FRISCO — Colorado powder seekers will line up for the rope drop at A-Basin’s Montezuma Bowl today, with steady early season snowfall ensuring plenty of freshies on the resort’s backside.
This season’s opening comes a month earlier than last year, and the resort announced that several intermediate runs will be open and groomed from top to bottom, including Columbine and Larkspur. Some of the favored tree-skiing stashes will also open, including Miner’s Glade.
Ski patrol-led group involved in Montezuma Basin snow slide; all group members accounted for
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — An avalanche swept down a steep face at Arapahoe Basin Saturday, catching a group of 14 people led by an A-Basin ski patroller.
After an extensive search, all the people in the group were accounted for. One person was evacuated by toboggan due to a knee injury, according to a statement from Arapahoe Basin.
The slide occurred on the west side of Montezuma Bowl in an area that wasn’t yet open to the general public. The area where the slide happened underwent extensive avalanche mitigation and explosive work by Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol during the past week. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the avalanche was a hard slab up to 6 feet thick on a south-southeast east facing slope above treeline slope. All 15 people were caught and one person was fully buried.
Arapahoe Basin and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center will jointly investigate the slide. CAIC director Ethan Greene said he’ll visit the site Sunday at the request of A-Basin. A subsequent report from the avalanche center will likely include more detailed information on the incident.
The post-control slide at A-Basin highlights the tender nature of the snowpack in parts of the Colorado backcountry, Greene said, adding that there have been numerous slides in the area between Loveland Pass and Berthoud Pass, including the Pass Lake slide path on Loveland Pass, just west of the summit.
Nearby, a resort skier at Keystone ducked a rope and broke a cornice, which triggered another slide, Greene said. Farther north, another backcountry traveler took a 400-foot ride in an avalanche in the vicinity of Jones Pass.
“There was a fair amount of avalanche activity. There was a lot of wind transport going on today … We were all taken off guard the last few days by how reactive the snowpack is,” Greene said.
FRISCO — As a long-time western skier, I’ve seen several feast-and-famine snow cycles, when every rope-drop becomes a precious gift from the stingy snow gods. So my heart skipped a beat when A-Basin announced it’s opening Montezuma Bowl today (Wednesday, Feb. 13).
The big, generally south-facing cirque opens a whole new dimension at A-Basin, with long traverses and ridge-line glides leading to craggy drops, long fall-line gullies and a variety of tree slots, with funky fall lines and hidden stashes. Down the center of Zuma Bowl, the cruisers come with wide views of the heart of Summit County, the trails of Breckenridge and Keystone visible in the distance.
In the past few weeks, snow has piled up at the Basin, with some of the most recent storms favoring the north-facing terrain along the Continental Divide, and another surge of moist air from the northwest could enable the ski area to open more Montezuma Bowl terrain soon, Henceroth wrote.
Fresh powder stashes waiting in the trees, groomers in good shape, according Alan Henceroth’s A-Basin blog
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s been a while coming, but A-Basin finally has enough snow to open parts of Montezuma Bowl for skiing. The ski area announced it will open 17 trails, covering about 200 acres of groomed terrain, chutes and trees this coming Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Montezuma Bowl opened in January 2008, increasing A-Basin’s skiable terrain by 80 percent. The 400-acre addition was the largest terrain in the country during the 2007-2008 season and helped A-Basin run up a string of seasons with record and near-record skier visits.
A-Basin chief Alan Henceroth said in his blog that the recent snow of the past week has really helped A-Basin conditions. He said a big chunk of Montezuma Bowl will, from Bierstadt on the east side to Long Chute on the west end of the bowl will open. Here’s a link to the ‘Zuma Bowl trail map.