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New Colorado Ski Area

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
At the Boston Ski Show I picked up an panoramic poster of the Co. Mtn's. I notice a ski area which isn't named on the map. It is outside of Pueblo in the range that contains the Humbolt Peak. I could find all the unmarked areas in my State Map from 1992 but this one. What is it? This should mean that Telluride would no longer be the newest area in the State.
post #2 of 19
Silverton is the newest in the state.

Echo Mountain is coming this winter at some point, right outside Idaho Springs- but its terrain park only, so I wouldn't truly consider it a ski resort.
post #3 of 19
I'm not entirely familiar with Co ski areas/history, but I remember seeing a sign for a ski area somewhere between trinidad and pueblo on my way up to Co Springs once.

Could it be Cuchara Valley?

http://www.coloradoskihistory.com/lost/cuchara.html
post #4 of 19
I doubt it would be Silverton, because the only cutting they did was for their one lift. The rest is all natural, so it wouldn't stand out on a picture as a ski area inless it's a tight enough shot to see the lift.

Another option is that you are looking at drainages that look like ski trails, but actually are not.
post #5 of 19
I'm just saying that Silverton IS the newest resort in Colorado...
post #6 of 19
Yeah, pretty sure that was Cuchara. It's closed now. The last few years they didn't get enough snow to open.
post #7 of 19
Cuchara is not in the same range as Humboldt. I think it would be:

http://www.coloradoskihistory.com/lo...quistador.html

Steve
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.

The interesting thing was that the 1992 state map had no indication that there was ever a ski area there. There's no indication there was a ski area at Cuchara, either. From that link, ColoradoSkiHistory.com: >>Cuchara originally opened in 1981 as Pandero Ski Area. . . it closed in 1989. The area reopened for the 1992-93 season.<<
>>Conquistador officially opened back in 1978 with two surface lifts and limited terrain. . .Finally, the resort reopened under the name Mountain Cliffe for the 1992-1993 season.<< The roads were not marked up as passable to any kind of traffic like a ski area, either. It was Conquistador or Mountain Cliffe, and it is the only closed ski area depicted on the promotional poster of the Co. Ski Industry. I bet they haven't noticed through all their updates since '92. The State map, also, hadn't been updated for their publication in '92. I last skied in Colorado in '92 when I picked up the map. I skied on the occasion of the 20th year anniversary of Telluride's openning. Both of these ski areas came after Telluride, but failled. Maybe that will be the case of Silverton. It's also interesting that they cite lack of snow for both, but Wolf creek recieves record snowfall year after year.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATskier
It's also interesting that they cite lack of snow for both, but Wolf creek recieves record snowfall year after year.
Neither area recieves much snow - the geography of the mountains in Colorado and odd weather patterns result in even physically nearby areas recieving drasticly different amounts of snow. Compare snowpacks/snowfall in the town of Breckenridge to the town of Fairplay, they are very nearly the same altitude (9950 vs 9896), and are only about 25 miles apart (geographically, driving distance is a little longer). You could never open a ski area on the mountains immediately next to Fairplay - not anywhere close to enough snow, but Breckenridge does just fine. (Before anyone starts saying "yeah you could, go west or north a little," consider my statement "immedietely next to;" the runs in Breck are immedietely next to the town - there's no way you could ever even try to do that in Fairplay.)

I think what happens with Wolf Creek is that the weather patterns hit them with lots of warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico - when that collides with cold fronts coming from the north west, the systems stall right there on Wolf Creek pass and just dump feet at a time. But these conditions tend to be *very* localized. When the same situation happens in Colorado Springs (normally the result of a low-pressure system over Albuquerque in an El Nino year) we get feet of snow. But, comparing the typical snowfall as a result of such a storm between two nearby mountain towns - there's often a world of difference; as an example, the last three times this type of storm occured, Woodland Park (elev 8,500 ft) recieved about 3 feet of snow and Divide (elev 9,300 ft only 5 miles west and on the *same* side (east) of the summit of Ute Pass) got 5 to 8 inches - and that's very normal. Wolf Creek pass just gets these localized weather conditions every single winter (damn them and their wonderful snow that's so damn inconvenient to get to).

Basically, I'm sure that anyone who has lived in Colorado for some time can point to very regular and very drastic differences in normal snowfall between locations that are geographically quite close to each other (and, if they think about it long enough, even locations that have similar altitudes and orientations (i.e. same elevation & same side of same mountain range - just a few miles in X direction)).

I learned to ski at Conquistador when I was 11 years old. I had a blast, and it's still some of my very best memories of skiing - but the snow cover? It was awful, they opened late, had to close early, and one would regularly see grass under the snow even in Jan/Feb.

J
post #10 of 19
A friend of mine is going top Wolf Creek on Friday. 10,600' base elevation and 12,000' summit. The snow should be good at that elevation.

