On Tuesday, March 4th, Wolf Creek Ski Area Avalanche Technician and Senior Patroller Colin Sutton was caught in an avalanche while conducting an exploration and research mission via helicopter on Conejos Peak in the South San Juan Mountain Range. He was airlifted by a Medevac helicopter to the emergency room at Mercy Regional Hospital in Durango, Colorado where he was pronounced deceased at 4:30 PM.
Colin was a full time professional ski patroller at Wolf Creek for 12 years where he continuously excelled in his work. Colin was a National Ski Patrol Member, Basic Life Support and CPR Provider, Outdoor Emergency Care Provider, Certified Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Level III Avalanche Technician, State of Colorado Type I Explosives Permit Possessor, Snow Study Director at Wolf Creek Ski Area (AvTech), and a Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment Qualified Dog Handler with his black Labrador “Boca”.
Colin began skiing at Wolf Creek when he was three years old and his passion for the mountains took him around the world. He will be missed deeply by everyone at Wolf Creek Ski Area and throughout Colorado Ski Country.
By Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
There’s not a lot of night skiing in Colorado. We’ve got daytime skiing galore, arguably the best in the nation. But when it comes to nighttime, with the exception of after dark stalwarts Howelsen Hill and Ski Granby Ranch, the lifts shut down, the music cranks up and my family, well, we turn in early, so that we can click in early the next day. Still, I’ve always been intrigued with skiing under the lights. Why? Because the ticket is always cheaper, it extends the day, or allows us to ski after a busy day, and well, because it’s skiing.
1,100 Vertical Feet of Fun at Steamboat
This season, Steamboat turned on the lights and upped the scale of skiing at night, big time. When the switch was flipped on January 10th, Steamboat skiers and riders experienced 1,100 vertical feet of nighttime fun for the first time. Riding the Christie Peak Express, the base area six pack, the view with the lights is impressive, especially when you consider how much terrain is open. Skiers and riders have their choice of Sitz, See Me/See Ya, Vogue, Stampede and Lil’ Rodeo, as well as a fully lit terrain park. Best of all, the mountain grooms the night skiing terrain before reopening. You won’t be skiing on someone else’s freshly frozen track. It’s all corduroy.
The views from 8,000 foot Christie Peak at night are stunning, especially as the sun is setting. The skiing is fun, with a variety of black, blue and green runs, and the mood is festive. When we were there, on a warm Sunday night, we met a group of guys who had flown in only hours before. They were thrilled to be skiing and getting some bonus turns during their vacation. On another ride, we met a dad and his young son. They’d been skiing all day, taking a dinner break when the lifts closed, and were hard back at it. Finally, we met up with some locals who’d worked all day, and now were free to ski.
Night skiing and riding at Steamboat happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through March 30. With the longer days of spring, the hours shifted slightly and the mountain is now open from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
A One-Time Deal at Powderhorn?
South and west of Steamboat, Powderhorn Mountain Resort near Grand Junction also entered the realm of night skiing this winter, although perhaps only on a special-event basis. On the last weekend in February, the mountain stayed open until 9:00 p.m. for twilight skiing and under-the-lights fun. Presented by Wagner Rents, a Grand Junction company that provides lighting to the X Games, as night fell the resort limited the open terrain to the midway station of Chair One, and filled that chairlift to capacity.
While most of the action was on the resort’s jump line and in the terrain park, we saw young families, old-time locals, and lots of friends either on the snow, or in the lodge where there was music and a packed house. In the lift line, Powderhorn employees passed out glow sticks and chocolate. The atmosphere was total party. And while we didn’t make it over there, the bunny slope was also lit up and open, and from what I heard, it was…hopping (sorry!).
While night skiing at Powderhorn was a one-time deal for this season, the resort is offering $15 Fridays throughout March.
Chair One will stay open to the top of the mountain until 6:00 p.m. and tickets, and rentals, are only $15 each. The ski and ride school is offering a special one hour group lesson for $15 from 4:40-5:30, and the tubing park and bag jump are also open. It sounds like a good way to start a western Colorado weekend.
Talking with resort marketing manager Dave Smith in early February, he shared the resort’s rationale. “It just seems like a good thing to do in Spring with the longer days. We’ll keep the lifts open longer, and make it affordable for everyone to come up and enjoy.”
On March 19-23, the world’s best snowboarders will descend on Aspen, Colorado to try their hand on a halfpipe (or two) that is unlike anything ever seen before. For the first time ever, two competition-spec halfpipes will be constructed side-by-side, complete with rails, wallrides, channels and other unique features sprinkled throughout the custom built snow feature. Located at the base of Buttermilk Mountain, the ‘double pipe’ will allow riders to transfer back and forth between the two halfpipes in a single run, opening up an endless number of potential lines and combination of tricks that are not possible in traditional halfpipe contests. Riders will be judged not only on their technical abilities, but even more importantly, on their style, creativity and use of the course. The Red Bull Double Pipe contest will air on NBC, Saturday April 12 at 2pm EST, as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, and spectators are encouraged to attend the live contest at Buttermilk as the event will be free and open to the public.
“A ‘Double Pipe’? Are you kidding me? Two side-by-side halfpipes with transfers and options all over?? This is the kind of thing that our team at SPT has been dreaming about, and only a company like Red Bull can bring something like this to life,” says Chris Gunnarson, President & Founder of Snow Park Technologies, the leading designers and builders of snow parks, pipes and event courses around the world. “It’s one thing to design this concept on a computer, but the build plan for something this immense already has our heads spinning. It’s so rad to see a project like Red Bull Double Pipe break the mold with such a super progressive event on this scale.”
