After an incredibly tumultuous off season, I am officially back into ski season! This past week, I had the privilege of skiing at Loveland Ski Area. There wasn’t much open, but the weather was beautiful and it felt so good to be sliding on snow again.
The first couple runs were eye-opening. After spending last season really focusing on improving my own skiing technique, I could tell there was a ton of rust that I needed to work out. Unfortunately, I needed to work it out quickly since the reason I was at the mountain was to take a PSIA-AASI Children’s Specialist exam!
Luckily it was the first runs of the season for most of us so we all got to rejoice in the beginning of anew season together before the learning and assessment began. I would be lying if I said that I DIDN’T get a little teary on snow thinking about how last season ended and how uncertain the beginning of this season is. I was happy to be skiing and I was happy to be learning to be a better ski instructor. I couldn’t believe that I was finally getting the chance to do the things I loved again.
As Day 1 progressed, we learned a lot about child development between runs, and got to apply them in practicing Movement Analysis in the afternoon. I was glad to have spent 8 years working in schools, and much of this work felt like review.
Day 2 was a little bit more nerve wracking as it was going to be my turn to teach soon. Teaching is the most fun part of my job, but is still scary when it comes time to step “on stage” and be evaluated on my teaching. I was assigned a mock scenario and the other instructors pretended to be my group of level 5 skiing 8 year olds. We learned about using our poles and had a fun and silly time doing it!
Before I knew it, the exam was over and it was time to take a couple free runs while our examiner tallied up our scores. Im proud to say that I passed the exam and can’t wait to bring my learning to lessons at Eldora this winter!
I know I haven’t checked in on this blog in a while and part of that has been my own struggles with everything going on around me. I haven’t really felt enthusiastic about sharing what has felt like a fairly negative year for me. When the pandemic hit, and stay at home orders began, I put blogging on the back burner and let the year so far play out.
However, I haven’t really stopped getting outside and I haven’t stopped taking the road less traveled for an adventure. Its just been… different.
In May, my living situation in Colorado wasn’t working out, so I moved back to Vermont for the summer. It was a great opportunity to connect with people I’ve missed since my move and I spent a lot of my time playing the sport I love, Disc Golf!
When stay-at-home orders lifted, we began our tournament season with some new formats and modifications in order to best accommodate physical distancing and slowing the spread of this virus. It was really nice to compete and interreact with friends. In all, we ran over 10 events and had no virus outbreaks from our events. I’m really proud of everything we accomplished on the Disc Golf Vermont Tour!
When the fall started getting closer, I started getting phone calls asking me to return to Eldora for another season of teaching skiing and riding in Colorado! After the successes I had last season, this request was a hard one to say “No” to and that brings me to where I am now. About two weeks ago, for the third time in a year, I packed up and drove across the country.
This winter I am living much closer to Eldora and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this mountain community. So far, my neighbors Ms. Moose and the deer family have all been very welcoming and given my proximity to some National Forest lands, I’m assuming I might see them more often!
Right now, I’m looking forward to whatever this winter brings and sharing as much as I can. Please be safe out there and hopefully we can all play in the snow again soon!
P.S. If you want to take a ski or snowboard lesson at Eldora this winter, let me know!
So, before I go any further, I have a HUGE thank you to send out. I participated in this year’s Reddit Secret Santa exchange, and my secret Santa was generous enough to pay for a year of this website’s hosting. I cant thank that person enough and will definitely be remembering your generosity as I go through the next 12 months of adventuring and writing. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
If you are another reader who would like to support the blog, I have included a donations widget on the homepage of the site.
