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Summit County: Winter remix on Memorial Day

Keystone re-opens for snow tubing and terrain park sessions; Arapahoe Basin still going strong with a 97-inch base and 70 percent of its terrain open going into the holiday weekend

This year, there was powder skiing well into May at Arapahoe Basin.

SUMMIT COUNTY — After one of the snowiest winters in recent memory, Keystone will celebrate the traditional start of the summer season with a winter remix, including a fresh rail setup, a terrain park with 20 features and some Hawaiian-flavored snow tubing at Adventure Point.

The action starts Friday, May 27 and continues all weekend long, through May 30, with access to the terrain park just $18 for pass holders and $25 for non-pass holders. Along with the snowy fun on Dercum Mountain, the resort is also opening for scenic gondola rides, kids activities in the village and a free BMX stunt show on Sunday, May 29. Mountain biking on Keystone Mountain will be limited during the weekend, as late-season snow and cool weather have delayed the season, but the Summit recpath system is clear. A full schedule is online here.

Meanwhile, at Arapahoe Basin, the ski season is still in high gear, with some of the best late-season conditions in recent memory. The ski area is reporting a 97-inch base with 70 percent of its terrain still open. On his blog, A-Basin chief Alan Henceroth said the ski area will keep as much terrain open as conditions and demand warrant. Continue reading

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Summit County: Arapahoe Basin extends ski season

A Google Earth view of snow-covered A-Basin.

Record-breaking April snowfall helps set stage for late-season turns

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — With the snowpack in the upper Snake River Basin nearly double the average for this time of year, A-Basin is going to extend its season well into June, and possibly through the Fourth of July, according to chief operating officer and vice president Alan Henceroth. More details on late-season operations here.

Full operations will end June 5 as planned, but the ski area will re-open for at least two subsequent three-day weekends, June 10, 11 and 12, and June 17, 18 and 19, Henceroth wrote in a May 13 blog post.

Skiing will start at 8:30 a.m. The Black Mountain Express will close at 2 p.m. and Lenawee will close at 2:30 p.m. For now, Henceroth said it’s still to early to say whether the Basin will be able to stay open through Independence Day. Continue reading

Morning photo: First sunny day in April

Brilliant Breckenridge backcountry

Amy Z. lappin' up Little Baldy Bowl.

Story and photos by Matt Krane

Elapsed skinning time to Little Baldy Summit— 1:25 for me, anyhow. Autopilot boot-top winter snow turns two thirds of the way down. Blew past a skier and two boarders building a big kicker. I was listening to a 1974 Grateful Dead show, ‘Big Railroad Blues’ at the time, definitely in a groove. They were definitely caught off guard. If I hadn’t been fiddling with my large camera so much on the way up, Leslie Ross and Amy would not have caught up to me on the pitch. A great surprise to find good friends to share some rarified air, long-needed sun, and some great vertical. if Father Dyer Peak wasn’t in the way, I think I might’ve been able to see the house i grew up in back in Los Angeles.” If you’re on the Summit Voice home page, there’s more, after the break … Continue reading

Opinion: C’mon Copper, tell it like it is!

Despite a few cuts, skiers and riders will still find awesome spring conditions at Copper Mountain during the last few weekends of the season.

Some Copper skiers not happy with late-season cuts in hours, terrain

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — This is a story about perception and reality, inspired by Copper Mountain’s recent announcement that it will close down part of the mountain and shorten the hours of operation on most of its lifts during the last couple of weeks of the season.

Copper outlined its decision in this blog post and in an email to property owners, claiming the decision was made to provide “safer and more enjoyable conditions.”

In a year when the resort reported its best snowfall in recent memory, the blog post also claims that coverage on some slopes is dwindling, and that closing terrain will help prevent equipment damage. The post also makes reference to the fact that this year’s closing date is unusually late. Continue reading

Colorado: Vail chops season pass prices by $20

Colorado ski areas are offering some spring deals for next winter's powder.

Rollback valid for three weeks; Copper offers great late-season deals for passholders from other areas

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The tulips may not be sprouting yet in Colorado, but the spring ski deals are, as Vail Resorts announced a $20 rollback on season pass prices, valid for three weeks (April 15 – May 8), and Copper revived the Swinger Pass, good for $39 walk-up tickets if you have a season pass from any other ski area.

