Intern Report: Earning Turns in July

Connor Davis hits St. Mary’s Glacier to remember why he skis.

Living in Denver with my friends drives us nuts in the summer. School (the University of Denver), brought us to the city but our mountain roots want to pull us right back out of it. In the midst of several hot Colorado months, we’ve been organizing weekly adventures to stay cool, and our trip to St. Mary’s Glacier (about an hour west of Denver) was certainly the best to date.

After discovering that snow remained on the glacier during a cliff-jumping trip, we naturally returned with our ski gear, eager to earn some July turns.

(photo by Connor Hudson)

After waiting out the rain for an hour at our lakeside campsite, we began the summit-seeking trek at about noon. Ski touring in July is like being in an airport with ski gear: You feel out of place, and passersby ask a host of seemingly obvious questions. Clouds still lingered above us, resulting in wet and cool conditions that felt oddly similar to home in Vermont.

Step by step, we made it to the summit in an hour. Despite the remaining snow, wildflowers flourished around us, and the grass looked greener than any I’ve seen in parched Colorado. We were far away from Denver’s concrete jungle (at more than 11,000 feet above the sea), and it was invigorating.

(photo by Connor Hudson)

Strapping on skis in July, and, even more so, making those first turns was amazing. The snow was slow, dirty, bumpy, and weathered, but we enjoyed every second of skiing it. Watching the sunset over St. Mary’s Lake with the aroma of bratwursts fuming off the grill, I became overwhelmed with sentiment. It’s these spur-of-the-moment adventures that make life so exciting, and I look forward to continuing them in the future.