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Colorado Drought? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
If you're looking for Solitude-like snowfall, your closest bets are Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park. But all will be more competitive than Solitude.

Backcountry is much more dangerous in Colorado than the Cascades. Weak layers can break loose months after they are formed. In the coastal states it's dangerous right after a storm but the heavier snow tends to bond soon thereafter.
BC has always given me the willies. I've heard too many spook stories to be okay with it.

I don't expect to get a deal like Solitude again. That was sweet. I finally gave-in because I couldn't live in Salt Lake City (that thread spawned lenghty debates).

I also used to live in Steamboat (where I left my spleen on a tree). The snow there was also ultra-dry and frothy. A feast.

But, it's over 4 hours from Boulder County. Winter Park seems most likely, with the odd trip to Copper.
post #32 of 44
there is still a sorta dirt road called rollins/coronna pass, however, it is one lane dirt, the tunnel is caved in and the train trestle is broken. But, just about 1000 ft below is the moffat tunnel. You can ride the ski train from downtown Denver to the base of Winter Park - the west portal of the tunnel is about 50 yds from the main base. Runs normally Thur - Sun.

Winter Park is a good for beating traffic, almost never the traffic that builds up going up to Eisehower tunnel. It's almost always faster to take Clear Creek Canyon (US highway 6) to Idaho Springs, even with the much slower speed limit on Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon.

Eldora will take you about 35 minutes from Boulder if you drive like I do.
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
there is still a sorta dirt road called rollins/coronna pass, however, it is one lane dirt, the tunnel is caved in and the train trestle is broken. But, just about 1000 ft below is the moffat tunnel. You can ride the ski train from downtown Denver to the base of Winter Park - the west portal of the tunnel is about 50 yds from the main base. Runs normally Thur - Sun.

Winter Park is a good for beating traffic, almost never the traffic that builds up going up to Eisehower tunnel. It's almost always faster to take Clear Creek Canyon (US highway 6) to Idaho Springs, even with the much slower speed limit on Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon.

Eldora will take you about 35 minutes from Boulder if you drive like I do.
Thanks! This qualifies as valuable info - stored for future use.

This info represents the real benefit of a forum like this. Saving someone's sorry ass (in this case - mine) from having to go through the learning curve again.

Much appreciated!
post #34 of 44
From my experience,albeit limited, the best and steepest terrain at Eldora is the beneficiary of prevailing winds which blow from the adjacent Indian Peaks Wilderness. These winds created spindrift and a "reset" effect even in the absence of substantial new snowfall. These steep runs on the backside are probably 1000-1200 vert and as good as,or better than, anything at the #1 ski area in the US. The chairs are slow but the drive is short. Definitely fun skiing with good conditions. Snowfall history is somewhat suspect.
post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyb View Post
From my experience,albeit limited, the best and steepest terrain at Eldora is the beneficiary of prevailing winds which blow from the adjacent Indian Peaks Wilderness. These winds created spindrift and a "reset" effect even in the absence of substantial new snowfall. These steep runs on the backside are probably 1000-1200 vert and as good as,or better than, anything at the #1 ski area in the US. The chairs are slow but the drive is short. Definitely fun skiing with good conditions. Snowfall history is somewhat suspect.
I've heard the same story from a few others. Apparently the "black" areas of Eldora benifit from excellent wind-loading.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Thanks for this info.

This is generally what I've heard - Eldora being windy and less laden than WP.

Still, local is local. People I know who live in Evergreen have given-up on buying Summit County ski-passes due to I-70. They said the crawl ruined their ski day (can it be that bad?).

Too bad they can't just cut through that extra 10 miles to Winter Park.
Depends on how early you're willing to get up, or if you have the option of skiing midweek. For the past few years, if I'm out of Boulder by 6am on weekdays, I'm at Copper by 7:30 at the latest. The alternative is getting up there the night before, of course.

If you're driving, I think that the I-70 areas are a better bet than WP due to Berthoud Pass, but I know that Rusty and icansee both prefer WP, and others here like it for the MJ bumps.