RW
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wolf

>>(damn them and their wonderful snow that's so damn inconvenient to get to).<< If you think that area is remote, try getting to T-ride. If I ever return to Co., I would make plans to ski Wolf. I had an exchange of messages with a guy over on CoSkiing.com last year about it.
Here are his replies consolidated:
Wolf Creek, the backcountry in the Lobo Overlook area which is on the North side of the pass. The terrain is mostly tree skiing with a few open (read high avy danger) bowls. The one in the pics is called appropriately enough, Suicide Bowl. It had recently slid. The runs themselves go from pretty low angle to one area that has 50 degree loosely spaced trees for over 1000 vert. Unfortunately with over 3 feet of snow, we just couldn't safely do that. I am planning a spur of the moment trip to get down there just do do that drainage because I've never seen anything else like that except maybe Aspen Highland bowl. This looked to be about 5 degrees steeper than that! Overall, Wolf Creek is a great place to learn tree skiing as it is pretty widely spaced and you can do low angle trees and ramp it up in steepness as you get comfortable. I just got back from 4 days riding the backcountry on Wolf Creek pass. I can say from looking over at the resort that there is some good looking steep lines on the south end of the area. I believe they are hike to lines with cliffs and steeps. All the requesites for fun. The backcountry around there is mindblowing too.
The avy situation varies from day to day, but yes it can be very dangerous. Even though Colorado is probably the most hazardous state for avalanches, it's also got tons of great terrain that is not that hazardous with little or no danger even in extreme avalanche conditions. There is a lot to it, but a lot about avalanche danger is easy to spot once someone has shown you what to look for. It's definitely good to be conservative in the BC. There are plenty of good safe lines to be had.
As far a using cross country skis. There is plenty of that out here, but it just depends on what you are doing as far as mastering it. In the Indian Peaks, cross country ski's can be the perfect tool.<<
You can't make plans to ski southern Co. or N.M. without knowing that you may not find snow excepting at Wolf. It seems there's good B.C. there. When I passed through Pagosa Springs, I thought about retiring there. A friend of mine from Telluride moved to Creede. They have two x-c touring centers and obviously lots of B.C. I think that I could plan a great ski trip from Eastern Ma. flying to Denver and then using a rental car going to Wolf. Another one of my buds explored the whole area including Crestone. It seems an area where you can optain or build an Mtn. Cabin without the hassles of Telluride or other major Ski areas.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn
I'm just saying that Silverton IS the newest resort in Colorado...
I heard next year or the year after they will be opening (or reopening) a ski resort on the front range or in the foothills or something, I think outside of Boulder. Perhaps ski park might be more appropriate.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
A friend of mine is going top Wolf Creek on Friday. 10,600' base elevation and 12,000' summit. The snow should be good at that elevation.

RW
Sorry to say but they are reporting a 12" base. Probably the worst early season ever for Wolf Creek.

Steve
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview
Sorry to say but they are reporting a 12" base. Probably the worst early season ever for Wolf Creek.

Steve
I was at WC this last Sunday. It was...Well, I had a really good time

Up top on Alberta face was all chopped up, but was about 2-3' of soft stuff on top of rocks (my binding pre-released and I had to posthole up about 10ft, was definately climbin on rocks).

The stuff lower down was pretty thin in alot of spots. Lots of taller grass showing through, lots of li'l trees, and rocks to watch out for. I was really surprised at some of what they had "open". Doesn't seem like they've really got enough snow anywhere to actually groom either.

Was a really nice trip overall, beautiful scenic drive up from Alb and stopped at a few overlooks as well as Treasure Fall on the way back - waaaay cool.

If you're lookin for good snow though, WC isn't currently the place to find it.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james
I heard next year or the year after they will be opening (or reopening) a ski resort on the front range or in the foothills or something, I think outside of Boulder. Perhaps ski park might be more appropriate.
The name of that area would be Eldora, wouldn't it? It was marked on my panoramic aerial rendition up at the head of Boulder creek. Did I ever tell you about the time I lost my Pants in the Boulder creek with the car keys in them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisNM
I was at WC this last Sunday. It was...Well, I had a really good time
They have a forum devoted solely to Wolf Creek on CoSkiing.com You should put up a report there to start it off.
post #16 of 19

Aspen Country Mountain Park

ATskier, you're probably referring to this:

In the town of Westcliffe in south-central Colorado, Terry Cook is erecting a single chairlift at the Aspen Country Mountain Park. He bought the chairlift and a Snocat groomer from Idaho's Bogus Basin Ski Area.
.
Cook claims the location of his ski area last year got 342 inches. He plans to charge $22 for lift tickets, drawing customers from Pueblo, a city of about 110,000 located an hour's drive to the east.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATskier
The name of that area would be Eldora, wouldn't it? It was marked on my panoramic aerial rendition up at the head of Boulder creek. Did I ever tell you about the time I lost my Pants in the Boulder creek with the car keys in them? They have a forum devoted solely to Wolf Creek on CoSkiing.com You should put up a report there to start it off.
Actually no, it isn't Eldora- its Echo Mountain, which is opening outside of Idaho Springs. Its supposed to open in December of this year, but I think things are being pushed back a bit and it may not open til January- its a terrain park only. I'm hoping it takes a lot of boarders from Keystone and Breck.
post #18 of 19

Echo Mountain

http://www.skiecho.com/

It is located on the site of the old Squaw Valley ski area. The place is 30 acres/700 ft vert and mainly giant park. It does have 100% snowmaking.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Loosing Interest.

This thread has been rather interesting and has made my panoramic a confusing mess of names put in by hand. No wonder they didn't include anything on the original.
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