It has snowed in Colorado! The past three days have seen the biggest storm, by far, to hit the mountains of Summit County all season. Unfortunately, Keystone, which had been starved for snow throughout the season, was already closed. Friday morning, Arapahoe Basin reported 16 inches of fresh snow overnight, and CGeib and I headed up Loveland Pass to check it out. The lower parking lot was full by 9:00, and the line on the Pallavicini lift was already filling the maze when the lifts opened. To avoid the lines and get some fresh powder, we skied the east side of the mountain for several runs. Snow was still pounding, and the upper mountain, above treeline had near zero visibility. The wind had scoured the ridgelines and wreaked havoc with the snow, pushing it into heavy drifts and wind ridges, made more challenging by the whiteout conditions. But down in the trees and gullies below, the snow was deep and soft! Eventually, we decided to take our chances in the Palli lift line for a few runs. Even with the crowds, we still found a few fresh tracks in the trees of the Alleys. We ran into pretty much the entire Nordic team from PSIA-Rocky Mountain, spending a day playing before the Spring Fling over the weekend in Vail (the final days of the season).
CGeib tearing it up at Arapahoe Basin, Friday, April 17, 2009:
A dog, waiting patiently outside the lodge...
An awesome day! And it continued to snow hard all day long. My car had the better part of another foot of snow on it in the parking lot when we got back to it, and needed three people to help push it out.
The next morning--Saturday--The Basin reported another 17" and I-70 was closed from Denver to Vail. Unfortunately, they reopened the highway just in time for me to drive to Vail for the Spring Fling. The skiing was excellent in Vail, too, although they received only a small fraction of the snow that fell at Arapahoe.
Today (Sunday) is clear and sunny, and promises to be one of the best days of the season!