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Copper Terrain Reports

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I just found out I can post Copper terrain reports. In the past I never knew if the stuff in there was public info or not. Well, apparently it is. Each week ski patrol sends an internal email telling us which terrain will open, schedules for opening new terrain, and possible items like when the cat will be running on Tucker. Would anyone find that stuff useful? My gut feeling is some of you would - there was a question this past week about when Copper Bowl would be opening. There's very little market-speak in these things, it's usually just a straight forward report of what you can expect to be open or closed.

Anyway, here's a sample. This happens to be the terrain report for Dec 19th - 23rd:
For the week 21 lifts will be open servicing 119 trails and 1,845 acres. Next Monday Gem Lift will open at Green Acres and remain open till the first of January. So far this month we have received 49” of snow with a season total since Nov.1st of 121”. This is 3 feet above average for the season so far. We now have 100% of all Blue and Green Terrain open with 65% of all our Black Terrain open.

Ski Patrol will continue to work on Union Peak, The west ridge in copper bowl, and The Upper Enchanted Forest with some of this Terrain opening soon. I will update the process on Thursday.

Work continues in the Catalyst Terrain Park with the opening this Thursday Dec. 22nd with the Catalyst Superpipe opening towards the end of next week. The Kidz Terrain park below Timberline Patrol is now open with rails and box slides and its pipe to open in a few days.

Enjoy the great conditions and be safe.
Would I be spamming the forums by posting this stuff a few times a week? I think I'd just try to keep it under this thread.
post #2 of 30
Please spam me. Six of us will be spending 4 days at Copper at the end of Jan. and we need all the insider info you can throw at us.
post #3 of 30
Please do.
post #4 of 30
By all means, Vinn... Saves me from doing it!
post #5 of 30
For Copper Regulars, a question.

21 lifts will be open servicing 119 trails and 1,845 acres.

My area has about 2200 acres and is serviced by 6 lifts. What kind of crowding and liftlines does Copper experience?

I really like the idea of the internal report by Ski Patrol, and to date your snow totals make me very jelous. Have a great holiday.
post #6 of 30
Originally Posted by bunion
to date your snow totals make me very jelous. Have a great holiday.
if those totals make you jealous check out this article;

post #7 of 30
I skied Copper on Monday. Wow! The new snow was cold smoke, and kept coming down all day. They reported 5" on Monday morning and another 11" today. All I can say is that everywhere I went was epic. The trees are filled in, now, and great lines abound. Patrol opened Union Bowl, and Buzzard's Alley was the best I've seen it.

Truly great skiing all over Colorado. Rusty, I'm going to have to come over to WP/MJ for a visit!
post #8 of 30
Thanks for the updates sssh..I am heading over to Copper this am for some "leftovers"

driving past BC/Vail won't be easy but I love Copper when they start getting Union Bowl open (well worth the extra half hour over Vail Pass)

I might be the only Valley skier who hits up Copper on a regular basis ..also the extra 1500' base elevation really, really helps to keep the snow decent..it is a bit warmish today by CO standards
post #9 of 30
Matchless in Copper Bowl and Buzzard's Alley in Union Bowl were awesome this morning -- soft and deep still in places. The snow was a bit hard/cruddy on Six Shooter though. Saw patrol setting off explosives on Bradley's Plunge and Schaefer but without much success -- they just wouldn't slide.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

Dec. 23 thru Dec. 25, 2005

Ski patrol was able to open some additional Terrain this week, Lower Lillie G and Black Jack Glades both trails off of Black Jack Lift. The Catalyst Terrain Park opened today with its Superpipe to open sometime next week. At this time we have 1,923 acres open with 21 Lifts and 122 trails. Ski patrol hopes to have Upper Lillie G and the South end of the Upper Enchanted Forest open for the week-end, weather permitting. This will add an additional 35 acres and more expert Terrain to our numbers.

For the month of December so far we have received 66” of snow bringing our season total since Nov. 1st to 138”. Looks like some snow coming in for Friday into Sat. Morning with clearing for Christmas Day.

Ski Patrol continues to work on the West Ridge in Copper Bowl but at this time any additional Terrain openings will depend on current snow safety efforts and its results. We are now 100% open on green and blue Terrain with 70% of all Black Terrain open.

Enjoy the great conditions and Merry Christmas from everyone on the Ski Patrol.

I'll throw my $.02 in.

All in all, we got a fair amount of new snow this week. Union Peak was skiing really good yesterday off both sides. Union Meadows was good, but if you go near the bowl be careful of the rocks. Spaulding had great conditions as well, and my personal recommendation would be So Fine. Because of the way the rope closure was done at Patrol Chute the entrance won't be obvious to most people. In fact, I ended up skiing Patrol Chute before crossing over at the bottom to where So Fine opens up.

