Morning photo: Step outside …

Don’t fear the winter


FRISCO —After about five months of snow and cold, it’s understandable that some people might want to just curl up beneath a thick blanket for a few weeks to wait for spring. But if you do, you might miss scenes like this: Exquisite morning sunshine filtering through tall pines, the tangerine-colored glow of a winter sunset and the crumpled snow fields that look like cake frosting. Enjoy the last bits of winter, especially in the era of global warming, when winter snows seem far from a sure thing. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Morning photo: Snow dancing

Powder love!

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Dylan and Comet enjoy some powder and air time in the Loveland Pass backcountry.

FRISCO — All the world’s eyes focusing on the current round of climate talks in Lima, Peru, made me realize once again how much is at stake for those of us who love winter and snow. Of course, global warming isn’t going to wipe out all the snow at once, but that’s one of the things that makes the global warming issue so vexing. Even if we can’t see much change from season to season, there’s a good chance that snowfall patterns will be very different 50 years from now. Based on everything we know, it’s hard to say with any certainty that skiing will be be sustainable as a sport by the end of the century. Since I want my son, and his children, to have the same chance to experience winter the way we do know, I know that it’s imperative to #actonclimate. Continue reading

Morning photo: Calendar-worthy?

January 2014

An other-worldly January susnet over Dillon Reservoir and the Continental Divide.

An otherworldly January susnet over Dillon Reservoir and the Continental Divide.

FRISCO — Tis the season … Even though it’s not Halloween yet, it is time to start thinking about putting together the annual Summit Voice calendar, which you can always custom order at our Redbubble gallery. Like every year, we’re asking for a little reader feedback to help choose each month’s image. And, as always, I had a hard time narrowing the choice to these five photos, all snapped in Summit County, Colorado. The sunset scenes were all taken on a single day, probably one of the most phenomenal sunsets I’ve seen in Colorado, with the sky going from orange and yellow to bruised purple, back to more orange. Comment in the box at the end of this post and tell us which one is your favorite shot! Continue reading

Near-record snowpack in parts of Colorado River Basin

A faint sheen of color above Buffalo Mountain marked sunset, with more moisture rolling in from the West.

A faint sheen of color above Buffalo Mountain marked sunset, with more moisture rolling in from the West.

Colorado’s north-central mountains favored by this winter’s storm track

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Summit County remained a target for above average precipitation in February, with both official weather stations reporting surplus snowfall for the month. The Upper Blue in particular benefited from the storm track, with the snowpack now approaching record levels.

To date, the snowpack  in the Blue River Basin is the third highest on record, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chad Gimmestad, who said there is a moderate potential for spring flooding in the basin. Continue reading

Dartmouth study suggests clearcutting and ‘snow farming’ as global warming mitigation

This near-total clearcut near Frisco, Colorado, may provide a higher-value ecosystem service than a slow-growing forest. bberwyn photo.

This near-total clearcut near Frisco, Colorado, may provide a higher-value ecosystem service than a slow-growing forest. bberwyn photo.

Higher albedo of snow-covered ground a factor in climate mitigation calculations

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Snow farming is nothing new for ski area operators, who have long been cultivating the white stuff to help keep their slopes covered. Now, a recent study by researchers at Darthmouth College suggests that snow farming could also make sense on a larger scale, in the context of climate-change mitigation.

In a novel look at forests and snow, their report says that replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if slow-growing trees are left standing in snowy high latitudes. In those areas, persistent snow cover reflects heat back into space, partially offsetting the effect of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Continue reading

Avalanches kill two in Colorado

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High avalanche danger prevailed across the Colorado mountains when two backcountry skiers died in snow slides Feb. 10.

High slide danger persists across the mountains

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado’s exceptionally deep snowpack turned deadly this week, as a backcountry traveler near Kebler Pass was killed in a large avalanche. Search and rescue crews also found  another victim in the backcountry between Keystone and Breckenridge after a two-day search.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Feb. 10 Kebler Pass slide involved two snowmobilers caught in a “very large avalanche” on a south- to southeast-facing slope below treeline. The slide broke between two to five-feet deep, about 600 feet wide and ran about 750 vertical feet. Debris at the bottom of the slide piled up to 20 feet deep.

Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Winter wonderland

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Shooting into the sun with an iPhone, using the camera’s HDR to capture a bit of the iridescence in the upper level clouds as a winter storm descended on Summit County.

FRISCO —It certainly feels like the heart of winter right now in Summit County, as well it should. Mid-January is the time for snow and ice, and this year Mother Nature has delivered on time. Today’s Sunday set is a little photographic homage to the white stuff, an important part of life in the Colorado high country in so many ways. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for a full selection of Colorado landscape images, available as fine art prints or greeting cards. Continue reading

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