Gunnison Area, Nov 21-24 2012

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The Thanksgiving holiday finally rolled around and I flew out of town like a frozen turkey from a trebuchet. The family gathers annually at our cabin near the West Elk Wilderness so I loaded up the ski gear and headed west.

In a sign of how bad this early snow season has been, I was able to drive my 2003 Accord all the way over Ohio Pass to Crested Butte. The views of The Castles and West Elk Peak were nice:

Nate and I scored free tickets to CB’s opening day, and cruised the White Ribbons of Death Wednesday afternoon. Afterwards, we drove up towards Gothic and scouted conditions. Mount Bellview in the evening light:

On the drive back towards CB I caught a nice evening shot of the Butte:

And the fading sunset over Mount Emmons:

Thursday was turkey day and much feasting was done.

Friday we poked around the Splains Gulch and Mount Axtel. Not much to say about that other than the icy gnarly sled track would have made a nice slide..

On the drive home on Saturday, we decided to stop at Monarch Pass and poke around a little. We found surprisingly nice turns near the pass on a few different slopes:

Then it was a delicious pizza dinner with craft brews at Amicas in Salida, which I highly recommend to anyone in the area. Back in the car, sun sets, and BAM! Smacked a deer at speed on the way home:

Apparently, there have been a LOT of late-season deer strikes in Colorado this year, including three more that showed up after me at the same body shop. December is pretty late for deer migration, and it might have something to do with the lack of early season snow and the mild temperatures. Anyway, watch yourself out there around dusk and dawn..

 

scott

 

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