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Spring fling: Vail offers a two-week pass for $199

Concerts, mountaineering races — and 2-week, $199 pass to celebrate spring in Breckenridge.

Five Peaks ski mountaineering race among the big spring comps at Breckenridge ski area

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with plenty of slopeside concerts and dining deals, Vail Resorts is offering a two-week season-ending pass for $199, valid at Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek from April 10 through to closing day on April 24. For more info, go to www.vail.comwww.breckenridge.com or call (800) 404-3535.

It’s not quite the ski-free deal that Crested Butte once offered in the days of yore, but should help boost late-season skiing a bit, as Vail’s Colorado ski areas stay open later into the spring than they have in quite some time.

To get things rolling, Breckenridge will host the Five Peaks ski mountaineering race April 9, covering 8,000 vertical feet on five separate climbs and descents in and around the ski area on Peaks 7, 8, 9 and 10. The Five Peaks race is sponsored by the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and contestants must be equipped with basic mountaineering and avalanche rescue gear. Continue reading

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Gin Blossoms, Quiet Riot at Copper’s 2011 Sunsation

Retro Red Bull 1976 games returns for season-ending bash

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Gin Blossoms, Quiet Riot and the Samples are among the headliners at Copper Mountain’s Sunsation festival this year, back for two weekends in late April (April 16-17, April 23-24). More acts will be announced soon, according to a press release from the resort.

Along with the traditional free music, the retro Red Bull 1976 games will return, as well as the the CBS Sports Network’s 2011 Alt Games College Slopestyle and Rail Jam Championships, and, under the motto safety first, an attempt to set a world record for the most people applying sunscreen at the same time. Continue reading

Skiing: Backcountry gear sales double from last year

Snowsports retail sales on pace for new record

Good snow and a recovering economy are driving snowsports retail sales to new records this season.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with skier visits, the industry’s retail sector also appears to be making a nice recovery from the recession, with total sales in January exceeding $500 million for a new monthly record, according to a press release from Snowsports Industries America.

That followed sales of more than $1 billion in December for a season-to-date total of $2.6 billion, 16 percent more than last season. The West led the way, with sales were up 31 percent in equipment dollars sold, 17 percent in apparel and 19 percent in accessories sales.

One of the biggest growth sectors was in the realm of backcountry gear, and more specifically, alpine-touring set-ups, where sales for the year-to-date grew an astounding 102 percent from the previous season. Sales of crosscountry and telemark gear also climbed.

There was also less discounting this year, helping retailers boost revenue.  Alpine equipment sales are up 25 percent in dollars and 14 percent in units sold season-to-date. And the fat-ski boom continues, with sales of alpine boards with waists wider than 80 mm up a solid 50 percent. Continue reading

Steep Shots: The family that skis together …

Bonding with the bro

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By Emily Palm

When fresh tracks beckon, I usually encourage interpersonal allegiances to fall by the wayside.

Wait for others when there are freshies to be found? No way José. “No family on a powder day,” however, sounds a bit harsh, even when said in Spanglish.

So it went last weekend with my brother, Garrett, visiting from Brooklyn. He caught the schussing bug last year when he came out to experience a slice of the skiing life. The rest of my family knows what a major role skiing holds for my husband and I, but Garrett is the only one who has actually seen it.

While my siblings and I excelled in the newspaper, choir and theater rooms, no one ever marveled at the grace and athleticism of the Palm kids. Hailing from Oregon and California, we went on a handful of trips to Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor over the years. None of us ever graduated beyond the green slopes, except for me when I went to college and skiing changed my life. Continue reading

Lindsey Vonn snags World Cup downhill trophy

Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn holds the crystal globe she won for taking the season-long Audi FIS World Cup downhill title in 2010 after the final downhill race of the season in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Doug Haney/U.S. Ski Team)

Colorado racer earns coveted title with secon-place finish in Italy

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail’s Lindsey Vonn continued to strengthen her position as one of the best speed event ski racers in recent years by winning this season’s World Cup downhill title just one day after nabbing the super-combined trophy.

Vonn finished second to Sweden’s Anja Parson Saturday in the next-to-last downhill of the season at Tarvisio, Italy, taking an insurmountable 143-point lead over Germany’s Maria Riesch. Continue reading

Colorado: New master plan for Eldora Ski Area

Several new lifts planned; improvements need site-specific Forest Service review

New lifts and trail alignments are designed in part to address wind issues at Eldora. Click on the image for the full-size map.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Eldora Ski Area plans to expand intermediate terrain and upgrade other facilities, as well as revamp its lift and trail network to try and address frequent wind closures and wind-related snow problems in certain parts of the ski area. Click here to see the whole master plan. Continue reading

Most viewed stories & week in review

See what other people are reading …

Several stories on global warming ranked among the most-viewed stories last week.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —An op-ed on ski industry stats was the most-read story at Summit Voice the past week, with a story on an unusual skier death at Arapahoe Basin close behind. Other top stories included continuing coverage of global warming, with a pair of stories about detailed mapping of sea-level rise impacts and a second story about how warmer temperatures may increase human exposure to waterborne disease.

Jenney Coberly has been working behind the scenes the past few weeks organizing Summit Voice content, so now all our global warming stories are available with a single click on the sidebar at this link.

Here are the rest of the week’s most-viewed stories:

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