Last I wrote, I was excited to be moving into a new job as a Ski Instructor with Eldora Mountain Resort. It has been about a month, and I have to say that I love my new job. Every day, I come to work as the sun is rising to help set up the ski school’s learning terrain for the day. Once things are set up for the day, my job is to be the host of a snow sliding party, and that couldn’t be more rewarding and fun! I get to host some of the coolest people in my classes. I have worked with people returning to skiing after years away from the sport, excited to share stories of skiing in the days of straight skis and florescent, one-piece ski suits. I’ve worked with children who have never seen snow before, making sure to spend SOME of our time making snowmen and snow angels. I’ve worked with families all wanting to try something new with their winter vacations. Through all of this, I have been so energized with the joy of people experiencing the new sensations sliding on snow and being in the mountains. I cant wait for the rest of the season and am enjoying every minute of this.
If any of you are ever in the area and want to take a lesson at Eldora, ask for Louis! I’d love to be there to help! 😛
I have some very exciting news to share with Adventure Logbook followers! I am going to be a Ski Instructor this winter!
I’ve recently finished up my new-hire training at Eldora Mountain Resort and am excited to get going teaching people to ski. If you have followed the YouTube Channel, you know that one of my favorite winter pastimes is skiing, so this is an incredibly exciting opportunity for me. Adventure Logbook followers can expect more pictures and videos coming from that area as I will be at the mountain 5 days a week starting this Sunday!
If any of you are in the area and looking for a lesson, ask for Louis at the Ski School desk! 🙂
Earlier this summer, I was asked by a viewer on a previous video to make a smaller bag specifically with beginners in mind. This is my response to that question. What I did was I built the bag and then decided to shoot a short round at Valmont Disc Golf Course in Boulder, Colorado LEFT- HANDED! Inside the bag are the following discs: Dynamic Discs Maverick, Witness, Emac Truth, Warrant, Deputy and Warden. You do not need any high speed drivers as a beginner. Generally, I just looked for lower speed, understable discs and gave them a shot. I didn’t get a hole in one, but I certainly came close! Enjoy!
Finally! Winter has arrived and the ski mountains are starting to open up. This year, I got an Ikon pass and will be checking out as many Colorado mountains as I can on that pass. Yesterday however, Eldora mountain opened up to a beautiful bluebird day. I grabbed my GoPro and took my first few runs of the season. Luckily, my legs were feeling pretty great after the shortest off-season of my life. My last day of the season at Killington was in June, so I’ve only missed skiing in July-October this year!
Anyway, check out the video, and please consider subscribing to both this blog as well as my Youtube Channel. That way you don’t miss any of the content coming out soon of winter adventures in Colorado!
If you know me, you know that I can get pretty excited when winter comes around and the snow starts to fly. In my 10 years of living in Vermont, I was always itching to get a couple October laps in at the local ski hill or throw the first snowball of the season. Last season, one of the first adventures for this blog was finding just a few stray flakes on Mount Mansfield at Stowe. Check that adventure out here. Now that I’ve moved to Colorado winter has hit the Rockies much earlier than it ever did in the Green Mountains, so clearly I needed to go for an adventure!
So, after some quick planning, we hopped in the car and went for a drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive was about an hour from my apartment and we watched the thermometer in my car dive downwards from 50 degrees in Longmont, all the way down to the upper teens by the end of our drive!
Estes Park was our first stop however. It was Elk mating season, and the elk were all over the place in this tourist town. Herds were congregated on almost every grassy area available. We even found some on the local golf course!
After briefly stopping to see the elk, we continued into Rocky Mountain National Park. Almost as soon as we entered the park, we started seeing snow on the sides of the roads. At the first fork in the road, we followed the road towards more visible snow and entered into Glacier Basin. I was half expecting to see a glacier when we came around the corner, but instead found a winter wonderland. The snow was everywhere and truly seemed to appear out of nowhere. In reality however, it was probably the area’s geography causing the area to be shaded from the warmest parts of the day keeping the snow on the ground.
After a brief walk we continued along the road until its end. The road kept going up and up the areas hills and mountains until we reached the road’s end at Bear Lake. No bears were found, but instead a beautiful alpine lake with a relatively quick trail around it’s perimeter. I was amazed as we were walking around and had to keep reminding myself that fall had really only just begun and all this snow was an early season treat, because it certainly reminded me of what January might look like elsewhere!
