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Vail Snow Report: asd;flkajfpaosdfoj1!!!11 7 April 2010

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19″ inches in the last 24hrs. 30″ in the last two days.

If yesterday was the best powder day of my life, then today I’ve died and gone to heaven. Heaven with an afternoon shift, that is.

Something like what this guy’s doing:

NOAA, Government in General, Beaver Creek, Ski Report 7 December 2009

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Cool stuff: More WM here in Colorado. Trevor Harrison’s in Breck and he’s got a blog.

I take back everything nice thing I ever said about weathermen — even those conciliatory words from several days ago. In fact, my faith in government has been shaken to the core. (To those of you who knew I placed little or no faith in government from the start, let’s play the silent game. You start.) Anyway, I submit the evidence:

Hrm!

Agh! Politics! The blog got political! Abandon ship! Erm… anyway, aren’t counterfactuals fun? Especially those that that have been beaten to death in the media already? No doubt you’ve all seen this graph, and if you haven’t, it’s interesting enough in that gnashing-of-teeth-and-renting-of-hair kinda way. Of course government meddling produces scarier stuff, but the next graph’s the real shocker, the most damning piece of evidence I could cobble together. Take a long sad look how our government’s crack team of meteorologists has fared in predicting the weather around here:

No snow makes ski bums everywhere cry.

If that typeface looks a little small, I’ll help make it out for you: about 2″ of snow predicted every three hours for two days of which 0″ has materialized.

Double-timing, no-good scoundrels staff our government. Their mendacity knows no bounds. They probably hate baby animals, too. QED.

I know these things for a fact. The graphs prove it. But seriously, where is the snow?! Sunday, it dumped on Beaver Creek, Vail’s posh(est) resort 45 minutes west on I-70. Now certainly, there’s been talk of the company’s seeding the clouds above the its guests’ pampered heads, bombarding the storm cells with silver ions and an offering of burnt skis — that something, anything might propitiate Ullr and bring his blessing of powder.

But it’s just that, talk. Vail already shoveled its cash into the escalators and heated sidewalks. Oh, and free, warm chocolate chip cookies for everyone, too. Over at the more pedestrian Keystone, however, nary a snowflake landed. Our $4 pitchers of PBR must inspire in Ullr a wrathful heart. Tomorrow we go in search of an appropriate microbrew.

Abbreviated Snow Report:

Beaver Creek: My snide remarks about The Beav’s ritziness aside, it’s the best thing out there right now. World Cup Racing over the weekend meant nothing doing over on the Birds of Prey, BC’s signature area, but I’m guessing it’ll open up soon enough, especially considering all the snow the area’s been getting. The beginner area’s convenient location at the top of mountain has left it with six or so inches in the last two days, as well, with more on the way. And don’t think that it’s just for beginners, either. Sure, Lydia, who hadn’t skied in a decade, found it pretty nice, but so did everyone else in our group. Beaver’s empty on the weekends, is the only place with real snow right now and serves free chocolate chip cookies. What’s not to like?

Vail: Got some snow evidently. Still not a whole lot open, though. Unless you’ve got a pass, forget about it. It’s not worth the $25 you’ll pay to park and then almost $90 you’ll shell out for an early season lift ticket. And if you do have a pass, well, don’t you have some projects you can take care of around the house before the real snow comes?

Breckenridge: Breck opened (some of) Peak 9! And hasn’t gotten any new snow! Agh! Run away! At this point, Breck is strictly for the faint of heart. Nothing here to get the braver blood flowing, although if the current storm leaves anything there, we might get some more interesting terrain open soon.

Keystone: Still the longest runs around here and the crews have done a fine job of blowing snow every night. On the downside, they’re the same several runs that have been operating since Keystone opened, a Mike G. and Sara H. report that the weekend throngs turn the place into an icy mess. ┬áSki mid-week.

Arapahoe Basin: Currently icy. No new terrain. Still beautiful, but why not drive to Loveland instead?

Bottom Line: Burn some skis for Ullr, and if you absolutely have to hit the slopes, make the trek to Beaver Creek.

Skiing 23 November 2009

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If you’re a Summit County native or a skier who’s spent more than two seasons on the slopes, you’re probably turning up your nose at the conditions out here this weekend. If you’re like me (or for the grammatically snobbish “… like I am”) then you’re out on the slopes with an ear-to-ear grin on your face.

Both Breckenridge and Keystone opened new terrain and lifts for this weekend. Intuitively, you’d think that would spread skiers and boarders out across the 130 acres or so accessible on each mountain, but in practice, most everyone sticks it out on the same few trails — falling, sitting, stopping, careening out of control, on the same few trails. Amidst this, I’m still grinning, but, yeah, I understand why the guys who spend more time out here say they won’t have anything to do with it. Not yet anyway.

Sure, under that half-inch layer of man-made snow lies a sheet of ice, slow polks crowd the slopes and only about five of the one hundred plus trails here at Keystone have actually opened. But already that means better skiing than you’ll find most anywhere on the east coast. The runs are longer, the steeps — such as they are at this point — steeper, and the scenery, well, nothing east of here can match that. Out here, you’re actually skiing this point. You feel the wind in your face. Your quads burn. You swear at snowboarders for sitting in the middle of the run. These define the the ski season despite the less charitable stats in the terrain report. ┬áSkiing has begun.

Snow/Ski Report! (Woooo?!!1)

A couple notes for anybody in Summit County reading this, too:

Keystone’s open top to bottom and has just pulled back the ropes on Schoolmarm, an interminable and generally uninteresting beginner slope. And don’t hold out hope that bombing down it will improve things. Seems like Ski Patrol’s just about everywhere to stamp out that urge. Instead, beat the crowds on weekends by taking Flying Dutchman down to the Montezuma Chair where you’ll sidle up to the front of the line while the rabble from Schoolmarm piles up opposite you. Doing that, you’ll miss out on the morass of ice and flailing bodies that is lower River Run at this point, as well.

Breck’s opened a couple runs between Peaks 8 and 7, Duke’s somethingorother and Northstar, a blue/black and blue respectively. Take the Rocky Mountain Express chair in the morning to these more interesting runs that pull you away from the already-crowded beginner areas. Nothing too special, but at least you’re not stuck on run-outs most of the time. The Colorado Super Chair now leads to a couple short blacks with moguls as well. Didn’t get a chance to check them out (in part because bumps still make me a bit nervous but also because I wanted to avoid lift line purgatory), but Sara H. says they’re all right. Probably the most challenging things a Breck at this point. Word on the street has Peak 9 opening by/for Thanksgiving, too.

A-Basin’s open top-to-bottom as well, but the top’s the only bit worth skiing on weekends. The two blue that split off past the mid-station alternate between ice and crud, and the long lift ride back to even the mid-point will make you question the value of going all the way to the bottom. Unless it dumps and/or A-Basin opens more terrain (that is, all that untracked powder you see on the way to the top), Keystone’s probably the best of the bunch for the time being. Smaller lift lines and longer runs mean more fun skiing.