Leave at 9 a.m. and drive down to Wolf Creek in time for a half day. Get your ski legs back under you in the always fresh, north-facing shots off Knife Ridge.
The San Juan Ski Company's Snowcat awaits you at Durango Mountain Ski Resort. Ride the cat up to 12,500 feet and then flush out new powder in the naturally gladed, old-growth San Juan National Forest. Finish the day with a Lizard Head Red at Steamworks Brewing Company in Durango before getting some rest at the nearby Victorian-era General Palmer Hotel, an historic landmark.
Get the synapses firing at the Steaming Bean Coffee Co. and then put 'em to work by completing a one-day Avalanche Awareness course with Durango's Southwest Adventures. The syllabus covers weather forecasting, avalanche terrain recognition, and safe backcountry travel. It'll also teach you how to use that fancy beacon you bought. Decompress later at the Scoot 'n Blues Café, a biker bar by the hotel.
Hone your new avy skills by heading an hour north and joining 80 skiers for a chairlift-served, guided backcountry experience at Silverton Mountain. One double chair and a 20-minute hike deliver almost 3,000 feet of 40- to 55-degree bowls and trees. Finish the weekend with a detour to the Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs. The 16 terraced baths range in temperature from cool (83 degrees) to ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh scalding (114 degrees).
For an OB tour without the sweat, let Gretchen and Gregg Dubit of Durango Dog Ranch lead you dog sledding through the San Juan National Forest. It's kind of like the Iditarod, only shorter and more fun (they don't shoot their dogs when they get tired).
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