Spring has sprung, and ski and ride season is entering its last phase; slushy snow to come. Although only one ski area in Colorado is officially closed, several extended their seasons a couple of weeks or more. Aspen/Snowmass, Copper Mountain and Steamboat, among others, will offer skiing and riding further into April.
This current week’s storm is dropping feet of snow all over the state, and is just one tempest in a long list of storms that helped keep the slopes fresh and deep this season.
Closing dates for the resorts are as follows:
- Arapahoe Basin: Sunday, June 4
- Aspen Mountain: Sunday, April 16
- Aspen Highlands: Sunday, April 16
- Beaver Creek: Monday, April 17
- Breckenridge: Sunday, May 28
- Bluebird Backcountry: Sunday, March 26
- Buttermilk: Sunday, April 2
- Cooper: Sunday, April 16
- Copper Mountain: Sunday, May 7
- Crested Butte: Sunday, April 2
- Echo Mountain: Sunday, April 16
- Hesperus: Closed
- Howelsen Hill: Sunday, March 26 (tentative)
- Kendall Mountain: Sunday, April 2 (tentative)
- Keystone: Sunday, April 16
- Loveland: Monday, May 8
- Monarch: Sunday, April 9
- Powderhorn: Sunday, April 2
- Purgatory: Sunday, April 16
- Silverton: Sunday, April 16
- Snowmass: Sunday, April 16
- Steamboat: Sunday April 16
- Sunlight: Sunday, April 2
- Telluride: Sunday, April 2
- Vail: Sunday, April 30
- Winter Park: Sunday, May 21
- Wolf Creek: Sunday, April 9
Some resorts might extend their season even longer depending on snow conditions, think A-Basin, but sliding on snow through April is looking good for most resorts.
Today should be a powder day state-wide, or at least it will serve up left overs, depending on how much snow fell after the lifts closed Wednesday.
The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts show some snow showers continuing throughout the day, before a break in the action happens until Friday evening. Another 4-8 inches of snow is possible Friday night into Saturday.
Looking forward into next week, forecast models have the potential for a storm around Thursday, however specific details about where the snow will pile up are only starting to come together. The ECMWF model shows heavier snow accumulations in the west-central and northern mountains as of yesterday’s run.
This is truly the season that keeps giving. The winter storm that started Monday dropped 41″ of snow at Wolf Creek, 25″ at Purgatory, and 22″ at Silverton by Wednesday morning — and it snowed all day Wednesday too.
Irwin still holds the No. 1 spot with 498″ of snow for the season, but Wolf Creek (454″) took over Steamboat’s spot (393″), with Purgatory (352″) nipping at Steamboat’s heels.
An additional 6-10 inches of snow fell Wednesday in the central and northern mountains with the week long storm totals ranging from 6-60 inches of snow.
Northern Mountains: Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Loveland/A-Basin, and Cooper
Central Mountains: Crested Butte, Sunlight, Snowmass
Southern Mountains: All resorts
• Sunday is International Snowblade Day, the bittersweet holiday celebrating ‘the man who could stick uphill ice.’ On March 26, 2009 free skiing pioneer Shane ‘Saucer Boy’ McConkey died while ski-base jumping in Italy’s Dolomites with life-long friend J.T. Holmes.
I met the man twice in the early 2000s, once at the Matchstick Productions premiere of ‘Focused’ in 2003 and again at the Powder Awards in Aspen in 2005.
The conversation in 2003 left me laughing to this day. After the showing of Focused at the Gothic Theatre, my friend stumbled up to Shane with showing ‘moral support’ and asked the group of people Shane was hanging with if any of them knew Shane. In typical Shane fashion, he simply said back to him, “Yeah, maybe. Who’s asking?”
My friend said back, “I just wanted to say I think that guy is awesome. I love Saucer Boy.”
But Shane was nice and thanked us for being fans, albeit slightly mortified of my friend’s ‘approach’.
Fourteen years after his death, riders are still carrying on the tradition of dawning Shane’s infamous attire, whacking ski poles atop cornices, playing G.N.A.R., and jumping into mogul fields on their snowblades — even outside Shane’s home mountain at Palisades Tahoe. Expect to see some people on Colorado’s slopes this weekend doing the same.
Two teens that were visiting Colorado for spring break were killed in a sledding accident at Copper Mountain Ski Resort on Sunday evening, according to a news release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO).
Speaking of snowblades, do you want to own a pair of custom-made ones? Founder of J-Skis Jason Levinthal recently teamed up Shane’s wife Sherry McConkey to create the ‘SB Saucerboy Promodel X-Treme Skibladezzz’.
One hundred fifty pairs of the 100mm long snowblades were created and cost $299. The first 100 pairs went on sale Monday, March 13 and sold out within an hour, but the remaining 50 will be up for sale on Thursday, March 30. All proceeds go the McConkey family.
• What’s a jigawat? Mikaela Shiffrin.
The Vail Valley ‘lightning bolt’ has gone ‘Back to the Future’ at 88 miles per hour, or should I say 88 wins per hour, as she closed out the 2023 World Cup season with 88 wins, making even Marty McFly feel ‘heavy’.
Not only did she overcome Lindsey Vonn (82 wins) and Ingemar Stenmark (86 wins) total-wins records, she also passed Swiss skier Vreni Schneider’s record of 20 giant slalom wins, claiming first place in Grandvalira Soldeu, Andorra on Sunday, and her 21st victory in the discipline.
• After great success with his first documentary film ‘Mission Mt. Mangart’, former ski racer and Colorado Snowsports Hall of Famer Chris Anthony is toying with the idea of creating a second film. In the spirit of Warren Miller, Anthony is currently live-touring ‘Mission Mt. Mangart’ around the nation and world with his showings’ proceeds going to the Chris Anthony Youth Project, but he says a second film has been on his mind recently.
Two story ideas have come from Anthony about what a second film would talk about.
“One (idea) was to tell the story of Deborah Bankart, her story is revealed a little bit by Mikaela Shiffrin in my first film,’ Anthony said.
“I kind of stumbled into another story that takes place in the time period of Mangart in which another ski race took place three weeks later in Austria after the Mangart ski race, and the 10th Mountain Division ended up there.”
Anthony says, however, of the second story idea, he needs to figure out an angle, but it could be another fun, lighthearted way of approaching 10th Mountain history and world history, and what was going on at that time and place.
“Why was the 10th Mountain Division of American troops made up of European immigrants ended up on the highest mountain in Austria on June 23rd and 24th?”
Anthony said he gained film making, promotion and touring experience while shooting with Warren Miller earlier in his career, taking queues to create ‘Mission Mt. Mangart’.
Below are conditions for all Colorado resorts as of Wednesday afternoon.