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Wolf Creek tips

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Greetings to everyone.  This is my first time to start a thread on EpicSki.  I thank all of you who contribute to this wonderful resource.

 

My brother and I plan to ski Wolf Creek the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The timing is good for us, and will be the first of three ski trips we plan to enjoy this season (which is why we hope to get an early trip in).  We understand that conditions are unpredictable that early, even for WC.  (BTW, special thanks to ‘anachronism’ for the wonderful unofficial guide to WC!)

 

My brother was a good intermediate skier, but hasn’t skied since knee surgery two years ago.  He wants to start easily, first on green runs, then more difficult runs as his knee permits.  I am a low intermediate skier.  I learned at WC in March of last year (wonderful instructor!), at age 58. I skied 1.5 days there, mostly on green runs. Last winter I since skied Taos (2 days), Beech Mt in NC (1.5 days) and Purgatory (3 days). Taos was a challenge, but greatly helped me improve; I skied everything at Beech and every blue and a couple of blacks at Purgatory. I skied fresh powder at Taos (8” with more falling steadily the second day) and a bit at Beech. Goals this year: master steeper terrain; improve powder and off-piste skills; begin learning to ski modest bumps and moguls.

 

If Wolf Creek is open:

·         * Though I understand that WC has few groomed blue runs, many blues are on the map; are these ungroomed?

·         * Will the blues from Treasure lift and the few from Alberta/Elma (assuming most of these are ungroomed) make for good practice for improving skills on ungroomed terrain?

·         * What are most difficult blue runs, and easiest black runs?  I.e., what is a good plan for transitioning from blues to steeper runs? 

 

Apologies for such a long post, and gratitude in advance for your help.

 

Cheers

Eddie

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieS View Post
 

Greetings to everyone.  This is my first time to start a thread on EpicSki.  I thank all of you who contribute to this wonderful resource.

 

My brother and I plan to ski Wolf Creek the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The timing is good for us, and will be the first of three ski trips we plan to enjoy this season (which is why we hope to get an early trip in).  We understand that conditions are unpredictable that early, even for WC.  (BTW, special thanks to ‘anachronism’ for the wonderful unofficial guide to WC!)

 

My brother was a good intermediate skier, but hasn’t skied since knee surgery two years ago.  He wants to start easily, first on green runs, then more difficult runs as his knee permits.  I am a low intermediate skier.  I learned at WC in March of last year (wonderful instructor!), at age 58. I skied 1.5 days there, mostly on green runs. Last winter I since skied Taos (2 days), Beech Mt in NC (1.5 days) and Purgatory (3 days). Taos was a challenge, but greatly helped me improve; I skied everything at Beech and every blue and a couple of blacks at Purgatory. I skied fresh powder at Taos (8” with more falling steadily the second day) and a bit at Beech. Goals this year: master steeper terrain; improve powder and off-piste skills; begin learning to ski modest bumps and moguls.

 

If Wolf Creek is open:

·         * Though I understand that WC has few groomed blue runs, many blues are on the map; are these ungroomed?

·         * Will the blues from Treasure lift and the few from Alberta/Elma (assuming most of these are ungroomed) make for good practice for improving skills on ungroomed terrain?

·         * What are most difficult blue runs, and easiest black runs?  I.e., what is a good plan for transitioning from blues to steeper runs? 

 

Apologies for such a long post, and gratitude in advance for your help.

 

Cheers

Eddie

 

Welcome to EpicSki @EddieS !

 

I don't know too much about Wolf Creek, but you'll definitely need to keep an eye on conditions as you mentioned. @anachronism doesn't post much on here anymore, but perhaps he'll show up for a Wolf Creek thread...

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you, dbostedo!  We'll be watching closely, as November approaches.  We'll drive, and have lodging that can be cancelled, so we can easily back out if the mountain isn't ready.

 

Cheers!

Eddie

post #4 of 14

@EddieS : you might try asking questions in the South CO regional thread in a few weeks.  By Oct, more people will be thinking about skiing.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147246/2016-2017-four-corners-s-co-az-nm-weather-discussion

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieS View Post

    * Though I understand that WC has few groomed blue runs, many blues are on the map; are these ungroomed?

·         * Will the blues from Treasure lift and the few from Alberta/Elma (assuming most of these are ungroomed) make for good practice for improving skills on ungroomed terrain?

·         * What are most difficult blue runs, and easiest black runs?  I.e., what is a good plan for transitioning from blues to steeper runs? 

 

Based on your ability level, I'd suggest the following:

Start on Thumper (should be ungroomed, moderate bumps).

