Though the weather has been slow to cooperate, summer is indeed coming to the Colorado Rockies – and with it, tons of recreational diversions for all to enjoy.
Few things fire up a day of skiing and riding more than fresh-baked goods and a hot cup of joe – and the high country full of spots to pick up a doughnut, croissant, scone or more.
Heading up the mountain on skis has gained popularity around the nation. Most resort have designated trails, access times and a set of rules (check website) – but it's free to travel uphill.
Colorado’s Telluride Ski Resort has been blessed with massive amounts of snow this season, and the spring skiing and riding season is setting up to be the best in recent memory. Over the past week alone Telluride has received more than five feet of snow and boasts a base depth of more than nine feet!
Sensationalized forecasts from news anchors who appear to hate winter and have zero ideas how to dress for it are keeping an increasingly inert population inside.
In this week’s SnoCast, every corner of the country will get snow. In this continued active weather pattern, see what days will be best to hit the slopes in your area.
Since the beginning of January, storms have been rolling off the Pacific and feeding the mountains of the West. Selected areas have been getting pounded, like the five feet that fell on Utah's Wasatch Range in five days.
Rock climbing is a specialized sport, with its own equipment and techniques. But European-based via ferratas have begun to spring up in the U.S. mountain country to make the sport more accessible to more people.
Willy Booker, head of Burke Mountain Academy which hones some of America’s finest ski racers, bemoans that kids are less active and athletic today and don’t get outdoors enough.
One way to remedy that is to have fun at a mountain resort this summer.
Colorado ski and snowboard resorts took a short break after winter, but they quickly turned their attention to the burgeoning summer season – full of hikes and bikes and thrills of all kinds.
Epic Pass expands your horizons. (Epic Pass/Facebook)
The initial price of $899 is the same, but there’s plenty to choose from as the major multi-resort players put their best face forward in the season pass wars.
Powder is ticking upward at Colorado's Telluride. (Twitter/Telluride)
The storm pattern will align pretty well with the Rocky Mountain range this week meaning plentiful snow. The East will stay active while warming up.
Steeps can be had with Epic Pass. (Telluride/Facebook)
Telluride has become the latest ski and snowboard resort to enter the season pass fray with the recent announcement that the southwest Colorado mountain will be part of the Epic Pass program.
With both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, everyone can relax and unwind after a hard day on the slopes. (Airbnb)
A perusal of Airbnb shows the concept of direct online rentals has caught on in ski towns nationwide. Airbnb rentals are popular for the savings and convenience they can afford and in some places supplement limited mountain or town accommodations.
Join in the fun at Sugarbush's Women’s Discovery Camps. (Sugarbush)
The dynamic of skiing or riding for a few days with other like-minded women can be very different from skiing with the family or a mixed group of friends. Unlike skiing with the guys, we cheer each other on rather than talk trash. A women's clinic is a great opportunity to gain confidence and see what's possible in a supportive environment.
Ready to go after landing in Aspen. (Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Facebook)
This season, it will be easier than ever to hop on a plane and head for where the powder is freshest in Colorado.
Fourteeners loom over Keystone golfers (Keystone/Facebook)
The golf season at Colorado winter resorts may be truncated but, while they are open, the courses reflect the mountains amidst they sit.
Payette River goes big near Tamarack. (Tamarack Resort/Facebook)
The winter may be over, but a solid reminder of what a good year it was in the West continues to play out in the rivers that are flowing bank-full out of the mountains this spring.
Great pre-holiday snow at Wolf Creek Ski Area, which will end up with more snow leading into the holiday weekend (Rosanne H. Pitcher/Wolf Creek Ski Area)
The holidays are here! Gifts under the tree are cool and all, but look for the real gifts on the slopes this holiday weekend. Let’s dig into this week’s forecast and find out where the best conditions will be for hitting the slopes.
It will be an active stretch for the West, and a solid combo of pleasant days and snow shots for the Midwest and Northeast. Here’s what to expect by region and a few of my "best bet" picks for the areas receiving good snow this week.
Northeast: A weak system will bring a shot of light snow Thursday to New York’s Adirondacks and northern New England. While not a blockbuster, a few inches of snow can be expected at the higher elevations and make for nice, softer conditions. Another similar system may bring snow Saturday/Christmas Eve to the same locales before temps start generally rising Christmas Day through early next week. Some sun should break through on Christmas Day, providing pleasant conditions at ski areas for the holiday weekend. Best bets: Look to Whiteface, Jay Peak, and Sunday River.
Midwest: Well, we’ve survived the cold snaps, and this week looks great to get out. A complicated set up for our Midwest mountains this week. After a quick shot of snow Wednesday, Thursday should be pleasant to hit the slopes and get what’s left of the softer snow. Thursday and Friday, a brief lull before things get interesting. Weather models continue to show a strong storm developing around Christmas Day through Monday. Keep an eye on this one. Could mean snow, but also some mixed precip (like ice), high winds, and travel hazards.
Canada: Some fresh snow for western Canada Thursday will help add onto the snow we received earlier in the week. Some light, lingering snow showers in interior B.C and Alberta will carry us into the weekend with generally light totals. Watch for a more potent storm early next week Tuesday/Wednesday time frame which may bring more impressive totals to the coast range in British Columbia. In eastern Canada, low pressure tracks through Quebec to start the holiday weekend with light totals, and overall pleasant conditions for the Christmas holiday weekend.
West: A quick hit of snow for western Colorado Thursday into early Friday will help soften up the slopes with some fresh inches of snow. Given the moisture flow in from the Southwest, the San Juan Range in southwest Colorado could pick up some decent totals around 6-12”. A larger storm system will develop Friday off the Pacific coast, and plow into northern California/Oregon. The highest totals from this storm will be in the California Sierra Nevada with potential for 1-2 feet, maybe some three foot totals at localized peaks (yaa!) through Saturday. Snow will also fall for the higher elevations of the Washington and Oregon Cascades as snow levels lower Friday night. That storm system will then spread eastward, carrying in some new snow for much of the western interior mountains through the holiday weekend. Look for new snow over the mountains in Idaho , Wyoming , Colorado, and Montana through this holiday weekend. There are a ton of winter weather alerts in place from the National Weather Service. Best bets: While many mountains will be great, some of the highest totals should fall at Telluride, Purgatory, and Wolf Creek Thursday and early Friday. Then, any Tahoe area mountain and Mammoth Mountain should have snow dumping on Saturday.
Here's the snowfall forecast graphic from the National Weather Service but only through Friday evening. Many areas (text details above) will pick up more through the holiday weekend. Enjoy!
Finally, as always, a huge THANKS to the Lyndon State College students Christopher Kurdek, Amanda Stone, and Scott Myerson for their weekly contribution to the SnoCast content and forecasts. You guys rock! Also a special thanks to LSC professor Jason Shafer.
'Til next week's SnoCast, have a safe and happy holiday, all!
Angel Fire Art + Farmers’ Market is a weekly showcase of diverse local/regional artists, live music, food artisans & fresh produce. (Angel Fire)
There are vibrant communities surrounding our favorite mountain towns, and one way to celebrate that community is to shop locally at a farmer’s market. Whether you’re a regular or a visitor exploring a new place, a farmer’s market is a great way to experience the flavors and culture of small-town life.