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October heat wave delays start of Colorado ski season

Snow guns silent in late October as temps run 15 degrees above average

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2014 on track to become warmest year ever.

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How will the ski industry weather global warming?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —Last year’s winter Olympics helped cast a spotlight on global warming and the ski industry. As the snow at Sochi’s alpine venues visibly melted during the live television coverage of the games, winter sports athletes advocated for action on climate change.

Now, just a few months later, some of those same ski racers who had planned early season training sessions at Copper Mountain, Colorado will have to wait. A run of extraordinarily warm temperatures in October all but silenced industrial snowmaking operations at several resorts, as both Copper and Keystone delayed scheduled openings because of the balmy conditions. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Celebrate skiing!

Another season under way …

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Flying high in the superpipe at Copper Mountain.

FRISCO — With another ski season starting today at Arapahoe Basin, it’s time to dust off a few pictures from the Summit Voice archives to celebrate the best sport ever invented. As far as I’m concerned, skiing is the closest you’ll ever come to flying with your feet on the ground (or not), and floating through a blanket of fresh powder is pure bliss. Dream on, do your snow dances and get ready — winter is coming! Continue reading

Morning photo: Summit Saturday

Around the mountains …

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I underexposed this shot by a couple of stops to get deepes possible saturation.

FRISCO — With Fourth of July falling on a Thursday, it’s felt like a particularly long weekend, and judging by the happy faces around town, tourists in Summit County feel the same way. Perfect weather — not too hot, a bit of moisture in the air and some puffy clouds — helped keep things cool, and festivities abounded, from concerts and fireworks in Frisco to the Wanderlust yoga happening at Copper Mountain. While I try to avoid the crowds (I think of it as giving our visitors their space) I did get out to snap a few shots and strolled through the Wanderlust activities for a few minutes on Thursday. Here’s what it all looked like. Continue reading

Morning photo: May snow

Bonus powder

Fence line.

Fence line.

FRISCO —I never thought I’d be shooting snowscapes in early May, but then again, living at 9,000 feet in the Colorado high country, you just never know. At this point, it can’t even be billed as the last storm, with the National Weather Service forecasting a chance of more unsettled weather next week. Of course, cool conditions in late spring aren’t unprecedented. Old-timers will remember Cinco de Mayo powder days at A-Basin and even Breckenridge back in the 1980s. A wet spring often helps ease Colorado out one of its periodic droughts. In any case Frisco was sparkling Thursday morning. Here’s what it looked like. Continue reading

Colorado skiing: Catch a free ride to the slopes Dec. 15

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The Front Range Ski Bus at Keystone Resort. Photo courtesy FRSB.

Local bus company offering a free demo day; season bus passes, four-packs and discounted ski tix also available

SUMMIT COUNTY — Who say’s there’s no free ride?

To celebrate the start of full winter operations, Front Range Ski Bus is running a free bus from Denver up to A-Basin, Keystone, Loveland and Copper next weekend, right after what looks to be one of the first real snowy and wintry weeks of the season.

The bus has already been running on a limited schedule and will start operating four days per week (Thursday – Sunday) on Dec. 14, with basic round trip tickets for $35, down from $39 last year.

“Riding the bus up to the slopes is a great way to make new ski and snowboard friends before you even get to the slopes,” said  said chief marketing officer Martin Beran, who frequently rides the bus to ride up at A-Basin. “It’s a relaxing way to get up to the mountains.” he said. “This day is a great way for Denver residents to try out Denver’s best ski bus service without spending a dime.” Continue reading

Skiing: Summit County areas rev up for the season

Snowmaking the key to Thanksgiving skiing

U.S. Ski Team racers have been training at Copper Mountain the past few weeks; Friday, the Super Bee chair opens to the public. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After a few weeks of exclusively serving top ski racers, Copper’s Super Bee chair opens to the public today (Nov. 23), boosting the total number of operating lifts to eight, including the American Flyer, Gem Lift, Super Bee, Timberline Express and American Eagle, serving about 175 acres of terrain spread across 15 trails.

Saturday evening, Woodward at Copper presents the 12th Annual Yam Jam Rail Jam, an after-hours competition under the lights held in Copper’s Lower Bouncer Terrain Park. Skiers and snowboarders compete for tons of prizes, and entry is only $10. Registration is at the Cage from noon to 3:30 p.m., and practice begins at 4 p.m.

Saturday also marks the first En Fuego of the season, ringing in the holidays with a Snow Cat Parade and tree lighting, accompanied by cozy bonfires and tunes from DJ Kris Kringle. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. in the Burning Stones Plaza.

On the east side of the county, Keystone has nine lifts open, serving 170 acres spread across nine runs. Open lifts include the River Run Gondola, the Summit Express chair, the Ranger lift and the Peru Express. Open runs include Spring Dipper, River Run, Schoolmarm and Silverspoon.

A-Basin opened Lenawee Chair last week for top-to-bottom skiing on Lenawee Face, Dercum’s Gulch, Ramrod and High Noon.

Breckenridge is 6 percent open, with five lifts operating, serving 145 acres on seven trails, including Springmeier, Trygves, Crosscut and the Park Lane terrain park.

 

Colorado: Winter storm flags are flying

A big, cold Pacific storm is moving toward Colorado.

Widespread snow, cold temps expected across Colorado this weekend

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an extended Indian Summer that saw many Summit County spots flirt with record high temps for late October and early November, thing are about to change drastically.

A cold Pacific storm will sweep across the state this weekend, potentially delivering up to two feet of snow in the San Juans, with up to 12 inches possible across many mountain areas. The best moisture appears to be associated with the approaching cold front, so the heaviest snow amounts look to be in areas favored by southwest flow, including the San Juans, the Steamboat area, the West Elks and the Flatttops, but the I-70 corridor won’t get completely skunked. Continue reading

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