Seems Mother Nature is as eager for ski season as we are. This week she sprinkled the high peaks in Colorado with some fresh snow, just to remind us all that winter will be here before we know it. Clockwise from top left: Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Telluride, Ski Cooper.
Thanks to cool temperatures and late-season snow, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) has extended the Colorado ski and ride season for another weekend. Arapahoe Basin will be open seven days a week through June 2, 2013, and will reopen for summer skiing and riding on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 7, 8, and 9, 2013.
Durango Mountain Resort enjoyed snow on its peaks this week, yet will be in full summer mode once the resort opens for summer operations on June 1. Check out the pictures below from this week.
Aspen Skiing Company has announced that with the start of summer operations, the top of Aspen Mountain will be open for skiing and riding on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27. Heavy spring snowfall has left the top of the mountain covered in snow as the traditional summer operating season begins. With a base depth of 33 inches up top, the mountain will open with 16 runs and nearly 90 acres of mostly intermediate terrain, served by the Ajax Express chairlift.
We’re loving the April snow that we’ve seen so far, and we’re having a strong late-season here in Colorado Ski Country. We have four resorts that are still open, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Aspen Highlands and Winter Park, and we’re affectionately calling this the “season that won’t quit.”
One of Wolf Creek Ski Area’s Ski Patrollers has some particularly bad breath. I’ve just watched Rico execute a rescue of a buried avalanche victim in a training drill put on by Wolf Creek, and as I congratulate him on a job well done, Rico’s halitosis washes over me and I’m struggling for fresh air, much like the simulated avalanche victim he just rescued. I can’t help but wonder what he had for breakfast.
Having smelled Rico’s breath, my guess would be dog food. And I’d be right, because Rico is one of Wolf Creek Ski Area’s avalanche dogs.
I hop on the 8 o’clock chair with a few Ski Patrollers at Durango Mountain Resort (DMR). I ask one of the patrollers what he thought of a recent article that seemed to suggest Ski Patrollers across the state lack in training.
“That article made us sound like a bunch of un-trained monkeys!” exclaimed TJ, a veteran patroller at DMR. “I resent that. We’re highly trained monkeys.”
The vibe here is relaxed, even on dawn-patrol. The snow has already begun to soften up on this late-March day. Festivities at the base area, known to locals as “the Beach” will include snow bowling, a pig roast, and of course, beer. Did I mention it’s college day?
“That’ll bring the rabble out for sure.” remarks Scott Clements, director of the Patrol at DMR. I’ve seen closing day at DMR before. It usually means costumes, antics, and lots of fun, so I know it’s going to be a good day to shadow the patrollers.
Despite the chucklings about the laid-back vibe of spring skiing in Colorado, Ski Patrol is diligent about their job. It’s business-as-usual in the Patrol Shack. The morning meeting begins with grooming reports, station assignments, and the typical razzing of the rookie. The only think significantly different today is sitting on a table in front of me… (continue reading…)