Today was our last chance to hit the slopes. The kids wanted to make the most of it and were keen to do a full day at the mountain. We arrived just before lifts opened at 9am, but hit major Boxing Day queues at the rental shop. Anna was keen to have a lesson to improve her skills, so we booked her into ski school for the morning. The rest of us set off up the mountain to explore some new trails.
Durango Mountain has a front side and back side. The other days we had stuck to the more easily accessed front side, where most of the easier trails are located. There was one long trail down the backside that wasn’t too advanced, so we made that our first run of the day. It was a beautiful long trail and gave us a chance to get a different perspective on the mountain.
We met up with Anna for lunch after her lesson. She’d had a great time and her skiing had improved vastly. She’d had a group lesson, but there were only two people in her group so she’d had lots of attention. After a buffet pizza lunch in the ski village, we all hit the slopes together. It was the first time we’d all skied together and we had a great time.
The weather today was perfect again, although much warmer than previous days. When we left Durango this morning it was -12 degrees, but it soon warmed up with sunshine and no wind. Sometimes it was a welcome change to ski the shady tree runs to cool off a bit.
The rest of the afternoon was spent skiing the long runs on the front side of the mountain. The kids discovered “Animas City”, a small terrain park with little buildings to ski through like a bank, school etc. It became a favourite along with some of the little bumpy side detours through the trees. Even though the ski field was a lot busier than the other days, we never had to wait more than two minutes at the chairlift. The main chairlift we used was the high speed 6 person that whisked you to the top of the mountain in around 10 minutes. People we shared the lift with were intrigued by our accents. Most people had no idea where we were from, but were really keen to talk about NZ when we told them. Clearly they don’t get many kiwis around here.
We were getting pretty tired as the 4pm lift closure approached, but Matt was desperate to fit in one last run. He would quite happily have gone up on his own, but these are really long runs so we didn’t think that was such a good idea. I found some energy to do one last run with him. The legs were pretty jelly when we got to the bottom, but I had a very happy son. Both the kids have loved the skiing and done really well.
We are a bit reluctant to move on tomorrow as we have had an amazing week here. This is such a beautiful part of the world and we have had fantastic weather and snow conditions. I’m sure we will all sleep like logs tonight, and I’m even more sure that there will be some pretty sore legs in the morning!