Posted on May 10, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Backcountry paradise in the Canadian Rockies
Our camp at around noon on the day we flew in to the Oasis Lake area in the Selkirks.
By Stan Wagon (All photos by Stan Wagon unless otherwise noted.)
After 23 years of skiing in British Columbia, either visiting a nice lodge (with many comforts) or doing a ski traverse (camping, and traveling with heavy packs), we tried something new this year — a week-long base camp at a single location. We chose Oasis Lake in the Selkirks southwest of Golden, a spot we had passed through on a traverse on 2004. To our group of six Coloradans we added a guide, Pierre Hungr, who last year led us on a hut-to-hut trip near the Lyell Icefield.
We used a Bell 212 helicopter flown by Alpine Helicopters in Golden. It is a powerful and spacious machine, but it cannot fly in low visibility, and we were delayed a day going in (and the same going out). Speaking of delays, the drive up was a bit of an adventure as I-25 was closed at the Wyoming border and we had to make a complicated detour via Highway 14 through Cameron Pass in whiteout conditions, and then use a route through Idaho. This added eight hours to what is already a long 1.5-day drive.
A view of the Wrong icefall from near the camp, with the descent route at looker’s right. This picture proves that there was more snow here this year than in April 2004, where more rocks were showing.
Filed under: recreation, skiing and riding, Travel | Tagged: backcountry skiing, Canadian Rockies, Oasis Lake, Selkirks, skiing, Stan Wagon | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Spring powder nothing new for The Legend
Skiing April powder at Arapahoe Basin, April 2010. Bob Berwyn photo.
A skier enjoys a big powder day at Arapahoe Basin on April 23, 2010. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — While most of Colorado’s megaresorts closed with more snow than they’ve had on their slopes all season, a handful of areas are still open for spring skiing, including Aspen Highlands, Winter Park, Loveland and, of course, Arapahoe Basin, known for having one of the longest seasons in the country.
With 21 inches of new snow in just the 48 hours and more on the way for the next few days, ski conditions at Arapahoe Basin are peaking. A 65-inch base means great conditions all over the mountain, including Montezuma Bowl and the steeps of the East Wall. As general manager Alan Henceroth wrote in a recent blog post, “All the the little lines are filled.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: 2013 ski season, A-Basin East Wall, Arapahoe Basin, Arapahoe Basin open, Colorado, Colorado skiing, spring skiing | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
After legal showdown, agency, resorts start down collaborative path to address critical water questions
Who owns the water originating on national forest lands? Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — After losing a court showdown, the U.S. Forest Service will restart a process to try and clarify the future of water rights associated with permitted uses on national forest lands, especially with regard to ski areas in the West. Click here to see related Summit Voice stories.
In December, a federal court ruled that the Forest Service failed to meet legal requirements when it updated the rule administratively. Now, the agency will hold a series of public meetings, starting April 16 in Denver, to take input from the public and key stakeholders. Additional meetings are set for Salt Lake City on April 17, and Lake Tahoe, Calif., on April 18. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, ski industry, skiing and riding, water | Tagged: Colorado, Public land, ski industry, Ski Resorts, U.S. Forest Service, water, water rights | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Good late-season snow conditions should help Colorado ski areas bounce back partially from a so-so start to the season.
Ski trade group reports slight increase from last season for the January-February period
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After dropping steeply last season and the first part of this winter, Colorado skier visits stabilized during the past few months, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.
The state’s ski industry trade group said skier visits at its 21 member resorts climbed 1.3 percent during January and February, compared to the same two months last season.
For the season to-date, visitation at CSCUSA resorts was down 4.2 percent compared to the same time last season, defined as opening day through February 28. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, recreation, ski industry, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Ski Country USA, Colorado skier visits, skiing | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Resort says it will use more ropes and signage when needed to discourage uphill traffic and warn of potential hazards
A diagram prepared by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center shows the approximate locations of various gates used to access Prima Cornice at Vail Ski Area.
*Read more Summit Voice coverage of the inbounds avalanche deaths at Vail and Winter Park here.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With the discovery phase of a trial over last year’s inbounds avalanche death of a teenage skier under way, Vail Resorts this week announced that it has changed the way ski patrollers manage the Vail Ski Area terrain where the deadly incident occurred.
Based on its own review of the avalanche on Prima Cornice, Vail officials said there may be times when patrollers use more ropes and signage to indicate closures and potential danger. The changes were instituted at the start of this season, according to a statement from Vail Resorts.
“Vail Resorts takes safety as its highest priority, and we continually re-evaluate and adapt based on new information or changing skier behavior. The Company remains a defendant in a lawsuit concerning this incident and will not be making additional comments. We remain incredibly saddened by the events of that day, and our deepest sympathy continues to go out to the family of Taft Conlin,” the company said in it statement. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Colorado, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Vail Resorts | Tagged: Colorado, inbounds avalanches, Prima Cornice avalanche, skiing, Taft Conlin, Vail Resorts, Vail Ski area | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Major capital investments announced for upcoming seasons
Vail Resorts is talking up the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge as part of its capital investment plan for the coming season.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Vail Resorts said business bounced back after a slow start to the season, with some of the company’s resorts posting record business during the Christmas holiday period. VR’s net income climbed 30.5 percent, to $60.5 million in the second fiscal quarter compared to last season, with skier visits up 2.9 percent and mountain net revenue up by 9.5 percent.
“We are very pleased with our performance in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which was notable for two distinct dynamics we experienced in the quarter,” VR CEO Rob Katz said this week during a call announcing the company’s second quarter earnings. “The first was our results through the middle of December, which were marked by unusually warm and dry weather in Colorado that limited the terrain we could open, leading to lower than expected results for our four Colorado resorts. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, ski industry, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado, Vail Resorts | Tagged: Breckenridge Ski Area, business, Colorado, ski industry, Vail Colorado, Vail Resorts | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wise, Yater-Wallace atop podium
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — American skiers took the top two podium spots at the FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships halfpipe competition, with David Wise unleashing twin doubl-corked 1260s to take the gold, and Torin Yater-Wallace throwing down an alley-oop double-corked 1080 for second place. Full results are online here.
The U.S. duo delivered a clinic on the state of today’s halfpipe skiing Tuesday under the lights of the Oslo Vinterpark, with the ladies competition also showcasing strong skiing from the 12th place qualifier right through to the top.
“It’s a serious honor … That was one of the most exciting finals I’ve ever been a part of,” Wise said. “To come out here and have a true World Championships, with all the world’s best, to be standing on the top is a huge honor and I’m so grateful.” Continue reading
Filed under: skiing and riding | Tagged: David Wise, FIS World Freestyle ski championships, skiing | Leave a comment »