Skiing: Weber Gulch Hut gets Forest Service OK

Approval includes summer closure to protect wildlife

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The new Weber Gulch Hut on Baldy Mountain, near Breckenridge, Colorado, will provide access to some outstanding ski terrain.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — After more than five years of study, the nonprofit Summit Huts Association has a green light to build a new 16-person backcountry shelter on the northern flanks of Baldy Mountain, near Breckenridge, to be called the Weber Gulch Hut.

To protect wildlife habitat, the new hut will only be open in the winter, which represents a change from SHA’s initial proposal to include summer use.

White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams signed the formal decision notice on June 17, explaining that he weighed all the public comments and relied on a team of scientists and ski experts, who found in their environmental analysis that the hut wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment. All documents related to the Weber Gulch Hut are posted on this Forest Service web page. Continue reading

Breckenridge voters reject Main Street marijuana sales

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No buds on Main Street, Breckenridge.

Status quo in Colorado resort town, as voters say no to Main Street pot sales by 2-1 margin

Staff Report

FRISCO — Breckenridge locals and tourists won’t be able to refresh their stash of legal weed on Main Street. Town voters decided in a special mail-in ballot election this week that they’d rather see retail marijuana sales limited to outskirts of town.

The non-binding vote will guide the town council in developing any new retail marijuana ordinances. And even though it was only an advisory vote, turnout was big. More than 1,300 voters (44 percent) cast ballots, more than in the last town council election. In a release, the town said 925 people voted against allowing retail pot sales on Main Street, with 400 people voting yes. Continue reading

Near-record January snow in Breckenridge

Pre-dawn, post snowstorm glow on Buffalo Mountain, above Silverthorne, Colorado.

Pre-dawn, post snowstorm glow on Buffalo Mountain, above Silverthorne, Colorado.

Blue River Basin snowpack well above average for the season

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The Blue River Basin snowpack is in good shape at midwinter, with above average snowfall during all four months of the 2014 water year, which started Oct. 1, 2013.

Last month really helped bolster the totals, as Breckenridge weather-watcher Rick Bly reported the third-snowiest January on record, dating back to the late 1800s. Bly tallied 60.5 inches at his weather station, where he tracks precipitation for the National Weather Service. According to Bly, only January 1899 (80.4 inches) and 1996 (71.8 inches) were snowier. Continue reading

Summit County eyes winter road closures

New rules would mesh with management of national forest lands

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Summit County officials are considering a request to close parts of several local roads, including Baldy Mountain Road, to winter motorized recreational traffic. Maps of the other roads are online at the Summit County planning department website.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Summit County officials will take input on a request to ban winter motorized recreation on three county roads:

  • Gold Run Gulch Road/CR 300 (from the Gold Run Trailhead on the north to the intersection with CR 456 on the south)
  • Baldy Road/CR 520 (from the Baldy Trailhead at Emmet Lode/CR 536 to the road’s terminus on Baldy Mountain)
  • Boreas Pass Road/CR 10 (from the Boreas Pass Trailhead to Boreas Pass)

An open house on the request is set for Nov. 19, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the BOCC Hearing Room at the County Courthouse in Breckenridge. More detailed project information and maps will be available at the open house and can also be found on the Special Projects section of the Summit County Community Development website at: http://www.co.summit.co.us/index.aspx?NID=837. Continue reading

Summit County: October precip close to average

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October snow. bberwyn photo.

Temperatures much cooler than average at the National Weather Service observation site in Dillon

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The 2014 water year started with above-average snowfall in Summit County — a good sign for the winter according to Breckenridge-based weather-watcher Rick Bly, who measured 20.5 inches of snow during October. The average snowfall for the month is 12.3 inches.

According to Bly’s historical records, dating back to the late 1800s, above-average December snowfall is followed by an above average winter 70 percent of the time.

That snow melted down to 1.33 inches of water, just slightly above the average 1.27 inches of precipitation in October, which is the driest month of the year in Summit County. Continue reading

Colorado weather: Soggy September

Near-record rainfall at Dillon and Breckenridge

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It was that kind of month …

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — If September felt a little soggy, it wasn’t just your imagination. The official  stats from the two National Weather Service observation sites in Summit County show that it was a month for the record books.

At Dillon, there was measurable precipitation on two out of every three days, totaling to 3.86 inches of water in what is usually one of the driest months of the year. And in Breckenridge, longtime weather observer Rick Bly measured 3.35 inches of precipitation, tied with 1908 as the second-wettest September of all time based on records going back to the late 1800s. Only September 1961 was wetter, with 3.74 inches of water. Continue reading

Morning photo: Breck and beyond …

iPhone safari

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Couldn’t resist trying a little Monet twist on this patch of poppies in Breckenridge.

FRISCO — The poppies growing at the north end of Breckenridge may not be native to the Colorado high country, but they are putting on a spectacular show right now, so I couldn’t resist a couple of quick drive-by snaps, knowing that I’d want to edit them, and already thinking about an impressionistic version because, well, ever since Monet, it just seems poppies were made for just that.

Meanwhile, along the Riverwalk, a tall stand of yellow coneflowers is serving as a late-summer bastion for multiple species of bees. At times, there were two, three and even four bees perched on a single bloom. In fact, tomorrow, I’m taking by compact Nikon back to the same spot to try and get even closer to these beleaguered insects. I’m really hoping that the town isn’t using any chemical treatments on these plants. It’s a little unusual to see this many bees in one place these days!

After checking our iPhone snapshots, visit our online gallery at FineArt America for more. Continue reading

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