Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Thanks to a series of October snowstorms that have delivered more than 2 feet of snow mid-mountain as well as cold temperatures for snowmaking, Keystone Resort announced it’ll open Friday, Nov. 2, a week earlier than its initially scheduled opening date of Nov. 9. We just got the above photo from Keystone. Apparently, super girl got to ride the slopes early. Some people are sooooooo lucky.
The name of the Sawatch Range itself derives from a Ute word, saguguachipa, meaning "blue earth." In the Utes' cosmology the mountains and valleys where they lived in Colorado were part of the Blue Earth, or Middle Earth, in contrast to the Lower Earth of deep canyons and the Upper Earth of peak tops. Among their favorite places in Middle Earth was the Upper Arkansas region, where they frequently camped.
The first recorded use of the phrase "Sahwatch Range" came from the report of Capt. John Gunnison's expedition in the 1850s. It was written by Lieutenant E. G. Beckwith, who was actually referring to the mountains on the west side of the San Luis Valley. But the name was later applied instead to the northern chain with its glorious fourteeners.So, from a Ute point of view, either way you spell it, you're spelling it wrong.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I ran into Gazette photographer Todd Spoth at the coffin races in Manitou on Saturday. It reminded me that within weeks of joining the paper we nearly killed him. He'd never been whitewater rafting before and we sent him with Dave to raft the Gore.
I meant to ask him to send us a note about his brush with death. Then he told me he's blogging about his time in Colorado. Here's a link to his blog. Scroll back a few pages to see his tale from Gore (Aug. 24).
I can't wait to send him to Silverton this winter!
SnowSports Industries America (SIA) today announced it is moving the annual SIA SnowSports Trade Show from Las Vegas, Nevada to Denver 2010.
The show has been in Vegas for 35 years, but needed a bigger space ( and,let's face it, a better match.) For Colorado, it means a serious cash influx and some great press.
“The SIA board considered many locations for relocating the show and Denver met the needs of our Association
and the snowsports industry perfectly – we’re looking forward to the move in 2010,” commented Mike Carey,
chairman of the SIA board. “We are looking forward to living our snow passion in Denver.”
The bear was located using a GPS tracking collar, placed on the bear earlier this year as part of a research project examining urban black bear behavior.
The bear opened a sliding glass door at the woman's house. It clawed her in the face after she surprised the bear in her home.
Gear and Coffee both seem like tough businesses -- lots of giant corporate competition. The same fate fell on Woodland Park's other funny-sounding gear store, Hoochie Mamma Mountaineering. It recently moved to Canon City.
Monday, October 29, 2007
When I first saw the police officer outside Manitou schools' SILC (Shared Integrated Learning Center) building, I thought perhaps it had been hit by vandals again.
Apparently the draw was nothing more than a curious raccoon that had wandered up the steps and along a ledge to camp out in the sunshine. You wouldn't think concrete would be too comfortable, but you can't beat the view.
By the time a few hundred kids and teachers had tromped up and down the stairs underneath its sleeping perch, the raccoon was ticked.
MSHS freshman Chris Hollingsworth described the critter as "really cranky."
Animal control was hanging out, waiting and watching.
Resorts hope so. They have decent snow and have done everything to play up ski footage during the game.
Here's a story on it from the Vail Daily.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Telluride employees say it's some of the most spectacular in-bounds terrain in the country.
This opening has been made possible due to the addition of a new avalauncher this fall.
Do you hike or walk your dog at Bear Creek Regional Park? Do you wish the new mountain bike trails would be doubled in length? Or maybe you want specific trails to ride your horse.
Whatever your needs and desires, take action. El Paso County parks folks are updating the park's Master Plan. Go to the park Web site, take the survey, and let those who will make decisions about park use know what you'd like to see.
Follow up by making your voice heard at park planning meetings.
Start your involvement here: http://www.peaksurveys.com/ncprojects/bearcreek_cont/bearcreek_1.htm
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
And tell your friends. It's free!
Ha! Sharing the laugh I got from this photo from Steamboat Springs on Colorado Ski Country's site. Jst a reminder our leafy trees and green grass won't last forever. Opening day at Copper is a week from Friday - with skiing and music and giveaways. Let the Wild Rumpus Start!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Either way, it's playing now at Kimball's Twin Peak. Everyone I've talked to who's seen it, liked it. That's the general consensus of other reviews, too. So, who else has seen it? Is it any good?
