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My Weekend In Colorado: A Tale of Fun, Sun and Snow (?) Part III Loveland

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is part three of a three part tale of my weekend adventures with snow, gear and resorts in Colorado last weekend. To begin this tale at the beginning, click here http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=25790.

So after much disappoinment with the weatherman and the total lack of fresh despite all predictions to the contrary, would we finally see it on the last day. With only a morning to go, time was running out...

Again up early in Breckenridge. At 5:30 the light was flat. Could it be? Open the curtains, YES, YES YES !!! Although not major, there were at least 2-3 inches of fresh coating the truck. From the weather channel we can see the doppler showing more snow to the north, in the Winter Park and Loveland belt. But would it be serious Pow? Again after the hearty breakfast we pack up and pile ourselves into the truck, thighs twitching. Still light snow at the western end of the Loveland tunnel...

Well babies the Kachina of Pow was smiling on us that morning. We hit the Loveland parking lot at 8:00am with 14-18 inches of fresh to greet us. And more was coming down. We later talked to the patrol who indicated that Loveland and Winterpark hit the jackpot in this storm, while Vail and resorts further south barely got any.

So faithful Bears, which ski to pick, the Dynastar LBF's or the Volants? After thinking about 2 seconds, and thanks to all of the great reviews on this site (especially Jib), you know what I had to choose. Volant FB!

Quick detour for those who have never been to Loveland. Often overlooked in favor the of bigger name resorts in Summit County, this is a local gem not to be missed. It reminds me a lot of Alta, with the big open bowls, and no bars on the chairs. Plenty of teleskiers, but that may have been the pow. Lodge facilities are basic but comfortable, causing the eye to mist in remembrance of those primative facilities in Northen Lower Mich where one first skied with Mom & Dad in 1962. Also, since Loveland sits on the top of the Continental divide at 12,000 feet, when it does get pow it tends to be lighter and fluffier. And for this storm the overnight was 16 degrees. With all due apologies to Utah, and everyone knows my heart belongs to Alta, this was as good as it gets on a powder day.

We were maybe the 50th in line on the first lift, so all the tracks were fresh. I lost my bud on the second run, but that didn't slow me down for a second. After all, there are no friends... on powder days.

And the Volants were amazing. Went straight up to the Ridge which sits at 12,000 feet, big bowls with plenty of vertical, and up there I'll bet we had more than 18 inches. The FB's did not have a speed limit. Again, solid, stable, cruising machines. I was moving at least 25 mph if not 30. What a blast. Awesome, awesome ride. Someday when I am in better shape I want to push the envelope with these. They have to be the fastest powder machines ever. If you do not have a pair of these, and you have a chance to get some, you owe it to yourself to do so.

After at least ten runs on the ridge, I moved over to lift 8 on the other side of the Loveland tunnel for some tree runs. Again awesome. But I did discover one drawback with the Volants. After not paying real close attention to my trail map and just following the fresh, I found my self down slope and stuck behind a rather large cliff. While halfway tempted to pull a McConkey, I knew my old legs were not up for that kind of thing, so I had to hike out. The Volants are not the skis you want to hike anywhere. At 12lbs plus another 6lbs or so for my look free rides, at 12,000 feet, I was puffing. If you are going to be doing lots of hiking in the backcountry looking for narrow chutes, these would not be my boards of choice. But in the wide open bowls there is no sweeter ride. And as stable as these things are, I think landing a cliff jump into deep would actually be tempting. They also did amazingly well in the cut up stuff on the way down the mountain. Usually that is a pain, since you slow up when you hit a pile and go faster inbetween. The FB's are so heavy that they just keep cruising at the same speed, you hardly slow up at all. Again, just an amazingly sweet ride. And 175cm for my 6'3" 220lbs was just fine. You don't need more float with these things, they just book.

The snow storms came and went, with sunshine popping through the gloom. Everywhere, all over the hill, you would hear these little shouts of pure ecstasy. It was like everyone all over the hill was having a simultaneous powdergasm. We later heard there was a closure on I-70 going west in the foothills around Denver, which kept crowds to a minimum. As a result, between 8:30 and 12:30 I got at least forty runs, and many many of these were untracked. Since we turned into pumpkins at 12:30 we had to stop, but I had no complaints. As good a powder day as I have ever had, and that includes more than a few at Alta.

So that, faithful Bears, is how I spent my weekend... Right now I'm thinking about quitting my job. Sigh.

Oh well, there's always next weekend...
post #2 of 6
Sounds like a great day. How did u get in 40 runs though? In four hours that leaves you with 6 minutes for each lift ride and ski down.....
post #3 of 6
Considering a walk out of dead end, 12 runs (about 24 - 26,000 vertical) in four hours would have been about average for me on a powder day. NIce that you got the great conditions. They can be hard to find this time of year, especially in the far west it seems. My Saturday was warm spring skiing, while Monday brought wind closures with groomed granular, icy bumps and boilerplate crusts in the trees. You definitely scored bigger.
post #4 of 6
Originally Posted by viking kaj
As a result, between 8:30 and 12:30 I got at least forty runs, and many many of these were untracked.
Yeah, those high-speed quads at Loveland are awesome. oh wait.. they don't have any.

Congrats on hitting that storm. It was a weird one going north to south.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well math was never my strong suite. But I was mid loading on some chairs which definitely cut it down. And it was straight up and down, no wait. It sure seemed like 40.
post #6 of 6
Just for the record, there are always a lot of telemarkers at Loveland. They're just smarter than the average skier. ;-)
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › My Weekend In Colorado: A Tale of Fun, Sun and Snow (?) Part III Loveland