Feb 3, 2015

Ski Vacation to Wolf Creek Ski Area (Colorado)

I went on my first ever ski vacation (skication?) last month! Raisin Bread, my sister-in-law, some friends and I spent five days in southwest Colorado to enjoy the snow.

Source: Wolf Creek Ski Area

We visited Wolf Creek Ski Area and stayed in nearby Pagosa Springs. Wolf Creek is said to be one of the best kept secrets in Colorado because not only is it off the beaten ski path but it also gets the most annual snowfall in Colorado, at an average of 430 inches. It is a 3.5 hour drive from Albuquerque or a 4.5 hour drive from Denver. There is also no on-resort lodging, so out-of-towners must stay in the nearby towns of Pagosa Springs or South Fork. The remoteness added with the lack of amenities is probably what keeps the crowds away, which is the very reason why I absolutely enjoyed our time there!

I am very much new to skiing. Before this trip, I had been on skis a total of four times. My husband, on the other hand, has been skiing probably since he could walk. For Christmas, Raisin Bread bought me a pair of skis and ski boots so that I could be fully equipped now that we live in close proximity to good ski areas.

Ready for vacation!

All of my previous ski experiences were day trips, so I was not sure how I would do with multiple days of skiing. I wound up hitting the mountain for two days, taking two days off and skiing again our final day.

I was, by far, the least experienced skiier, but I was lucky to have some really kind traveling companions who were generous enough to stay with me and give me some pointers. 

Since it was only my second time skiing this season, I started off on the beginner slopes and eventually became comfortable enough to mostly stick to the intermediate slopes. 

Our first two days of skiing were in the middle of the week, and we weren't sharing the mountain with a ton of other people. No lines for the lifts and hardly anyone on the runs at the same time as us!

On the night of our first ski day, it dumped 8 inches of fresh snow. Since I learned to ski on the East Coast, I have never skied in powder before and I was sure not to miss it. It made for such a different experience. It felt like I was floating on marshmallows. 

I got a little carried away and actually got my skis caught in the powder, not once, but twice. At least falling and getting up is easier in the powder. 

On our last day of skiing, I really fell and hurt my knee on a run that I had already done at least five times. The difference was it was much much more crowded and the snow was no longer nice and pristine. Whoops. I sat most of the afternoon off. 

Another thing I liked about Wolf Creek was there was a lodge at the top of one of the lifts. That meant I could sit out while my ski companions continued to do their thing and then when I felt like it, I could just pop back into my skis and re-join then!

Plus, who doesn't want a mid-afternoon hot chocolate with marshmallows break?

Although it would have been nice to be at a resort that was ski-in, ski-out, I think the lack of crowds and the nice conditions was a fair trade-off. I will definitely be skiing at Wolf Creek again, and I absolutely can't wait to!

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