For once, it’s warmer outside our house than inside. I’m sitting on the back porch sans jacket. True, I’m still wearing a three-quarter length shirt and pants and I’m surrounded by snow. But it’s springtime in the mountains: at 58 degrees (which would have Floridians shivering, grabbing for down jackets) it’s basically summer. And tomorrow, it will probably snow again.
Which reminds me — I need to catch you folks up on this winter. I have been worse at blogging than Donald Trump is at not pissing off every Hispanic, Muslim, African-American, woman or other racial or religious minority in our country. And that’s saying something.
Let me remedy my errant and lackadaisical winter blogging patterns. In short, here’s what you’ve missed:
- A late February hut trip/liver destroyer to Goodwin-Greene hut outside Aspen, Colorado.
- A rapid fire road trip to see our good friends and former Colorado residents Steve and Amanda in Missoula, MT.
- Another more recent hut trip to Eiseman Hut outside Vail with more good friends, Maria Elena and Seth.
- The day (last week) Tyler and Marcus drug a very tired Sylva to the top of Buffalo Mountain and down Silver Couloir — an achievement for me, since it’s a ballsy line!
Without further ado, let’s tackle Goodwin-Greene…
The day broke clear and warm. All ten of us — Tyler, myself, Anne, Kate, Dylan, Erica, Matt, Bex, Emily and Todd — met at Kate’s tiny, awesome cabin in Basalt for breakfast. After gorging ourselves on polenta, eggs with spinach and mushrooms, bacon and good, strong coffee, we milled around for quite a while… and then awhile longer. By the time we meandered up Castle Creek road to the trail head, noon was grinning at us, quite amused.
We splayed out all over the parking lot, re-packed bags with way too much food and alcohol to strap to Princess and Snowflake (Marcus’ and our snowmobiles, in that order) and started the six-mile skin up to 11,680′ Goodwin Greene hut (via a pass at 12,000+ feet). At that point, most of us figured we’d be lucky to make it there by sundown.
1. The epic splay out.
4. Break up the hike more of Tyler’s antics.5. Take a break above treeline for pictures with Erica.6. Locate the cozy Goodwin-Greene Hut.7. Locate the shitter at the Goodwin-Greene hut — arguably with the best view while taking care of business… but the worst view for your buddies.8. Splay out all over Goodwin-Greene hut (note the ratio of alcohol to table space to people).9. Commence appetizers (impressive cheese spread brought to you by Kate DeMorest). 10. Commence way too much drinking, game playing, wrestling, antics and late night disco dance parties.
Those of us able to overcome the impressive hurdle of our hangovers (the writer not included) enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a lengthy day playing on the slopes of adjacent Gold Hill. Others of us (the writer included) woke up half way through breakfast, took a solid crack at skiing and then traded skis for seclusion in or around the hut. Regardless, the weather proved unbelievably nice at 11,600+ feet and all time was well spent.
5. Enjoy the skiing, then check out the sweet line from the bottom.6. Note the boys are heading up for their third run…7. Take one more run (slide off the skin track and wallow on the slope, then ski down). Decide to hang up the skis. Attempt another crack at alcohol, since it’s post noon.8. Take stock of the (depleted) alcohol situation.
14. Enjoy some espresso with whipped cream courtesy of Tyler who — while he drinks tea like a Hummer drinks gas — always brings the Bialetti and strong coffee (and this time, a bottle of whipped cream) for his lady and friends.
16. Finally finish up the small army of pot stickers and spring rolls and eat the crap out of them.17. Enjoy — and be stoked about — creative, predominantly hard liquor drinks in coffee mugs from Tyler, the bartender.
19. Stand outside and watch things that probably shouldn’t happen with so much alcohol involved…
20. Get more hammered and do silly stuff to Tyler that he probably deserved.20. Eat a ridiculously fancy hut meal of cheesy grits, asparagus with mushrooms and wild caught halibut and salmon, courtesy of Dylan Dickey. Things get real weird with the fish skins…
Throughout the night, the winds howled at 11,680′, pushing the front door open twice (the writer — in an alcohol-soaked stupor — pushed it closed once after our door-side sleeping nook turned icy). In the morning the dusting of snow ceased. Blue sky fought for domain with the still-present wind and fast clouds.
Meanwhile, our hangovers — some of them two days strong — fought for domain in our tired brains as we contemplated cleaning up, packing up and heading out. But first: french toast, Boulder sausage, toasted almonds, blueberries, whipped cream and real maple syrup from Tyler and Sylva (and leftover cheesy grits)!
2. Survey the much reduced alcohol scene; drinking sounds horrendous, so we leave the dead soldiers for the next hut visitors.3. Pack up Snowflake and Princess for the journey out — including “Nancy,” Erica’s stylish handmade (by Mom, Nancy) duffel.
Next time on Cold Season Catch up: Missoula, MT ain’t ready for Tyler and Sylva. Or it might be. Only time will tell…