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Arapahoe Basin moving ahead with Beavers expansion

Open house set for Dec. 3

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Arapahoe Basin is moving ahead with an expansion plan that would add more than 400 acres of terrain in the Beavers area.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Arapahoe Basin and the U.S. Forest Service are moving ahead with the first formal step in the review process for a significant expansion at Summit County’s oldest ski area.

Adding a lift the Beavers area, west of existing lift-served terrain at the area, would mitigate public safety issues and enhance A-Basin’s reputation as a destination for advanced skiers, the Forest Service said in its scoping notice for the plan. Altogether, the Beavers expansion would add about 430 acres, including 125 acres of tree skiing.

The ski area also wants to expand its reservoir for snowmaking water, add a short surface lift to ease access to Montezuma Bowl and replace the Molly Hogan lift in the beginner area, as well as remove the seldom-used Norway chair and plan for potential zip line installations to enhance summer recreation. Continue reading

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Climate: Winter sports athletes say: #ourtimeisnow

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Climate action needed now to protect winter for future generations.

School outreach, social media campaign aims to empower youth

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Ski and snowboard pros like Gretchen Bleiler and Jeremy Jones don’t need the IPCC to tell them that climate change is already having big impacts — they’ve been experiencing the changes first-hand for years. And as part of the Protect Our Winters campaign, they’ve taken their action-oriented message from the halls of Congress to the auditoriums at schools around the country. This month, POW relaunched its “Hot Planet/Cool Athletes” program to bring that perspective into classrooms.

The goal is to explain climate change in an engaging way, and to inspire and empower students to become involved in the movement to protect the winter sports and winter mountain environment. Sponsored by The North Face, and in association with Clif Bar, Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Teton Gravity Research, the program has already been presented to more than 20,000 students at 41 schools nationwide since 2011. Continue reading

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

Colorado ski season begins!

Arapahoe Basin opening Oct. 13

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Arapahoe Basin Ski Area from an overlook on U.S. Highway 6.

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After a few cold nights for snowmaking, Arapahoe Ski Area will open for the season on Sunday, Oct. 13.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The wait is over.

Arapahoe Basin will officially open for the 2013-2014 season this Sunday, Oct. 13 with skiing off the Black Mountain Express chair, serving the High Noon trail. The first chair will start up the mountain at 8:30 a.m.

The opening comes four days earlier than last year, after a series of winter-like storms rolled through the Colorado mountains in late September and early October.

“This is a very exciting time for us, and all of Colorado,” Arapahoe Basin Vice President and COO Alan Henceroth said in a statement. “We’ve had tremendous early season snowmaking and natural snow, and we can’t wait to kick off the 2013-14 ski and ride season.”

The ski area will offer rental services, and will open restaurant facilities at the base area A-frame and at Black Mountain Lodge. While wrapping up a $1 million renovation of the 6th Alley Bar & Grill, a temporary bar will be set up in the A-frame.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at  ArapahoeBasin.com and urrent lift ticket window pricing will run through December 20, 2013, with adult (ages 19-59) full-day tickets priced at $67, youth (ages 15-18) window tickets priced at $55 and child (ages 6-14) window tickets priced at $32. Children under age 5 ski free every day all season.

Morning photo: Kids!

New generations

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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

Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion set to start within weeks

Forest Service says resort has submitted construction plans

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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

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