Copper Bowl was looking pretty gnarly. There were two avalanches triggered with 6 - 8 foot crowns. They slid to the dirt and ran most of the length of the bowl. A huge cornice has formed at the top of the bowl and it really needs to get blasted off or cut before it'll open.
post #11 of 30
Just to add to Vinns comment: I skied Copper yesterday too..I headed to the back side ASAP to escape the holiday crowds (yes they are there in force) Like Vinn said Union Peak was indeed skiing great on both sides..I found plenty of untracked

Black Jack was really good too..just a handful of folks were back there..I love Copper for that. The front side can be a mess, but head on back to Black Jack/Mountain Chief and you will feel like you are on your own..

Copper Bowl was skiing really well right under the lift.

my favorite circuit on Copper's back side is to ride up Rendevous-ski down to Blackjack-ride up Black Jack-ski-ski down to Mountain Chief--ride up Mountain Chief-Traverse over to Union Peak-ski down one side or another-repeat..= high grin factor and burning legs

visiblity was an issue however..it was a lot warmer than last week and some mid level clouds were hanging about..snow was/is the heaviest it has been all year

There are huge cornices within the main chunk of Copper Bowl..weird 20' waves of snow about half way down..they were bombing the heck out of them but none were sliding that I could see..

Tucker looks seriously gnarly..especially the big chute /shoulder on the side of Taco..

I know it will be a while but I can't wait for the snow cat to start running (or for upper Enchanted Forest to open)

post #12 of 30
This thread rules. I'll be up first week of January so I'd love some more insider info. Thanks!

Oh and anyone have any recent pictures of the high bowls this year?
post #13 of 30
Hint: backside of Sierra...
post #14 of 30
Originally Posted by ssh
Hint: backside of Sierra...
The only reason I go up there is to look over the edge to pretend and scare myself - and then head down Timber Ridge. Looks like fun. Next year!
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Dec. 26 thru January 1,2006

I've been in the backcountry for a few days, so this is a bit overdue. The past three days have been beautiful with some warm temperatures that probably made for some crusty bits above treeline. While I was sleeping last night, winter decided to return. The snow report says we had 10", feels like 8" to me, but they measure from mid-mountain so who knows.

For the busy Christmas week coming up we will have all 22 lifts running with Gem lift opening on Monday for the week. On Monday we will be opening Upper Lillie G along with the South end of the Upper Enchanted Forest. These trails will open around noon after we complete a little more prep work in the morning. This will bring our Terrain open to 1,959 acres and 124 Trails.

The West Ridge in Copper Bowl is coming along with some Directed Skiing and Riding being done in some of chutes west of Matchless. This will continue as weather and snow conditions permit.

This week like last week all lifts will open at 8:30 a.m. Since Nov. 1st we have received 144” of snow which is about 4 feet above average for this time of year. This has made for some of the best early season conditions in years, so enjoy.
post #16 of 30
Three more weeks Vinn and I'll be there. Hope it keeps snowing.
post #17 of 30
Originally Posted by ssh
Hint: backside of Sierra...
Heh I remember skiing those last year in January and I kept getting snagged up in bushes sticking through the snowpack.
post #18 of 30
Originally Posted by janesdad
The only reason I go up there is to look over the edge to pretend and scare myself - and then head down Timber Ridge. Looks like fun. Next year!
Stay high on Timber Ridge, ski into the trees on your right, then cut left through the open trees.

(I just told a secret!)
post #19 of 30
Originally Posted by Big Jim Slade
Heh I remember skiing those last year in January and I kept getting snagged up in bushes sticking through the snowpack.
This year ain't last year, Jim. Ain't no way. I was skiing lines that were sketchy in February and not hitting anything.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 

Jan. 2 thru Jan. 6, 2006

Summit County is still getting dumped on. I haven't gotten out nearly as much as I should have, but I plan on blowing off the whole day tomorrow and getting around the mountain. It's pretty easy to recommend what to ski, the answer is everywhere. Upper Enchanted looks pretty sweet, so if you're in the neighborhood I'd drop into it. I skied the backside off Sierra yesterday and it was about the best conditions I've ever seen there. Another sure fire bet over there is Orange Chutes, but if you don't know where it is then I'm not tellin' ya.

Here's what patrol has to say for the week:

For the week all 21 Lifts will remain open with Gem Lift at Green Acres closing. This will give us 1,972 acres and 125 trails open for the week. We are working on getting the North end of the Upper Enchanted Forest open so look for that soon. Also look for some additional Terrain along the west ridge in Copper Bowl to open for directed skiing weather and snow conditions permitting.

