Skiing the Mesa Trail

The Matron looms out of the snow on the Shadow Canyon trail.

So I ended up getting a nice five miles of cross-country skiing in on the Mesa Trail.  This was not in the plan on Friday night when I went to bed.  But the possible 1-3 inches of snow turned into a definite 6-8 down here with more on the way.  Five minutes of fishtailing on the local streets suggested that driving all the way to Nederland and beyond to give my tele skis some exercise wasn’t really prudent, so I quickly formulated a Plan B.

It was a little surreal.  Down low, the snow was a little shallow.  Up higher, there was 12″ or more in many places and I practically wallowed up the steep sections toward Shadow Canyon.  Another skier had broken trail, and a hiker had subsequently postholed the track, so I alternated between following and laying down my own track.  Still, it was quite beautiful.

You are here.

View into one of the canyons.

I briefly considered heading up Shadow Canyon itself, but erred on the side of caution and turned around at the end of the rock-free trail.  The run down the steep section was lovely, but things were starting to get a little mushy and thin once I broke into the lower elevations.

Well, that wasn’t Plan A, but it was still pretty fun.

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