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

Hey, mountaineers — Think before you blog!

‘A quality artist, it would seem, should have the capacity to express the beauty of their experience without spelling out its name on a map’

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Ssshhhhhhhhhh!

By David LaGreca

I have the greatest respect for all who venture to experience the appeal and the raw essence that comes with the mountains. The freedom that is held amongst the hills is summoned upon each mission we take, each peak we summit, each line we ski, each meadow we pass through en route to that remote liberty. Our passions are aligned, I assure you, but I fear that many of those places we all cherish are at risk.

What’s at risk is not immediately from development in many of these places, such as in the precious Gore Range and other Summit County spectacles. Instead, what is at risk is serenity itself. That peace we are guaranteed when we strive beyond the limits of the masses to serve out a deeper purpose in the mountains is, I fear, being threatened. That the slow erosion of this peace and silence is marketed wholesale online by its most frequent patrons, the outdoor enthusiasts themselves, is a dangerous irony we cannot ignore. Continue reading

Italian sets new world speed-skiing record — 156 mph

Go. Fast!

FRISCO — Speed skiing has long been described as the fastest non-motorized sport on Earth, and the tiny elite of athletes practicing the discipline once again proved it during the recent contest at Vars, France, where Italian skier Simone Origone, broke his own world record. Continue reading

Colorado forecasters issue avalanche watch

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A strong storm will increase the avalanche danger in the Colorado mountains.

Avalanche cycle likely by Sunday, experts say

Staff Report

FRISCO — An incoming winter storm has prompted the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to issue an avalanche watch for most of the Colorado Mountains, with the exception of the southern San Juans and the Sangre de Cristos.

Heavy snow falling on a weak snowpack will quickly push the avalanche hazard into the red zone, with triggered avalanches all but certain on slide-prone terrain the next few days. Continue reading

Skiing: Forest Service taking input on proposed Snowmass Ski Area improvements

Glading, lift upgrades eyed in draft environmental study

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Snowmass to upgrade the High Alpine lift, add new snowmaking and expand gladed terrain.

Staff Report

FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service is looking for public input on a slate of proposed improvements at Snowmass Ski Area, including replacement/realignment of the High Alpine Chairlift, additional snowmaking coverage, and trail and glade projects. Continue reading

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

Climate: Skiers rally to support EPA Clean Power Plan

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Powder is in peril, so skiers and ski areas are rallying to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Numerous resorts sign on to letter calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions

Staff Report

FRISCO — With so much at stake around the world, it seems almost frivolous to talk about how global warming might affect the ski industry. But in some parts of the world, skiing is central to the culture of mountain communities, so it’s not surprising that skiers and their allies are rallying to support the EPA proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

As the comment period on the agency’s Clean Power Plan closed, more than 115 snow and mountain supporters across the country including ski areas, local businesses, professional winter sports athletes, local governments, and organizations signed letters supporting the plan. Continue reading

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