It’s been a great start to the season, the normal snowfall for Nov. and Dec. is around 84” we have received over 170” as of today. Our upper mountain base stake is at 83” with the mid mountain state at 67”. Today we received 7” of snow in 4 hours this morning making skiing and riding today a day to remember.

Look for the Catalyst Half Pipe to open around the middle of this week. Also now open is the Nastar and Self Timer on Copperopolis Trail. The weather for the week looks like more snow thru the middle of the week and than drying out at the end of week. Also remember lifts go back to opening at 9:00 am starting on Monday Jan. 2, 2006.
post #21 of 30
Orange chutes? I presume it is in Union Meadows marked with the orange markers. I've skied that area, and while we've found some untracked in there, it is pretty flat. Or are you talking about someplace else?

I also skied Copper yesterday -- got first tracks in Spaulding, Spaulding Glades, and minimal tracks to the right off of Bradley's Plunge and Golden Crest. A day to remember!
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Jan.9 thru Jan. 15

I've been on vacation for the past week, so no real updates for me. Before I left everything was excellent. We had some crowds early last week, but they've tapered off to normal. I'm sure there's no lift lines in back and Superbee probably has minimal lines.

From here on out, there probably won't be much terrain openings to report. I'll post these if there's anything remotely interesting.

For the coming week all 21 Lifts will remain open with 129 trails and 2,173 acres of great skiing and riding. The snow keeps coming with almost 30” so far this month and we are getting real close to the 200” mark since Nov.1st. with only about 6” more needed.

The west ridge in Copper Bowl is now open and the only remaining terrain left to open is Tucker Mountain. Ski Patrol has been doing snow safety work on Tucker but at this time no date to its opening is available. With all the new snow and wind some areas may be delayed opening in the morning for snow safety work. These areas are Spaulding Bowl,Union Peak and most of Copper Bowl.

The weather for the week looks like off and on snow with some breaks in between but more of the same.
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 

Jan 13th (cat rides open!)

No update from patrol, but I can fill in some blanks.

It's been consistently snowing for the past few days. We got a lot more than in Breck where it seems like there was just a dusting. I don't think Silverthorne got anything. But Copper.. wow.. gotta love it when a storm stalls in the canyon.

So the snow is great, there's nowhere to avoid.

The cat started running today! But Tucker isn't open yet. The cat is dropping off way out on Copper's west ridge (Lallarookin area). It started running about 11:30 today. I managed to get on the first cat ride up... and the second I also got the first lines in the area.. so that was really nice. Honestly, it's not the best skiing on the mountain. There's a lot better, including most of the rest of Copper Bowl and all of Union Bowl. So, if you can do it with only a 20 minute wait in line, I'd say go for it. Otherwise, pass it up.


They open Tucker. They're bombing the crap out of it and with the break in weather it could possibly open. No one (including patrol) knows if it will though. There's more work to be done, but it's really close. If you get there, skip the taco and go to chutes #1 and #2. It'll be the best.
post #24 of 30
I was there on Wednesday for a job interview. It was awesome! Great conditions, no wind. In general, if you are trying to avoid the lift lines, once you go up either the Eagle or Flyer, try not to come all the way down. From the Eagle, you can go up the Excelerator, which leads to advanced terrain.

From the Flyer, make a right when you get off and head to Timberline. You'll find some decent intermediate and advanced intermediate trails. A plea to those who are travelling with young children or beginner skiers: Please, Please, Please consider the Union Creek area! Although it's accessible through the timberline area, there is a ridiculously long cat track to get there. You are better off taking the shuttle bus at Passage Point.

Much of the crowding at Copper happens around the Green trails off of the Flyer. The trails are a bit too challenging for those just coming out of never-ever land, and as a result, there are a lot of traffic jams due to frequent wipe-outs collisions and rubber necking. I have been in so many classes where an instructor has to call the ski patrol to escort someone they've seen either trying to walk down the hill, or just having a ridiculously hard time negotiating the terrain. It's kind of unfair to the patrollers.

Union Creek is separate from the advanced and intermediate trails, so your friends or kids don't have to worry about advanced skiers zipping past them.

I'll be working as a "survey taker," probably on the lower mountain, so if I see any lift line patterns, I will report.

BTW, if you answer my survey, I can give you a free coupon for a hot chocolate!
post #25 of 30
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
A plea to those who are travelling with young children or beginner skiers: Please, Please, Please consider the Union Creek area!
Agreed! The map makes it look easy to ski/traverse from the Flyer to Soliloquy - it's not. Also, we have found that if your destination is Rendezvous, stay away from Indian Ridge (straight ahead of the Flyer chair dropoff ) and instead ski to the left off the Flyer and down to Upper Sluice (stay/look right) to get to the Rendezvous chair.
BTW, if you answer my survey, I can give you a free coupon for a hot chocolate!
We are THERE (Jane brings her own marshmallows)
post #26 of 30
Did the Copper kids maps get reprinted this year? We havent' seen one...
Jane's copy is all ratty and covered in crayon/marshmallow
post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 

1/16 - Tucker Open

This might be the last report ski patrol posts. Not sure. Maybe I'll post more in the future if there's anything interesting to report - conditions of the bowls, etc.

