Good friends, good snow and husbands at their service.
For eight local ladies, it's hard to imagine a better way to celebrate a pair of birthdays last week.
Terri Eaton (who turned 65 on Feb. 22) and Violeta Powell (who turned 71 on the same day) were joined by Sue Mathis, Kim Ruhland, Joni Hinterhaeuser, Diana Dettmering, Dianne Sample and Marion Braum to become (what we assume is) the first group to ski six mountains - Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge - in a single day. (There are no records that would indicate this isn't the first time it has been done.)
The idea came three years ago when Sample, a Breck local, turned 60.
"I was doing a bunch of things with (the number) 60 in it. One of the ideas was to ski six mountains in one day, but I never got around to it. Some friends of mine were celebrating their birthdays, and I said, 'We should ski six mountains,' so that's what we did."
She said the toughest part was organizing the logistics, and the ladies couldn't have done it without the slopeside pick-up provided by three of their husbands.
"My husband was in a dreadful mood on the way over because there were two snowplows blocking our way coming down the pass," Sample joked. "But he's happy to do these things. If he ever wanted to attempt it, I would do it for him. ... We called them our chauffeurs and sherpas."
The ladies encountered a variety of conditions and elements during the mountain marathon. Powder, moguls, ice and howling winds were some of the obstacles the they faced. But in the end, the group felt as though they spent a lot of time in the car than on snow, Sample said.
"I wouldn't say (it was very grueling). Nothing that a glass of wine wouldn't fix," Sample said. "We enjoyed each mountain for different reasons. At Beaver Creek, we just had a really nice long run. ... In Vail, we did the terrain park, which was fun. At Copper, we did the bumps. So we really mixed it up."
The ladies went on to Keystone and
A-Basin, and they finished up the day in their hometown of Breckenridge.
"We wanted to end up in Breck because we all live here," Sample said. "We think we could have done seven mountains, actually. We might attempt to do Loveland next year."