About these ads

Morning photo: Kids!

New generations

sdfg

Sharing … or not?

FRISCO — I haven’t posted up much recently for the super-social #FriFotos Twitter chat, but I couldn’t resist today’s theme — kids. As my own progeny grows into those sometimes awkward mid-teen years, I sometimes look at him and catch a fleeting reflection of a moment long-passed. As lucky as I was to have worked from home during much of his life, and having been able to spend enormous amounts of time with him, traveling, skiing, coaching and volunteering in his classrooms, it’s still all gone by in a flash. Thank goodness for cameras — and memories! Continue reading

About these ads

Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion set to start within weeks

Forest Service says resort has submitted construction plans

sdf

Work will soon begin on a long-planned ski terrain expansion at Breckenridge Ski Area unless opponents make a last-minute legal bid to stop the project.

See more Peak 6 stories here.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forest Service rangers say they are in the process of reviewing the final plans for the planned Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge Ski Area. The clear-cutting of new ski trails could begin in just a few weeks, according to the agency.

The resort has submitted detailed plans for tree-cutting, erosion control, stormwater runoff and other aspects of the project, according to Shelly Grail,  a winter sports program administrator for the Dillon Ranger District.

Grail said the resort could start clear-cutting the new ski trails as early as mid-June, depending on the weather. The Forest Service has certain requirements regarding snow cover for tree removal operations, so the rate of snowmelt will affect the exact start date of the project. The Forest Service also will do some nesting surveys before work starts, she added. Continue reading

Skiing at the Oasis

Backcountry paradise in the Canadian Rockies

Our camp at around noon on the day we flew in.

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.

The view from near camp of the Wrong icefall and 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.

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.

Continue reading

Outdoors: Skier visits rebound nationally

asdf

U.S. resorts tallied 56.6 million skiers visits — and counting — in he 2012-2013 ski season.

All regions post increases from last year

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After a big dip last season, skier visits rebounded strongly in the 2012-2013 season, climbing up to 56. million with the season still going strong at areas like Mammoth Mountain and Arapahoe Basin.

For the country as a whole, skier visits climbed 11 percent from last season. Skier visits in the Pacific Southwest and Northeast regions climbed more than 20 percent from last winter, not surprising, since they were the areas hit hardest by sparse snowfall and an early meltdown last year.

Resorts in all regions started slow but skier visits gained momentum through the holidays and spring break. Overall, 78 percent of reporting ski areas posted increases in visits. The median resort experienced a 10.6 percent gain in visits, according to a release from the National Ski Areas Association. Continue reading

Vail, Breckenridge and Copper extend the season

Late-season snow spurs limited re-opening April 19-21

dfg

Fine spring skiing conditions at Breckenridge.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado skiers will get a bonus weekend at Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Vail, with all three areas firing up some of their lifts for a final spring fling.

“After skiing some amazing powder turns on closing day and more heavy snow in the forecast this week, we just don’t have the heart to shut down Breck’s lifts just yet,” said Pat Campbell, chief operating officer for the Summit County resort.

“Mother Nature is a fickle business partner and apparently she wasn’t ready for the ski season to be over. We can’t think of a better way to thank our loyal guests for celebrating our 40th Anniversary season with us,” said Gary Rodgers, president and general manager of Copper Mountain Resort.

Copper Mountain will open American Flyer, Sierra and Timberline lifts this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 19-21, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. Skier services including food and beverage offerings and rental and retail options will be limited to Center Village.

Breckenridge will open 1180 acres, lifts and terrain on Peak 8 only this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 19-21, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day after picking up 60 inches of snow in April. Lifts open will include:  The BreckConnect Gondola, Colorado SuperChair, Rip’s Ride, 6 Chair, T-Bar and the Imperial Express SuperChair; Park Lane and Trygve’s Terrain Parks will also be open. Continue reading

Spring storm sweeps through Colorado high country

Ski hills celebrate powder; snow snarls roads, ups backcountry avalanche hazard

A spring snowstorm noses into Colorado Saturday, April 13.

A spring snowstorm noses into Colorado Saturday, April 13.

Almost 7 inches of snow in Frisco, Colorado.

Almost 7 inches of snow in Frisco, Colorado.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Mother Nature saved her best for late in the season, as a mid-April storm dropped more than 12 inches of snow across the Colorado mountains, as well as some beneficial rain along the Front Range.

The potent storm blew in on the nose of the jet stream, with a strong and moist northwest flow blasting through the mountains Saturday night. Many areas reported their biggest single-storm snow totals for the entire season, including downtown Frisco, where 7 inches piled up overnight. Continue reading

Skiing: A-Basin Enduro set for April 17

The race is on!

sdfg

With on-and-off snow in the forecast the next few days, conditions should be outstanding for the 24th annual Enduro at Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

FRISCO — One of Summit County’s legendary spring ski events is back for the 24th time at Arapahoe Basin, where iron-legged (and rubber-kneed) skiers will lap the Pallavicini steeps in the April 17 Enduro.

The marathon ski race pits teams of two skiers against some of Colorado’s most challenging terrain, skiing or riding laps on a circuit of 20 designated routes from the top of the Pali lift. Each must be skied in consecutive order for the final run total to count. The record is 72 runs during the 10-hour (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) event. Continue reading

Winter sports athletes urge action on global warming

dfh

Winter sports athletes are urging action on climate change and energy in a letter to President Obama.

Olympic medalists, ski stars ask President Obama to speed the shift to clean energy

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As Colorado ski areas struggle with a second consecutive season of below-average snowfall and the Sierra Nevada snowpack only about half of average, a group of 75 Olympic medalists and other winter sports athletes are warning that winter is in trouble.

Stepping up to represent the global snow sports community on the political stage, the athletes this week sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to take action on climate and clean energy.

“Without a doubt, winter is in trouble … at risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries. Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of the week

Snow!

A-Basin powder!

A-Basin powder!

FRISCO —Even though spring started a few days ago, snow scenes were the highlight of the week as far as photography. A chilly storm dropped one of the biggest single-storm totals of the year on Summit County, leading to some fantastic ski conditions and beautiful winter landscapes around the area. More importantly, the snow will help to at least take the sharpest edge of what was looking to be a continuing drought. We’re not out of the woods yet, but even with average snowfall the next few weeks, Denver Water is saying there’s an 80 percent chance Dillon Reservoir could fill completely this summer. Even if you’re ready for daffodils and tulips, it’s probably a good idea to keep doing those snow dances!
Continue reading

Colorado: Spring storm packs a punch

Resorts reporting powder conditions, but road conditions could hamper access, while the backcountry avalanche danger soars

asdf

An active northern jet stream is bringing cold air and moisture to the northern tier of states, including Colorado. On and off snow is possible through the weekend.

asdf

The CAIC is reporting numerous backcountry avalanches. Click here for more photos.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — March is living up to its reputation as the snowiest month in the Colorado high country, with chilly spring storm snarling roads, intensifying avalanche danger and adding much-needed moisture to the state’s snowpack.

Ski areas around the state are generally reporting up to 12 inches of new snow in the past few days, and moderate to heavy snow continued falling Saturday morning. Some of the heaviest totals are expected east of the Continental Divide, where the California Department of Transportation reported bumper-to-bumper traffic around I-70 and C-470.

East of Denver, I-70 was closed to the Kansas border, and slick conditions on the westbound approach to the mountains prompted CDOT to require chains, snow tires or four-wheel drive for all vehicles in Mt. Vernon Canyon, just west of Denver.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,259 other followers