Pretty quickly our hike came to an end, but not after a number of pictures were taken and a couple snowballs thrown. We finished up at Bear Lake and began the drive home, completing this adventure on a Sunday afternoon before my New England Patriots had the chance to kick off. Not a bad adventure for an October afternoon!
Phew! It has been a whirlwind of a year since I’ve moved to Colorado…
Wait… Its only been 6 weeks?!
Life since my move at the end of July has been incredibly busy. Starting a new job in a new state, applying to teaching licensure programs, settling into a new home, AND squeezing in moments for mini adventures has kept me incredibly busy. In fact, putting aside the joking at the beginning of this post, I honestly feel like I have accomplished in 6 weeks what might be accomplished over the course of a year or more at other times in my life.
Now as the Fall is quickly approaching, I can look back on this summer and say that I’m pretty dang proud of the things that I have accomplished this summer! Not only am I settling into a new role in a new school year, I’ve also been able to get outside and explore Colorado a bunch. However, I haven’t been as good about taking pictures and videos to share with you all. With how busy and stressful life has been over these last few months, almost all of my exploration time has been some very important self-care time. I felt like cameras and in-the-moment sharing would have taken away from that purpose, so I hope you all will forgive me.
That said, here is a quick rundown of some of the things that I’ve been up to!
Of course, one of the first things I’ve kept myself doing is playing disc golf and going to local-ish disc golf tournaments. My level of play has definitely fallen to the wayside with less time to practice and adjust to disc flights being different at elevation, but I’ve still been having a blast. Ive played tournaments at Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Aurora, and Colorado Springs. Each venue has been different from the last. One thing I’ve noticed is the lack of trees for obstacles in this state. It has been so different than playing in the heavily wooded courses of Vermont.
At this point, I’m feeling as though I’ve finally adjusted to playing at elevation, and I’m hoping to see some better results at my upcoming tournaments!
One thing that I was hoping to do more of this summer was camping. Before I had decided I was moving to Colorado, I was hoping to spend a lot of nights out sleeping in my hammock and enjoying the forests of Vermont. Moving certainly changed those plans, however, I was very excited to combine one of my disc golf tournaments with a weekend camping in Arapaho National Forest! It was a treat to spend the night being COLD, knowing full well that it was near 100 degrees back in Longmont earlier that day. The mountains of Vermont certainly bring about weather differences from the Champlain Valley where I was living, but nothing like the 50+ degree difference I experienced that weekend!
On another trip to the Winter Park area, I was able to wet a line for the first time in a long while and catch some trout! I had been given a recommendation for a fishing spot on the Fraser River in Winter Park, but when I lost cell signal and couldn’t recall the full directions I had been given I found the first small stream I could find and gave the fishing a shot. As it turns out, the small alpine meadow stream was loaded with small brook trout and I was able to catch my first Colorado fish.
Since moving here, I’ve been lucky enough to explore the St. Vrain River Greenway as it winds around my apartment complex, as well as a couple other quick day-hikes in the mountains. I’m hoping to explore some more before the snow flies, so stay tuned!
Coming soon, I’ve got a few more disc golf tournaments to finish out the season. I’ve also got plans to visit the Great Sand Dunes on a long weekend in October. Please remember to subscribe to both this blog as well as my YouTube Channel so that you don’t miss a moment of the action! I cant wait to continue exploring this awesome state!
Earlier this month, we decided to drive up the Mount Mansfield Toll Road in Stowe, Vermont. We walked the Long Trail from the Mansfield visitor’s center up to the summit of Vermont’s tallest peak! It’s certainly different seeing this mountain in the summer rather than in the winter. All those ski trails were covered in beautiful wildflowers and the icy winds were just a cooling summer breeze!
This video has been on my to-do list for a few months. Given my recent move, the footage was sitting unedited on my hard drive until today! I’m still working on some camera work, and editing process, but its good to be working on this again! Enjoy!
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