I just got back from a trip to Colorado. It wasn't a "ski trip," per se, but rather a trip on which I spent one day skiing. The main focus of the trip was to celebrate Jana's birthday, and so among attending a hockey game (Avs are not good right now), eating at multiple Czech restaurants (Sobo 151 on South Broadway in Denver is still the best we've found), and other general touristy pursuits (definitely recommend checking out Great Divide Brewing Company), we spent a day at Loveland.
Even though the parking lot was about halfway full when we showed up, there didn't seem to be anyone on the hill (as evidenced by this photo taken from the lodge):
Speaking of the lodge, I really like theirs. The lockers are probably the best we've seen anywhere we've skied. They use these electronic lockers, where you set your own passcode, and you can get in/out as much as you want. The small lockers are $4/day, the larger are $6/day. Between the ease of use, and the lack of a key to carry around, I think they should be mandatory for ski areas. The lodge itself is nice. Simple, but big. And the food's good and cheap.
On the way up chair 2 for the first run of the day, it was hard to believe the parking lot had been as full as it was:
The scenery at Loveland is really striking. We found ourselves taking tons of pictures like these:
It was a return trip for us, after having been there last year. This year, we wanted to ski there again, now that we were kind of familiar with the mountain. I had no idea what to expect for conditions, as they've been getting snow semi-regularly over the past few weeks. We had about 2 inches overnight before we skied there, and conditions were variable. In some spots, it really felt like mid-winter packed powder, and in other places, it was spongy, sticky spring wet powder. Down low (ha! nothing at Loveland is really "low") at the base, there was a bit of that sherbet-like stuff, but it was really only in the liftlines...
Last time we went, it was after spending 5 days in Vail, and I think we were a little more prepared for the altitude. This time, after having spent less than 24 hours in Denver before heading up, it was a little rougher. Here's me, sucking wind:
I didn't get altitude sickness or anything (no headaches or nausea), but "simple" things (like carrying skis from the car to the lodge in the morning) took a lot more work than they should have. It wasn't that way last year, so I'm sure that with a few more days in Denver, I'd have been better off. I should point out (as I'm sure she would) that it didn't seem to bother Jana much, if at all.