By J. Berndt
REGIONAL–( January 1) Like it or not winter is upon us and with the recent snowfalls the ski resorts are up and running, ready to get you on that lift and up the mountain! Living in Montrose we are fortunate enough to have three ski slopes with no more than a two hour drive. They all have their unique terrain with runs to suit every skill level.
Powderhorn Mountain resort can be found on the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world, with an average of 250 inches of snow in a single season. As of now they have a 43 inch base with 100 percent of the lifts open. In just a five-day period they accumulated 32 of these inches, enough to make shoveling snow a part-time job.
Skier Chris Clemens of Cedaredge said that he has missed only two days at Powderhorn so far.
“It’s the best snow in Colorado right now,” Clemens said. “I have skied unbelievably good powder every day for a week—the resort is 100 percent open, and they’ve got the snow–the base is as high as anywhere in the state. Steamboat may be a little ahead, but 40 inches sure goes a lot further here at Powderhorn!”
Telluride, along with other ski resorts in Colorado have had somewhat of a slow start considering the lack of snow when the season opened, but with a few snow storms they are at 25 inches, with 15 of the 18 lifts now open. Tom Watkinson in charge of the PR & Communications at Telluride Ski & Golf said, “We will ensure the terrain is safe before it is opened to the public.”
Crested Butte is another favorite of the locals as well as people from all over the world as being one of the best extreme skiing areas. That is if you can brave the cooler temperatures. They have a 31-inch mid-mountain depth and 12 of the 16 lifts are open. If Mother Nature does as expected, this week’s nows will help with getting the rest of the mountain open. Crested Butte is host to many great events during the winter, but there is one you need to mark on the calendar and that’s the Crested Butte Songwriters Fest, January 18th through the 19th. The fest will have many diverse song writers from all over the world.
The snow fall came a little late this year and I know all of you ski bums and bunnies were holding your heads in your hands sobbing hoping for nothing more than some fresh powder. Well, I’m going to predict this will be one of the better winters than we have had the past few years. I’m not sure where I came up with this, but in this day and age if the masses have smart phones, everyone’s a weather man… or weather woman…or meteorologist.
By J. Berndt