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Solo Ski Day and Lunch at C Bar

February 19, 2013

President’s Day Weekend was another wonderful weekend of skiing here in my world.  I had Friday through Sunday off from work and logged 3 fabulously full days on the mountain.

Beaver Creek

I tend to approach skiing on President’s Day Weekend with a little bit of apprehension because it is usually one of the busiest weekends on the mountain.  As one of the only “holidays” between New Year’s Day and Spring Break, President’s Day tends to bring New Yorkers and Texans to the mountains in droves.

Welcome to Beaver Creek

Anticipating a busy day, I headed to Beaver Creek on my own early Saturday morning and planned to ski where the crowds wouldn’t find me – in the trees and on the steep bump runs of Grouse Mountain.  We had gotten snow Thursday and Friday, so the trees were deep and the bumps were soft.  It’d been a while since I’d skied solo and I really enjoyed pushing myself to my limits and skiing exactly what I wanted to ski at any given moment.

Tree Ski

One of the great things about Beaver Creek is that even when it is more crowded than usual, it doesn’t see the volume of visitors that Breckenridge or Vail do.  That means a “busy” day might entail waiting in line for 5 minutes, not 20.  Plus, if you are willing to ski tougher terrain, you can usually avoid people altogether.

Grouse Mountain is an area of Beaver Creek where I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lift line.  With all black and double-black bump runs, and one blue that usually skis more like a black, you only ride that chair if you mean business.  Or if you’re like me and have a lot of work to do on your bump skiing.  Those runs are steep and long, perfect for the self-improvement ski day I decided to have.

Stopping to rest mid-way down a run on Grouse.

Stopping to rest mid-way down a run on Grouse.

There was finally great snow coverage on this steep terrain and the bumps were soft and delicious.

Grouse Mountain

Around noon, my legs were begging for a break and I headed down to the village to meet the boyfriend for lunch.  I had received a coupon for a free bowl of soup at the new restaurant C Bar during my Ladies Social Tour a few weeks back, so we headed in to see what it was all about.

C Bar

C Bar is an offshoot of longtime Beaver Creek staple the Chop House, and serves a creative bar menu.  It has a more laid-back ambiance than the Chop House and lunch is priced more in my ballpark.  The menu includes dressed up cheese fries and nachos, soups, salads, raw bar, flatbreads, creative sliders and mac ‘n’ cheese dishes.

C Bar

The menu got us so excited that we are already planning a return trip, but one of the highlights of C Bar is definitely the location.  It shares the Chop House’s sunny patio right smack at the base of Beaver Creek.  There is a sliding wall that can be closed on cold and blustery days, but on this gorgeous sunny day the entire restaurant was open to the view.  We were sitting at a table just “inside” the restaurant on the edge of the patio and this was the view from our table:

Chair 6 Base

C Bar Patio

Back to the food… We started off by cashing in my coupon for a bowl of Roasted Tomato Gorgonzola Soup that I loved.  If you’re a tomato soup fan like I am and a fan of gorgonzola cheese, you’d love it.  I know people tend to have a love/hate relationship with bleu cheese, so if you’re on the hater side this isn’t the soup for you.

Roasted Tomato Gorgonzola Soup

We both wanted to try half the menu, so we decided to split two things for our main course.  We ordered the Jalapeno & Elk Chorizo Mac n’ Cheese and the braised Short Rib Sliders with brie and cabbage slaw.

Elk Mac n Cheese

The mac was perfectly creamy with just enough kick that my weak palate could handle it easily.  And the short ribs on the sliders actually melted in my mouth.  There was not a bite left on either plate when we finished.

Lunch at C Bar

When the waiter came by to tempt us with dessert, the boyfriend’s eyes lit up at the words carrot cake.  I was stuffed and trying to behave myself, so I put up about a 30 second protest before caving in.  And I’m so glad I caved.

C Bar Carrot Cake

There really are no words for the slab of carrot cake that plunked down in front of us a few minutes later.  There were six – six! – layers of delicious carrot cake interspersed with decadent cream cheese frosting.  We each devoured a few bites before I remembered to take this photo that does it no justice.  Just promise me you’ll try it sometime, ok?  And it was HUGE.  These two dessert lovers were no match for this cake and we ended up taking half of it home in a box for later.  Great life choice.

So that was our lunch.  A three-course lunch for two (minus a free bowl of soup) with no booze ran us about $40 including a nice tip.  That isn’t exactly an affordable lunch in the grand scheme of the world, but in the scheme of slopeside dining in Beaver Creek it seemed like a good value.

After lunch I stepped back into my skis and spent another couple hours cruising groomers and skiing trees.  My legs could NOT have handled a return to the bumps!  It was such a nice day and not nearly as crowded as I’d expected.

Beaver Creek

I hope you had a great weekend in your neck of the woods!


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