“I love it when a plan comes together.” – John “Hannibal” Smith, The A-Team
By R. Scott Rappold
I’ve driven 150 miles on twisty highways, over three mountain passes, far from the places I usually ski, to be here at this place at this moment in time.
Outside the window of the bed-and-breakfast/hostel, the snow is coming down heavily. Puking. Nuking. Choose your verb. Around the fireplace, spring breakers who spent the day ripping the groomers are discussing the need for fatter rental skis.
It’s March 14 and after a painfully dry stretch, winter has returned to the Colorado high country. Well, parts of the high country. That’s the problem.
While it would be great if every storm cycle would spread the snow around democratically, that’s rarely the case. We’re a state of many mountain ranges, and any given storm can impact them in wildly different ways. Ski areas just a few miles apart can have huge differences when ski patrol checks the snow stake before dawn.
So sometimes the serious powder hound has to hit the road to find the goods. This is how I chase powder. Continue ReadingRead More »
Resorts Welcome Skiers and Riders with Parties, Races, Concerts, and Pond-skimming
Spring has sprung at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member ski areas and resorts, with mild temperatures, blue skies, and soft snow. Spring skiing in Colorado features carved turns on fresh groomed runs, playing in late season powder, and fun resort events and activities for the whole family. Colorado’s dry air, high elevation, strong sunshine, and ample late spring snow mean that some of the best ski days of the season are still to come.
From pond skims and brewfests to unorthodox races and concerts galore, April in Ski Country has something for everyone. Below is a roundup of springtime celebrations happening at CSCUSA resorts in what is typically the second snowiest month in the high country.Read More »
Wolf Creek Ski Area has invited local school children over the past 15 years to create posters that illustrates one or more elements of the Skiers’ and Snowboarders’ Responsibility Code. Elementary through high school students who participate in the Wolf Creek School Group Program are invited to enter their artwork. The posters are displayed in Base Camp lodge where they are voted for by guests and employees. The top three winners are awarded a variety of lift tickets, lessons and rentals.Read More »
By R. Scott Rappold
We take ski lifts for granted.
That thought appeared out of nowhere as I floundered in shoulder-deep snow, trying desperately to find the bottom so I could click back into my alpine touring bindings. The sun was perilously low, the alpenglow on the Mosquito Mountains shining like a warning light. Though our destination was just an uphill football field away, no goal ever seemed farther.
But at 12,000 feet in winter, to quit would be to die, so on we pushed, pausing every few steps to gasp for wind in the too-thin air. And then we were there, stripping off sweat-soaked layers and warming numb toes around the fire, which the quicker members of our group were good enough to light.
A yurt is a warm hole in the middle of winter, rustic and cozy, a form of cold-weather camping used on the Asian steppe for millennia. In Colorado, they’re primarily used by skiers and snowshoers, a way to spend a couple days relaxing in a silent winter wonderland or hitting some untracked ski lines.
And unlike the famed 10th Mountain Division huts – so popular you need to enter a lottery nearly a year in advance – yurts can usually be booked weeks or even days in advance.
But there are a few things you need to know first.Read More »
Thanks to a massive powder week that has seen Winter Park Resort pick up 42” of fresh snow since Monday, iconic Mary Jane will remain open an extra 13 days, with closing now slated for Saturday, May 7. Lifts and trails on the Winter Park side will still close on the originally scheduled closing day of Sunday, April 24. Continue ReadingRead More »