Tag: spring skiing

Vail, Breckenridge and Copper extend the season

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

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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 “Vail, Breckenridge and Copper extend the season”

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Colorado: Ski season in high gear at A-Basin

Spring powder nothing new for The Legend

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Skiing April powder at Arapahoe Basin, April 2010. Bob Berwyn photo.
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A skier enjoys a big powder day at Arapahoe Basin on April 23, 2010. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — While most of Colorado’s megaresorts closed with more snow than they’ve had on their slopes all season, a handful of areas are still open for spring skiing, including Aspen Highlands, Winter Park, Loveland and, of course, Arapahoe Basin, known for having one of the longest seasons in the country.

With 21 inches of new snow in just the 48 hours and more on the way for the next few days, ski conditions at Arapahoe Basin are peaking. A 65-inch base means great conditions all over the mountain, including Montezuma Bowl and the steeps of the East Wall. As general manager Alan Henceroth wrote in a recent blog post, “All the the little lines are filled.” Continue reading “Colorado: Ski season in high gear at A-Basin”

A-Basin reports best snow year since ’96

370 inches to-date makes it third-best on record; while other areas close, A-Basin is set to host events and contests the next few weeks

Prime conditions on some of A-Basin's best and steepest terrain along the East Wall. Click on the image to see more. PHOTO COURTESY A-BASIN.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — While the curtain is going down the ski season at most of Colorado’s ski areas, Arapahoe Basin is going strong, reporting its best snow season since 1996 and the third-best on record. As of April 23, A-Basin was reporting 370 inches for the season, about 130 percent of average.

The Summit Stage will continue running up to A-Basin through the end of May, and remember, Vail Resort employees will have to pay a $10 premium to ski at A-Basin the next few weekends. A-Basin-only passes for next season are now on sale at a discount price of $279. Visit the A-Basin pass sale web page for details.

With an 89-inch base, the ski area is almost 100 percent open going into the last week of April, with only a few of the lower elevation hike-back runs in south-facing Montezuma Bowl closed. Click here for snow and conditions. Snow is expected through the weekend and into early next week.

Some of the area’s best and steepest hike-to terrain on the East Wall and around North Pole peak has the best coverage in years, according to general manager Alan Henceroth. Check out a recent report from the East Wall at his blog. Continue reading “A-Basin reports best snow year since ’96”

Steep Shots: Safety first in the backcountry

Spring powder skiing at Arapahoe Basin in Summit County, Colorado.
Spring often brings a few bonus dumps, so don't put away those boards just yet.

Golden-based Summit Voice contributor Emily A.P. Mulica reviews some spring skiing safety tips, along with information on access

By Emily A.P. Mulica

The shutting down of the chairlifts is not the death knell of ski season. Rather, it can be the harbinger of spring backcountry skiing. For me, safety and access are the flagship topics when venturing off piste.

But before bidding adieu to the resorts, celebrations of the season are in order. Obligatory crazy outfits scatter the slopes and festiveness fills the alpine air the last day at any ski resort. Many host free concerts and other events (we’ll be enjoying free performances of Wyclef Jean, Guster, Robert Earl Keen and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars at Vail’s upcoming closing weekend).

I like to fill the late spring ski season with an intermingling of laid-back A-Basin days with backcountry adventures (when the avalanche danger is low to moderate according to the CAIC. In the springtime, however, the avalanche danger changes during the day and a warm afternoon can create a heavy wet slab on top of deep weak layers. The best strategy is to play it safe.

Safety first in the backcountry
As the days become more consistently warm, spring weather can lead to a more stable snowpack. Oftentimes folks get lulled into a false sense of spring snow, though, Breckenridge Ski Patroller Matt Krane wrote in a recent e-mail.  He cautioned, “We worry about ‘free water’ percolating down through the snowpack, lubricating deeper layers along a hard surface and creating ‘deep slab instability.’” Continue reading “Steep Shots: Safety first in the backcountry”

Steep shots: Spring skiing tactics

Emily A. Palm Mulica

Editor’s note: Today we’re introducing guest columnist Emily A.P. Mulica, who writes on skiing and the outdoors for the Fort Collins Coloradoan in her Steep Shots column. We’re hoping Emily will be a semi-regular contributor, sharing her Front Range perspective on Colorado mountain sports with Summit Voice. Here’s her take on spring skiing.

By Emily A.P. Mulica

The past couple weeks have brought daylight savings, the official entrance of spring and 70-degree temperatures in Golden, leading many a Front Ranger to begin thinking more about boat trips, hiking and other favorite summertime ventures as skiing slips to the back burner.

As more people throw their bikes on the car and leave the planks at home, the road to ski hills gets less congested this time of year. Add in the glorious spring snowstorm and you have arguably the best time of year to hit the slopes. A few tactical changes in the skiing routine can help optimize the spring skiing experience.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
Last Sunday I must have reapplied sunscreen three or four times throughout the day, and people are still commenting on how tan my face is. In addition to the sunscreen lotion, a tin of Dermatone balm is handy, fits easily in the pocket and also offers wind protection. The sun protection factor is just as important as all of your other ski gear, especially when you consider the glare from the snow and the higher altitude. Continue reading “Steep shots: Spring skiing tactics”