The Vail deal is valid for the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day, Summit Value Pass and Tahoe Value Pass. Skiers and riders who have already purchased a 2011-2012 season pass will automatically receive this new promotional price, including a refund, if applicable. Continue reading

A-Basin Enduro to benefit Leif Borgeson Memorial Fund

Teams will ski nonstop laps on A-Basin's steep north-facing slopes all day April 13 in the annual Enduro Contest. This year's event benefits the Leif Borgeson Memorial Fund.

Annual Colorado ski contest to raise money for family of long-time ski patroller who died this winter

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A-Basin’s annual madcap Enduro contest is on for April 13, with proceeds from this year’s event going to the Leif Borgeson Memorial Fund. Borgeson a well-liked and long-time local ski patroller, died this winter while hiking at Aspen Highlands.

The endurance race features teams of two people skiing 20 designated routes in rotation on the north side of the ski area between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. In past seasons, competitors have skied more than 70 runs, while other teams take it more leisurely simply to enjoy a good ski day on Pali. Continue reading

Breckenridge: Forest Service cancels Peak 6 site visit

A draft map shows one possible configuration of lifts and trail on Peak 6 at Breckenridge Ski Area.

Looming government shutdown forces agency to rethink operations

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A potential government shutdown resulting from ideological budget bickering in Washington, D.C. is already having impacts locally, as U.S. Forest Service rangers said they are canceling a planned April 8 field visit to the proposed Peak 6 ski area expansion terrain.

In an email sent out Thursday evening, snow ranger Shelly Grail said Forest Service officials need to focus on preparing the national forest for a potential government shutdown.

“We recognize that an official decision to shut down government operations has not happened as of this evening, however, we’ve made the decision to cancel the field visit to give us sufficient time to notify people who are traveling in from out of town,” Grail said. Continue reading

Explore the roots of skiing at the Summit Ski Museum

Scandinavian immigrants brought skiing to Summit County

The Big Snow — Main Street in Breckenridge, winter 1898-99.

By Jenney Coberly

SUMMIT COUNTY — Mining was king in the early days in Summit County, but skiing was a favored form of recreation even then. Scandinavian miners may have been the first to slide down Summit County’s snow-covered hills just for fun, planting an seed for the development of skiing as an important part of the local economy.

“The Big Snow” is what they called the winter of 1898-1899, when it started snowing on Nov. 27, 1898, after a long Indian summer, and didn’t stop for 79 days. Folks dug snow tunnels to get around on Main Street in Breckenridge.

That’s just one of the cool stories you can learn about at the Summit Ski Museum, tucked away in a cozy corner off of Main Street in downtown Breckenridge.

Continue reading

VR employees to pay $10 on key A-Basin weekends

The spring season at A-Basin should be a good one, but this year, VR employee passholders will pay an extra $10 per day on peak weekends.

Araphoe Basin looks to ease visitation on  prime spring weekends (April 30-May 1, May 7-8, and May 14-15)

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail Resorts employees looking to extend the season and take advantage of the great spring snow as the county’s major resorts close can still make turns at A-Basin, but this spring, they’ll pay an extra $10 per day on the first three weekends after Breckenridge closes (April 30-May 1, May 7-8, and May 14-15).

A-Basin has had a similar program in place for the early fall season, when it’s the only ski area open, but this is the first time it will be in place during the spring. The charge is primarily seen as a way to ease visitation during the peak of A-Basin’s spring season, according to A-Basin chief Alan Henceroth. Continue reading

Breckenridge: Get an extra hour in the park on Thursdays

Resort extends hours, hosts video contest with a season pass as the prize


By Summit Voice

BRECKENRIDGE — With the longer days of spring upon us, there’s no need to waste daylight at Breckenridge Ski Area, where terrain park enthusiasts will get an extra hour each Thursday, starting April 7. During “5 til 5” park happy hour, 5-Chair will run until 5 p.m.

The extended opening is part of the resort’s spring festival season and includes music, free food, swag giveaways and jam contests. Registration is free, starting at 12 pm. each Thursday at the top of Park Lane.
Breckenridge is also hosting in a video contest with a free 2011-2012 season pass up for grabs for one skier and one snowboarder.

If you’ve been filming all season long and have some great footage from Breckenridge, now is the time to put together that best Breck edit and enter to win. It’s as easy as filming mad skills at Breck, creating a video showing off those mad skills and/or personality, and posting the edit to the Freeskier or Snowboard websites — then getting your friends to cast their votes, because the video with the most votes wins.

www.freeskier.com/breck5til5 and www.snowboardmag/breck5til5.com — video with the most votes wins!


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