Each halfpipe will be over 550’ long, approximately 68’ wide, and 22’ tall with an approximate 4’ wide spine located in between each pipe. Including the outside walls, the Red Bull Double Pipe will be 180’ wide and over 550’ long, making it the largest halfpipe feature built to date.
“Progression is a beautiful thing,” says John Rigney, V.P. of Sales and Events, Aspen Skiing Company. “It’s always incredibly exciting having the best athletes in the world competing here in Aspen/Snowmass, but to see this select group tackle an entirely new challenge at Buttermilk right here in our backyard is going to be amazing. We are proud to partner with Red Bull on another groundbreaking event.”
The Buttermilk superpipe, Government’s expert jump line and Spruce Park are closed until further notice for the build and event, but there are still over 100 park features on Buttermilk that are open to the public on Teaser, Uncle Chucks, Jacob’s Ladder and S3 on Red’s Rover run. An intermediate jib line will be re-opened on Spruce prior to and during the competition. Buttermilk plans to have the Double Pipe open for public use following the event. Please note that the Snowmass superpipe and jump line are open daily for park and pipe skiers and riders.
The Red Bull Double Pipe event format, schedule, and a complete list of riders will be announced shortly. In the meantime, please go to www.redbull.com/doublepipe and www.redbull.com/snow for updates on other snowboarding athletes, events and projects in the world of Red Bull.
The remarkable 2013-14 ski season in Colorado continued this weekend as Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts enjoyed another new round of snowfall. This most recent storm was widespread, blanketing the high country in fresh snow just in time for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy great conditions over the first weekend of March.
Since Thursday, CSCUSA resorts have enjoyed an average of 17 inches of new snow. Eighteen CSCUSA resorts enjoyed double-digit snow totals over the weekend, and five resorts enjoyed more than two feet of powder.
Resorts in the southwest of Colorado fared particularly well, as Wolf Creek celebrated 37 inches of new snow in the space of three days. Silverton recorded 33 inches of fresh powder, Durango Mountain Resort saw 27 inches, and snowriders at Telluride enjoyed 17 inches of new snow.
Further north, Loveland and Crested Butte also broke through the two-foot threshold with 25 inches and 24 inches of snow, respectively. Arapahoe Basin received 18 inches, and Copper Mountain and Winter Park each saw 17 inches of fresh powder. Ski Cooper saw 15 inches, Eldora and Monarch Mountain each received 14 inches of new snow, and Ski Granby Ranch accumulated 7 inches of powder,
To the west, Aspen Highlands measured 19 inches of new snow, Snowmass registered 14 inches, Aspen Mountain, Powderhorn, Steamboat, and Sunlight Mountain Resort all enjoyed 11 inches of snow, Buttermilk registered 6 inches, and Howelsen recorded 4.5 inches.
Conditions across Colorado Ski Country are in prime shape as March begins, historically Colorado’s snowiest month. Significant additional accumulation is expected this coming Tuesday and Friday. Knowing how to ski safely in deep snow is essential to having a fun day out in the powder. Visit http://www.coloradoski.com/page/ski-safety for helpful tips and to learn Your Responsibility Code, the list of best practices to ensure your safety on the mountain.
Keep up to date on snowfall totals with the CSCUSA snow report updated by the resorts themselves: http://www.coloradoski.com/snow-report.
Originally posted by Megan Barber at ski.curbed.com.
Our friends at Curbed Ski are in the midst of an epic trip through southwest Colorado, seeking out some of the best ski conditions anyone has seen for a generation. Today, they’ll let you in on one of the state’s snowiest secrets: Wolf Creek Ski Area. As the first stop in their ultimate powder road trip, Wolf Creek sets the stage with fluffy pillow lines, lots of snow, and a laid-back vibe. We’re highlighting a few of Curbed Ski’s top ten reasons why you need to get your powder-loving bum to this local’s favorite, ASAP, so be sure to check out the rest of their coverage of this snowrider’s paradise. (continue reading…)
Powderhorn Mountain Resort (PMR) is offering their first ever Night Skiing Event on February 28 and March 1, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Join PMR and Wagner Rents, for a night of skiing/riding under the stars and lights. PMR will have the Take-Four lift open to Midway with Lower Peacemaker run and the Easy-Ride lift and Bottom’s Up run all under the lights.
PMR will be offering discounted $15 lift tickets starting at 3:30 p.m., with lift access open from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Season Pass holders, P-Card user tickets, and full-day lift ticket purchases will be valid until 9:00 p.m. on February 28 and March 1, 2014.
PMR will also offer discounted $15 rentals starting starting at 3:30 p.m. and a $15 one-hour group lesson from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (ages 8 and up). A 90-minute private lesson will be available starting at 4:00 p.m. for $90. Reservations are highly recommended.
The Bag Jump will remain open until 9:00 p.m. and the Tubing Hill will offer a fourth session from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The ticket office will be open until 8:30 p.m. There will be discounts on select food and beverage items. No other discounts or promotional products will be allowed or applied to this special event.
For more information regarding lessons and rentals, please contact the Ski and Ride Center at 970.268.5700 ext. 2080, and for pricing and ticket information contact the ticket office at 970.268.5700, or visit the Powderhorn website at www.powderhorn.com/special-events.