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Colorado Front Range this weekend

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm headed to Copper tonight from out of town and was a little disappointed to see that the Tucker mountain snowcat was not yet running. I realize that this has been a poor snow year so far for northern Colorado but I also see that some new snow has fallen this past week. Though I am staying at Copper I have a car and can go anywhere close.  Where might I find the best sidecountry conditions this weekend?

Thanks
post #2 of 13
Will be at Copper this weekend, pm contact info & we can show you some of the inbounds goods. Backcountry is no place to be without the tools & understanding or guide. Been snowing past few days & snowpack is showing signs of movement, as we were out on the sleds today & saw many slides.
post #3 of 13
http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php

Avi danger is high.  Snowfall is predicted to continue, and the danger is likely to increase.  Be safe; stay inbounds.

The issue is not just low snowfall, it is the lousy layers.  We got snow early, then nothing for a while.  This lead to depth hoar, and the snowpack, which is always unstable in Colorado, is particularly so now.  From the CAIC site on Summit County:

"Skiers (and one snowboarder) have triggered and been caught in 4 avalanches since the 14th. All of these close calls have occurred on northeast, east and southeast aspects near and slightly above treeline. The snowpack across the zone is not going to get any stronger going into the weekend. New snow in the last 24 hours ranges from 3 to 7 inches. Wind speed will pick up from the West and Southwest. Stiff slabs will grow above a weakening snowpack."

There's plenty of good skiing inbounds.  If you want alpine conditions, at Copper you have Spaulding Bowl and Resolution bowl.  The skiing will be good on Union Peak most likely as well, and the stuff off of the Sierra lift should be great as well.

You might also think of Breck.  There good snow will likely be found in certain lines in Horseshoe Bowl that don't get skied much because everyone heads to the high terrain off of 7.  Arte's Bowle will be good, most likely, as will the Boundry Chutes and Cucumber Bowl.

Best of luck, and stay safe.

Mike
post #4 of 13
I don't think you will be disappointed for too long as we have gotten a nice amount of snow the last few days- Copper, Vail, Breck and Beaver Creek should all be good calls this weekend. 

Mike is right about the av conditions as they were selective on what they had open on the backside at Copper Wednesday even after they did a lot of blasting. 
post #5 of 13
Copper's website says they will try to run the cat TODAY! 

I'm not going up until this afternoon, but hopefully by tomorrow it will definitely be open.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
 We skied Copper today (Saturday) and had a blast.  Cover on the front side is good and very little ice. Much thanks to Mr Vertical for showing me some excellent terrain off of Sierra.  Boot deep and dry.  More snow expected tonight.  I plan to hit the bowls tomorrow.  I will try to take some pictures tomorrow and update this thread.
post #7 of 13
Glad you enjoyed it.  Wish I was there -- stuck in Miami and out of commission with a dislocated shoulder. 

Mike
post #8 of 13
DSC03562.JPG
 Mike,
            Was nice to get some runs in with you!
Hope you found the Good stuff off the Storm King today? Snow sure was nice!
Took the sleds out today as planned, lot of digging but always nice to get stuck with my sons!
 Hope we get a chance to do it again!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
 Sunday was another great day at Copper!  We started the morning lapping Union Meadows.  That area is bigger than the map implies.  The snow was fresh, ankle to knee deep, and light.  Visibility was surprisingly good. Next we went over to the backside via Rendezvous and skied Copper Bowl. The snow under Mountain Chief was excellent.  I took the snowcat but was a little underwhelmed.  The wait was long (45 minutes) and the cat only went to the west end of Copper Bowl.  The snow was excellent and the pitch on the first half was great but conditions were whiteout.  Once we got to some trees for definition, the pitch became flat.

I ran out of time to hit Spaulding bowl but I did find lower enchanted trees.  They were lots of fun.

Copper Bowl




Copper Bowl from Blackjack lift.jpg


Copper Bowl from Mountain Chief lift.jpg

Coppertone.jpg
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmaxwell View Post

 Sunday was another great day at Copper!  We started the morning lapping Union Meadows.  That area is bigger than the map implies.  The snow was fresh, ankle to knee deep, and light.  Visibility was surprisingly good. Next we went over to the backside via Rendezvous and skied Copper Bowl. The snow under Mountain Chief was excellent.  I took the snowcat but was a little underwhelmed.  The wait was long (45 minutes) and the cat only went to the west end of Copper Bowl.  The snow was excellent and the pitch on the first half was great but conditions were whiteout.  Once we got to some trees for definition, the pitch became flat.

I ran out of time to hit Spaulding bowl but I did find lower enchanted trees.  They were lots of fun.
 
So the Cat was running Sunday???  I talked to a patroller on Monday at the base of the Cat area just above the Mnt Chief loading who said the Cat was not running due to lack of snow, not Avy risk...he said that they were going to go up there to do some work to see if they could get the area from the Taco west open for the weekend.  I saw some cat tracks going up (but virgin snow)- he never mentioned that it had been open the day before??

Regardless, this was probably the the best weekend (if you count Monday) of the year (except for the long lines at Breck Saturday. 
post #11 of 13
Which means it can only get better,  from now until the end of April!
 Should be a good group @ Copper this weekend from epic.
 
post #12 of 13
Monday at Copper was lovely! I skied two runs Spaulding/Reso, Lower Enchanted (omg), 6 runs in Copper Bowl, then Buzzard's Alley to the bottom all by about noon. Trying to catch up on the mediocre season, I guess!

I don't think they usually run the cat during the early part of the week, do they? It seems like it's mostly toward the weekend, but I'm not totally sure. I like to ski Monday mornings before going back to Denver, and don't remember it being open. I saw a line to the cat on Sunday, though.
post #13 of 13

An Added Incentive ,
"Any season pass holder worldwide: Sneak over to Copper Mountain for a day and pick up the Swinger's Pass for the easy price of $39", (cut & paste from www.coloradoski.com) .
 Whats not to like?
 

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