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Morning photo: Best of March

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A little bit of melting along the edge of the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco indicates spring is, however reluctantly, coming.

A little bit of melting along the edge of the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco indicates spring is, however reluctantly, coming.

FRISCO — In past years, I’ve photographed early wildflowers in March, but this long winter has left a solid blanket of snow still draped over the high country. A few warm afternoons have hinted at spring, but winter has been tenacious. Here’s what it looked like in Summit County the past few weeks. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Got snow?

We do!

Deep in the Gore Range.

Deep in the Gore Range.

FRISCO —Mid-March, Friends are posting pictures of crocuses, daffodils and forsythia blooming outdoors, as well as meadows greening up and trees starting to bud out — but not here in the high country, where winter still grips the land. Here’s how it looked March 15, 2014 around Summit County. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

The Snake River revisited

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Morning sun.

FRISCO —I wandered back up along the Snake River this morning for the first time in quite a while. I usually cruise around this area in the late fall and early winter to capture the ice and frost that forms when diurnal temperature contrasts are high. I wasn’t really expecting to find much of that, given the deep snow cover, but I was looking forward to seeing that same area with deep, deep snow. If you like our daily snapshots, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America. Continue reading

Morning Photo: Saturday set

March!

Soon ...

Soon …

FRISCO — OK, it’s not quite spring yet, as least as far as the “official” definition, which sets the start of the loveliest season at vernal equinox, around March 21. But meteorologically speaking, March 1 is the start of spring, regardless of what the groundhogs and robins are doing, and it’s also the snowiest month of the year for our little slice of the Colorado high country. Sometimes it feels like a battle of the seasons, with winter furiously throwing more snow on to the ground in an ultimately futile effort to slow the inevitable — like the return of the robins. Continue reading

Morning photo: Treescapes

Winter wonderland

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Scruffy middle-aged lodgepole pines help frame this early morning shot of the Gore Range.

FRISCO — Even scruffy little lodgepole pines take on a whole new aura with a blanket of new snow, and Colorado’s tall spruce and firs can look downright majestic in the early morning glow of a post-storm sunset. For this set, I looked through the archives for the past couple of weeks, choosing images that emphasize the transcendent impact of freshly fallen snow on high country forests. For more Summit County and Colorado landscapes, visit our online Fine Art America gallery. Continue reading

Avalanches kill two in Colorado

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High avalanche danger prevailed across the Colorado mountains when two backcountry skiers died in snow slides Feb. 10.

High slide danger persists across the mountains

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado’s exceptionally deep snowpack turned deadly this week, as a backcountry traveler near Kebler Pass was killed in a large avalanche. Search and rescue crews also found  another victim in the backcountry between Keystone and Breckenridge after a two-day search.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Feb. 10 Kebler Pass slide involved two snowmobilers caught in a “very large avalanche” on a south- to southeast-facing slope below treeline. The slide broke between two to five-feet deep, about 600 feet wide and ran about 750 vertical feet. Debris at the bottom of the slide piled up to 20 feet deep.

Continue reading

Near-record January snow in Breckenridge

Pre-dawn, post snowstorm glow on Buffalo Mountain, above Silverthorne, Colorado.

Pre-dawn, post snowstorm glow on Buffalo Mountain, above Silverthorne, Colorado.

Blue River Basin snowpack well above average for the season

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The Blue River Basin snowpack is in good shape at midwinter, with above average snowfall during all four months of the 2014 water year, which started Oct. 1, 2013.

Last month really helped bolster the totals, as Breckenridge weather-watcher Rick Bly reported the third-snowiest January on record, dating back to the late 1800s. Bly tallied 60.5 inches at his weather station, where he tracks precipitation for the National Weather Service. According to Bly, only January 1899 (80.4 inches) and 1996 (71.8 inches) were snowier. Continue reading

Morning photo: Snow!

Ephemeral …

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

FRISCO —As long as I’ve lived in snow country, I’ve never become jaded to snow. To me, it’s one the most beautiful substances on the planet, and there’s something completely magical to seeing the landscape transformed by a thick new blanket of the frozen white stuff. The most recent storm to move through Summit County was a good one, reminiscent for me of a Sierra storm cycle, when you measure accumulations by feet, not inches. The storm took a while to clear out, so I had two mornings to go out and try capture the feeling, both with my DSLR and with the iPhone. Can you tell which pictures in this set have been massaged by various iPhone apps and filters? If you like the snapshots in this post, please visit our Fine Art America online gallery for a full selection of Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

Climate: Canada’s subarctic lakes drying up

Canada subarctic lakes

Some of Canada’s subarctic lakes, seen here from a passenger jet, are drying up in a sign of abrupt climate change. bberwyn photo.

After at least 200 years of stable water levels, sudden dessication sets in

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — In another sign of abrupt climate disruption, scientists say some of Canada’s subarctic lakes are drying up at a rate not seen for at least 200 years, as snowfall in the region declines.

A research team studied about 70 lakes near Old Crow, Yukon, and Churchill, Manitoba, most of them less than one meter deep. More than half of the lakes located on relatively flat terrain and surrounded by scrubby vegetation showed signs of desiccation. Continue reading

Incoming storm prompts avalanche, travel warnings

A NOAA weather satellite image shows a strong snowstorm headed for the Rocky Mountains.

A NOAA weather satellite image shows a strong snowstorm headed for the Rocky Mountains.

CAIC forecasters highlight ‘very real and rapidly increasing avalanche danger’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A developing winter storm has prompted the season’s first avalanche warning in the Colorado high county. With up to 12 inches of snow expected across the higher terrain, forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center say extra caution is required for backcountry travel this weekend.

“Don’t let the fresh snow blind you to the very real and rapidly increasing avalanche danger,” the CAIC posted on its website. The heaviest snow is expected Saturday afternoon and Saturday night and the thin and brittle early season snowpack likely won’t be able to support the fresh snow, especially in wind-loaded areas. Continue reading

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