The short answer: YES.
Also? It's complicated.
Back in January, we did see the the mercury dip down to -30 degrees. Fahrenheit. And yeah, that's pretty freaking cold. But it was while I was sleeping, nestled cozily under my down comforter with the heat cranking. I didn't even notice.
The next day, the temps rose to -15. The middle school kids still had recess. Some of them wore shorts and t-shirts (I could not make that up if I tried) and I barely needed my hat. True story. The sun is STRONG here, you guys. At 7700 feet with zero humidity and no wind, the sun is extremely bright and very warm.
Then, the cold spell broke, the temps rose in to the 20s and 30s during the day and Brian rode his road bike during lunch. TRUTH. It felt that warm. At about 10 degrees, the ice melts off the roads under the sun's glare and the ambient temp feels significantly warmer. We are blessed to have minimal wind in this valley and so winter is a spectacularly beautiful undertaking. Gore-Tex never necessary.
I spend way more time outside in the winter here than I ever did in Portland. Because in Portland, it's wet, dark, and cold. 40 degrees in Portland feels miserable. 40 degrees in Gunnison feels balmy. I am never without my sunglasses or my lip balm. I like that.
Yesterday, the temps were in the 20s and we biked the kids home from school. I didn't even need my gloves.
It's pretty much paradise around here. And everyone says the summers are 10 times more amazing than the winters.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE??
I cannot wait.
Ice skating on a rare free afternoon after work. No jacket necessary.
I have been training indoors (pre-pulled muscle, which is another story in itself), mainly due to timing. I get off work around 5, so darkness and children prevent some outdoor workouts.
Hired a babysitter. Hiked Mirkwood Bowl at Monarch with my best friend. Winter pretty much rules.
Burning my calories and earning my hamburger at 12,000 feet.
Skiing with this girl= AWESOME.
Hanging out in Lake City at 9,000 feet after an afternoon at their local ski hill. Warm. Sunny. Blissful.
The poma ride at the Lake City Ski Hill.
Riding the free bus to Crested Butte. My kids are old hats at taking the bus now, though you would never know it by the occasional tantrums/screaming that may occur en route.
An ice skate sesh with Mini-Me on the pond across the street from our house.
We met a guy in the parking lot at Monarch this past weekend. He was from Boulder. He said, "You guys live here?? I am SO JEALOUS." Brian and I have said the exact same thing many times over the years to mountain locals. Now? We are THAT COUPLE.
And it feels so good.