Tony, how does Copper stack up historically for the snow? Last year it was incredible, but I know that was an unusual season. We were skiing trees in December!
post #37 of 44
Copper is on the leeward side of Vail Pass and thus averages about 3/4 of Vail's snow. It fits the common Colorado pattern of taking until January to get some of the steep stuff covered. It also fits the other common Colorado pattern of superb snow preservation due to optimal altitude/exposure. Very consistent good skiing from mid-January until whenever it closes in mid-to-late April.

The early season last year was not typical. http://people.montana.com/~jbraun/coloearly.htm
post #38 of 44
Thanks, Tony...

It's interesting, since I think the snow quality there is better (in my experience and in my opinion) than over the pass. But that's interesting to know. Thanks for your insights...

...and yes, I know that last year wasn't typical. But, it was great!
post #39 of 44
Captain_Strato,
Due to familiarity with almost all areas, discussed in this thread I couldn't resist piping in FWLIW:
-I was just up in Bellingham, visiting family, including my nephew into getting inverted at Baker:
-Went to school in Boulder and worked at Eldora for three years. Sister ran the nordic center.
-Had a three year 'sabbatical' at WP, including skiing among literally the first tracks in bottomless (no base ever previously) the year MJ opened.
-skied all over Summit, Vail Copper, etc.
-been in the SW of CO: Telluride, Purg & Wolf Creek (historically most snow in state)

It has been cyclical in all areas of the state over this period, but it feels like the winters are warmer and less regular and predictable snow. The SW has a different weather pattern than the north. Last year in the SW (while northern CO was great), it was dry until big dumps in March and great late season skiing. The year before was big snows. At Eldora, the wind and drifting can be unbearable and amazing. The 'donut hole' affect seemed chronic, but I've also had among my most memorable powder days there, especially while night skiing. Timing was critical. The terrain at WP, A-Basin, Copper, Highlands & Vail and historically decent snows makes for many good days. Then there's backcountry skiing and touring.....

Maybe your company's business plan should include skiing on weekdays for better morale and productivity.

30 years ago, during my first fall in Boulder as a freshman, we were playing frisbee in shorts on a Wednesday and skiing waste deep in Vail's back bowls on Saturday. I've been spoiled since and had zero regrets moving to CO since! Good luck with the move.

HTH
post #40 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slidewright View Post

Maybe your company's business plan should include skiing on weekdays for better morale and productivity.

30 years ago, during my first fall in Boulder as a freshman, we were playing frisbee in shorts on a Wednesday and skiing waste deep in Vail's back bowls on Saturday. I've been spoiled since and had zero regrets moving to CO since! Good luck with the move.

HTH
HTH: Thanks for the insights. Your qualifications are impeccable.

I like your idea of "mid-week" weekends! It has my vote!

I've also skied Wolf Creek, and I loved it. You've also got a nice cat-skiing operation down there.

We're headed out to CO again this month for further "fact-finding". I hope the move can be done this ski-season (what's the point in May?).

Eldora seems to be an enigma - either great or windy and a bit icy. Regardless, I'm grateful for anyplace I can ski in the sun.

"Getting inverted" is easy at Mt. Baker. The boarder "shred" thing is in full glory at Baker. It's hill you either love or not. I appreciate the deep snow - even if it's wet. But, unless you go mid-week (not me), the hoards of boarders negate that advantage quickly.

I'd enjoy some sun, and dry snow.
post #41 of 44
May=prime corn at A-Basin & maybe Wolf Creek and others areas, including Snowbird, and there's always a little walk in a 'park like setting'.

(BTW, HTH= 'hope this helps')
post #42 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slidewright View Post
May=prime corn at A-Basin & maybe Wolf Creek and others areas, including Snowbird, and there's always a little walk in a 'park like setting'.

(BTW, HTH= 'hope this helps')

So, you're telling me your name isn't Horatio Thaddeus Hornblower?

My repertoire of acronyms needs some work.

We'll take the May corn with gratitude. But, if January powder is served, that's also acceptable.
post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by slidewright View Post
...but I've also had among my most memorable powder days there, especially while night skiing....

HTH
Unfortunately, Eldora no longer has night skiing. As I'm sure slidewright can tell you, night skiing Eldora in the seventies was a real adventure.
post #44 of 44
Truly a storied period.

Speaking of night time adventures, I remember cheating death and skiing at the top of Corona in a full moon during the annual July races and campout from WP. Are they still going on after the road gets opened up?
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