Journal Entry #1 – 2011 – Snowmobiling in Copper MountainDate: January 1st, 2011 Location: Copper Mountain Colorado Temp: -20 Fahrenheit
Wind: 10-20mph Wind Chill: -41 to -45 F!
What is this a great day for? You guessed it – a snowmobile ride! Seriously, I went on just such an excursion the morning of the 1st! I layered up in my best winter gear:
- Layer 1 – Thermals (long underwear)
- Layer 2 – Lounge pants
- Layer 3 – Blue Jeans
- Layer 4 – Snow suit
It worked quite well as I never really got all that cold! I took off from the house in Keystone CO where we gathered for the holidays with family, and drove the 45 minutes from 9900 feet to the 11,000 foot mark. Nearly two miles above sea level now where the air is downright thin!
It was a nice tour, led by the well-regarded folks of Summit Concierge and their services across the Colorado Rockies. The tour guides were friendly, we got some handling time in a track loop to familiarize ourselves with the equipment, then they split us into two groups of six for some pretty exciting scenic views. One group was a family or two, then the other was mostly adults (myself included, although I felt like a kid – adrenaline surging as we whipped around at about 30-45mph on our Polaris snowmobiles!).
As we crossed the mountains, with snow-covered pines, and gorgeous mountain-scapes. Of course once we rode above the timber line, the scenery was just the white snow against the slightly paler misty sky. It wasn’t snowing as at that temp, it’s just too cold. Instead tiny bits of ice dusted the sky with hints of bluer skies behind the flakes of snow and ice.
I did imagine that we would get a bit cold in our extremities, as we whipped along. After all, with a -20 gauge on the thermometer, 20mph winds and us tooling around with another 30mph of wind, it was likely very nearly around 50 below zero! But the handles of the Polaris were heated! As you moved, the heat increased to snuff out the effects of the wind. When we stopped I even took my gloves off to pull out the camera for some photography! No gloves! in 40 below temps!
The camera though, did not have the pleasure of heat, so it didn’t last too long, even inside my external snowsuit to shield it from the bitter cold. I got perhaps 45 minutes of shoot time from the two batteries I packed. The point and shoot fared better as it was inside my own snow jacket pocket, closer to the warmth of my own core heat. But it even capitulated to the cold after being taken out for a mere 20 minutes! I found this out at one of the rally points…
Regardless, it was a great ride, with half pipes, remarkable scenery and even a stop for hot chocolate halfway through (the tour guide started the heaters as we began the trek)! For the adventurous – this is definitely one to consider when you go to book your next adrenaline tour! It was a great way to usher in the New Year! How did you celebrate the start of 2011? Share your thoughts, shots, and feedback in the comments below or via email. Don’t forget to share socially too!
And finally, for those that read all the way through the journal article, here’s a short video I took from my Flip HD Video (Christmas Present):