Looking to do something purely Colorado-spiritual on Easter morning?
John Meyer, the Denver Post's outdoors reporter, an expert on pretty much all-things outdoors, shares his Colorado Easter morning secret: moonlight skiing (make sure to wear a headlamp) from Vail Pass to Shrine Pass to catch the Easter sunrise. Shrine Pass offers a 360-degree panorama at 11,200 feet.
Meyer describes the sunrise: "Then, as I drank in the stunning beauty of the scene at my spot just a few feet off the trail on Shrine Pass, sunbeams exploded over the peaks to the east, creating a scene of indescribable beauty and peace. And I had it all to myself."
Keep in mind, Meyer is also a member of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Colorado Running Hall of Fame, so there may be a reason he had that scene "all to [him]self." Even if his annual Easter pilgrimage isn't your speed, he sure makes it sound worthwhile (maybe, someday)! With the moon cycles ever in favor of Colorado Easter sunrises (with the exception of an overcast morning), anyone can experience this moonlit/sunrise adventure every Easter as long as you're willing and able to go for a 4-mile ski trek at 0-dark-thirty. Meyer explains:
"Easter always occurs a week or less after a full moon, and because it follows the full moon by a matter of days, the moon is always in the predawn sky when the sun rises on Easter. The fewer days there are between the full moon and Easter, the lower the moon will be in the western sky."
If you are considering following in Meyer's ski tracks, the summitpost.org website notes the following for the Shrine Mountain and Wingle Ridge via Vail Pass route:
- Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering, Skiing
- Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
- Time Required: A long day
- Difficulty: Class 2
You can also check the availability to book a hut at Shrine Mountain Inn huts.
If you're game to do this in 2021, Easter falls on April 4. Easter sunrise will be 6:38 a.m.
Let us know in the comments if you plan to make it to the summit on Easter morning. Give our regards to Meyer.