run was dominated by a formidable mogul field (a bit of background: as an ex-racer who was more into the speed events, moguls haven't been my thing since... forever), where I found some fun lines in the soft bumps.
Our next run found the whole gang (minus Kaptain Karl, whose arboreal pit stop split him from the group) doing the real "meat" of Spaulding Bowl. For TC's friend Laurie, it was her first double-black run ever - and she did great! TC kissed the snow (not sure about the style of kissing involved) and had to gather an errant board before continuing the run, but all was well.
After that, we moved over to Union Peak, where ssh and segbrown led us across wind-swept snowfields to a lovely mogul line through the trees. We skied it in pairs, as it was a bit off the beaten path, but it was so nice, we did it twice. KevinF showed off his improving skills in the bumps, and a lot of whoops and hollers were heard by the various birds, chipmunks and sasquatches that happened to eavesdrop on our adventures.
By then, the day was essentially over, and we retreated for the night. A bunch of Bears - TC and Mr. TC, Bud Heishman, cgeib, ssh, segbrown, as well as friends of Bears, Katie, Buddha, John and Laurie - downed dinner and drinks at the Boat Yard in Frisco.
Stay tuned for the Day 2 report.....