12,095-foot Independence Pass is still open after the weekend snow. It is scheduled to stay open until Nov. 7 — the established annual closure date for the pass — but oftentimes, they wind up locking the gates early. Last year it closed on
Last year, CDOT closed the pass after a storm Oct. 20. The pass usually reopens by late May.
That pretty much just leaves Cottonwood Pass between Buena Vista and Crested Butte (sorta). It usually closes right about now and opens in late May.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The road reaches more than 12,000 feet above sea level. It’s the highest continuous paved road in the nation, and winter wind and snow make it impossible to keep open. The road connects Estes Park with Grand Lake.
Not quite enough for winter sports, but on the Front Range, it's some well-needed moisture.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Colorado Kite and Ski moved to Colorado Avenue, just a bit west of 21st (2820 W. Colorado). That strip mall they were in off Highway 24 seemed like a place with good visibility, but I doubt people liked having to snake their way over there. The new place looks cool. Larger, too. They're already in and ready to tune-up your gear. If you're a Westsider, what are you waiting for?
Breckenridge: snowy in the pic on Peak 8, but not scheduled to open until Nov. 9
Copper Mountain: busy blowing snow, and actually has the lift running for pre-season ski camps, but won't open to the public until Nov. 2
Loveland, looking quite snowy in the dawn shadows this morning, is currently open.
Vail: also a good blanket of snow, but doesn't plan to open until Nov. 16.
For a full list of which hills open when, click here.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
There's chatter right now on 14ers.com about how to avoid ice in waterbottles on cold winter climbs. Some swear by those pricey waterbottle insulators, some say just put your bottle in your coat. One guy actually did a test in his freezer and discovered an aluminum, vaccume-sealed thermos is the best way to go.
On cold skis, I can generally get by with a Camelbak under my jacket. If it's reallly cold, I may add a little gatorade or Mountain Dew (which shares some ingredients with anti-freeze) and most times I get away with it, but if I knew I was going to be out for a long time, say overnight, the thermos might be a good idea.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Twiggy will be featured at the grand opening celebration for Integrity Bank’s third branch at 13475 Voyager Parkway, southeast of Voyager Parkway and North Gate Boulevard.
The squirrel, which drew a crowd of more than 1,000 at another Integrity branch opening in 2005, is scheduled to perform at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon.
Oh, just as an ironic aside, the guy who trained twiggy, and toured around with him talking to kids about water skiing safety, drowned in a boating accident.
The woman was awakened by noises in her kitchen about 1:30 a.m. When she walked in, the bear smacked her in the face. She was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital with claw injuries that are not considered life-threatening.
Police said the bear entered the house through a closed but unlocked sliding glass door. It fled the home after the attack.
While being a national monument — a status enjoyed by 70 other landmarks, including Devils Tower and Mount St. Helens — could bring in extra visitors and offer additional protection for the peak, the committee determined it would come with too too many strings attached.
Colorado Springs Vice Mayor Larry Small, a committee member, said the designation would have jeopardized popular events such as the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, and the operation of the Pikes Peak Highway.
So... we're back where we started. Many feel the summit house needs major help, both physically and culturally. But, with paving taking up much of the money generated by the toll road to the summit, there are few resources for any kind of fix.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
(AP) - -- A 23-year-old Missouri man has been found alive after disappearing in Colorado's Holy Cross wilderness two days earlier.
Rescuers say Jacob Gatley of Lee's Summit had no life-threatening injuries when he was found Monday, despite enduring wintry weather.
He and his brother reached the summit of the 14,005-foot Mount of the Holy Cross on Saturday but became separated on the way down.
Gatley was wearing only jeans, a fleece garment, a rain jacket and tennis shoes and carried only water and an energy bar. The area has received up to a foot of snow since Saturday.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Ski resorts are turning to technology to deliver skiers up the slopes more quickly, a move industry officials say has cut lift lines. In recent years, resorts in Colorado and elsewhere in the United States have been installing high-speed "detachable" chairlifts that whisk skiers up the mountain twice as quickly as older "fixed-grip" lifts.
Ummmm... so... the first high speed lift was installed in the state about 25 years ago. Since then, the fast four-packs (or six-packs) have pretty much become the norm.
Look for this next exciting story: Young rebellious "snowboarders" surf on snow!
I'm always surprised and delighted by the coming of a new season. Every year I seem to forget how gorgeous the quality of September light is, or the sound of oak leaves hitting the sidewalk, or the smell of the first snow in the forest.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Here are some photos Gazette Photographer Mark Reis shot while we were up at Arapahoe Basin on opening
If you missed the story about "the dudes" and their efforts to be the first skiers in Colorado - and, often, the country - read it here.