If you're comfortable with that, try Star Wars (steeper, narrower)

If you're okay with that, hit Gun Barrel (steep at the top, wider than Star Wars)

If you can do that, try Alberta Face (steep at the top, wide)

 

I wouldn't try anything off Alberta Lift until you're okay with those ... except for Serendipity and Pitch's Gate (which are probably the best places I've ever found to ski trees on moderate blue trails)

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50kVert View Post
 

 

Based on your ability level, I'd suggest the following:

Start on Thumper (should be ungroomed, moderate bumps).

If you're comfortable with that, try Star Wars (steeper, narrower)

If you're okay with that, hit Gun Barrel (steep at the top, wider than Star Wars)

If you can do that, try Alberta Face (steep at the top, wide)

 

I wouldn't try anything off Alberta Lift until you're okay with those ... except for Serendipity and Pitch's Gate (which are probably the best places I've ever found to ski trees on moderate blue trails)

Thank you, 50kVert!  That seems like a very good plan.  Serendipity and Pitch's Gate are high on my list of reasons to return to Wolf Creek - the chance to ski trees at my level.  I'm grateful for your recommendations.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

@EddieS : you might try asking questions in the South CO regional thread in a few weeks.  By Oct, more people will be thinking about skiing.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147246/2016-2017-four-corners-s-co-az-nm-weather-discussion

That's a very good suggestion, marznc - thank you!  The trip is two months out, but I'm tired of the Texas summer and find it difficult to get mountains and snow off my mind...

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieS View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

@EddieS : you might try asking questions in the South CO regional thread in a few weeks.  By Oct, more people will be thinking about skiing.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147246/2016-2017-four-corners-s-co-az-nm-weather-discussion

That's a very good suggestion, marznc - thank you!  The trip is two months out, but I'm tired of the Texas summer and find it difficult to get mountains and snow off my mind...


Heh, I've spent all summer planning my ski trips.  It's till pretty warm here in North Carolina.  Winter cannot get here soon enough!

post #9 of 14

I've skied Wolf before Thanksgiving and plan to again this year.  They've had some big early season years so fingers crossed for that!  Honestly for an intermediate/beginner I wouldn't even suggest venturing over to the Alberta lift.  It really is lift accessed back country over there and you can ruin your day if you don't know what you are doing.  Wolf is pretty liberal about opening terrain and they will open Alberta with 35" base which is not what you want to be skiing on in early season.  I've made that mistake and heard the horror stories from anachronism.  You can find tons of great intermediate and beginner runs off the other lifts.  Alberta Face is my recommendation for a great place for an intermediate to transition into blacks. Wolf is a pretty mellow mountain outsider of Alberta so it is great for intermediates.

post #10 of 14
Wolf Creek is a magnet for early season snow. Labor Day weekend of 1961 they got 10 feet.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post
 

I've skied Wolf before Thanksgiving and plan to again this year.  They've had some big early season years so fingers crossed for that!  Honestly for an intermediate/beginner I wouldn't even suggest venturing over to the Alberta lift.  It really is lift accessed back country over there and you can ruin your day if you don't know what you are doing.  Wolf is pretty liberal about opening terrain and they will open Alberta with 35" base which is not what you want to be skiing on in early season.  I've made that mistake and heard the horror stories from anachronism.  You can find tons of great intermediate and beginner runs off the other lifts.  Alberta Face is my recommendation for a great place for an intermediate to transition into blacks. Wolf is a pretty mellow mountain outsider of Alberta so it is great for intermediates.

Thank you, core2!  Fingers are crossed, indeed, for good November snow at WC.  I'm grateful for your advice.  My hope is to ski blue runs that are less than perfectly groomed, or not groomed at all, and to take easier blacks if I'm ready.  If conditions are okay, I hope to ski the blues on Alberta - especially Serendipity and Pitch's Gate, because of the trees - but there doesn't seem to be anything else on that side that I'm ready for.  In a nutshell, I'm hoping for runs whose steepness I can handle, but which are less than perfectly groomed, or which have a few trees and/or bumps on them, so that I can gradually improve my skills on that kind of terrain.  I enjoyed Purgatory in March, but after three days the well-groomed and mostly wide blue runs there were no longer very challenging.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppyski View Post

Wolf Creek is a magnet for early season snow. Labor Day weekend of 1961 they got 10 feet.

Hello, hoppyski.  Ten feet on Labor Day!  That is extraordinary.  My brother and I hope to arrive at WC on Nov. 18, so ten feet on the 17th would be peachy. :rolleyes

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieS View Post
 

Hello, hoppyski.  Ten feet on Labor Day!  That is extraordinary.  My brother and I hope to arrive at WC on Nov. 18, so ten feet on the 17th would be peachy. :rolleyes

 

You'd probably want that to fall at least couple of days earlier, or you might not make it to WC! :eek

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

You'd probably want that to fall at least couple of days earlier, or you might not make it to WC! :eek

Good point, hoppyski!  I'll put an order in for ten feet, Nov 15.  That should give the plows time to save the weekend.

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