Tucker Mountain opens on Sunday which is the last of our terrain to open for this season. We will have all 21 lifts operating with 130 trails and 2,450 acres with 100 % of all Terrain now open. On Sunday and Monday lifts will open at 8:30 am for the Martin Luther King Holiday. The free snowcat service will also be running starting at 10:00 am, weather and snow conditions permitting.

Snow continues to fall with 202” since Nov. 1st which is at least 5 feet above average as of this time of year. Our mid mountain base continues to hold just above 5 feet with our upper mountain base around 80”.
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
I'll give this thread a bump since we had a bit of an update last week. As of last Thursday we had 283". Since then we've had some snow and it's coming down right now. It's possible we'll break 300" for the season by next weekend. That's pretty amazing considering we're coming out of the driest part of the season and entering what is typically the snowiest part of the year.

Mid-mountain base is 72" and the upper mountain is 90". That's unheard of and certainly hasn't been that high since I've been here.

As you would expect, all terrain is open. I've been out quite a bit lately and as of today there's no where bad on the on mountain. Late last week was getting a bit rough around the edges as terrain got tracked out and icy. It's much better now.

Upper Enchanted is skiing surprisingly well. They have some funky ropes up this year, but all of the terrain seems good. Far West off Sierra is also really nice. Cache Glades looked really nice today, but I didn't get in there. The bowls are so-so. There's a lot of great terrain not in the bowls to ski and that's where I was most of the weekend. That advice probably won't hold true after the snow stops falling with the current storm. Tucker, well, I haven't been up there for a few weeks but it looks great. The cat is still running from 10 - 2 (roughly).

Some grooming has been done in areas that don't normally get it. CDL and Brennan's Grin both got mowed down this week. Crosscut was groomed as well, though that's not too uncommon.

The usual advice for weekend skiing applies - stay away from the base areas. Get to Mountain Chief, Blackjack, Sierra, Resolution, and Rendezvous. None of those places had lift lines this weekend.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well, I guess I'll give an update on how the rest of the season will go:
April 2nd: last day for Green Acres beginner's area and Lumberjack lift (I can hear you all weeping)
April 9th: last day for Resolution, Rendezvous, Mtn Chief, Blackjack and Tucker
April 16th: end of the season
April 20th: I go to Vegas

Depending on conditions and weather, other areas may be on delayed openings.

Other than that, things are looking good. 4Passes are still blacked out this weekend so if you have a season pass I'd highly recommend coming up - last weekend there were hardly any lift lines. There's 25 days in the season and conditions have been really nice lately. Tucker looked phenomenal this morning. We've been getting consistent snow of 1 - 3" a day for the past week.

If you're still looking for an excuse, the spring concerts ("Sunsation") were announced: Better Than Ezra, Rusted Root, Toots and the Maytals, and Keller Williams will be headlining. Also playing: Particle, Oteil & the Peacemakers, Toubab Krewe, Liquid Soul, Madame Andrews & The Heavenly Echos and The Lee Boys. Those will be spread out over April 1/2, 8/9, and 15/16th.
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
From patrol:
On Monday April 3rd we will have 17 Lifts open serving 2,384 acres and 123 trails.

Current schedule of Lift and Terrain closings

Closed for season
  • Green Acres-Pitchfork Lift and Gem Lift
  • Lumberjack Lift – Trails Closed: Upper Roundabout, West Ten Mile, Fairway, Clear Cut and I Way
  • Kids Arena- Rug Rat and The Glide Carpets

Closing at the end of the day on Sunday April 9, 2006
  • Resolution Lift and Trails serviced by this Lift to include Spaulding Glades.
  • Rendezvous Lift
  • Blackjack and Mountain Chief Lifts – This will close all of Copper Bowl, Upper Lilly G ,Tucker Mountain and the Tucker Mountain Snowcat operation for the season.
The remaining lifts will stay open thru the end of the season.

For this coming week we still have 100% of all our Black Terrain Open with 91% of Blue and Green Terrain open thru next Sunday April 9. As of today are mid mountain base is still 80” with our upper mountain base at 100”. For the month of March we received 48” of snow which is only 6” below our average for the month. For the season since Nov.1st we have received 347” of snow, we did receive about 34” of snow in the month of October 2005 which isn’t included in the season total for this season.

Remember Kokomo Lift, Highpoint Lift and Slingshot Carpet at Union Creek will stay open thru the end of the season.
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