Skiing

Spots available for Loveland youth ski camp with Olympians, June 6-16

May 26, 2016 — 

It’s been nearly a month since the lifts at Loveland Ski Area stopped spinning, and yet, Sebastian Brigovic has hardly missed a day on the cool, crisp corduroy of the Loveland racecourse.

“The snow is amazing up there right now,” he said between morning race training and afternoon classes at University of Denver. “I was out skiing today, and it was fantastic. I really think no one else in the world has better terrain than we do right now at Loveland.”

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On The Hill: Trickin off the Death Stump (snow video)

May 21, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

VIDEO: On May 19, Z Griff and crew paid tribute to the inaugural Bull of the Woods with the rebirth of another Breckenridge original: the death stump.

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On The Hill: Back to the Basin, summer edition (snow video)

May 15, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

VIDEO: What, did you really think Z Griff was ready to say goodbye to the snowboard season? Not a chance. Arapahoe Basin is reaping the rewards of late-spring snow, with tons of coverage and still not a pond in sight. That will change soon enough, but until then it's cornice drops, dirt gaps and Beach days all around.

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Eco advocates 350.org organize marches, more in Denver for climate change awareness

May 9, 2016 — 

All of us in Summit County regard the mountains as something special. These mountains create a platform to explore and push our physical and mental limits. Perhaps the most important thing these mountains have done is to create a place for like-minded individuals to come together — a community. The melting pot of characters who travel here, live here and thrive here is filled with people who almost all came to experience the grandness of these peaks, to ski them, to bike them, to hike them, to gasp at the crisp clean air, to disconnect and to experience the uncalculated wild.

Unfortunately, this existence full of adventure, excitement and inspiration is at risk, for studies show the global climate as a whole is warming. According to NASA, 2015 was the hottest year ever on record. In fact, for the past 35 years, we have seen a warming trend, with the top 15 of 16 hottest years occurring since 2001. So far, 2016 is breaking records and is likely to surpass 2015 as the hottest year.

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Denver father-son trio completes 28 days at 28 Colorado ski resorts with A-Basin

May 7, 2016 — 

On April 24 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, JB Bissell and his boys celebrated the end of a long and snowy journey. For the first time since clipping in at 3 years old, Bissell skied at least one full day at all 28 ski areas in Colorado, from the Bissell’s familiar stomping grounds of Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort to brand-new terrain at Durango and Crested Butte.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said JB Bissell, a Denver local and freelance writer who documented the entire season through his blog. “People who live in Colorado get a little stuck skiing the same place over and over. I grew up here and wanted to see more.”

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Quandary Peak in May: A day of skinning and skiing Breckenridge's 14er

May 6, 2016 — 

We couldn’t have paid for a better day at 14,265 feet.

It’s a crisp, clear, stunning spring morning in the first week of May when our group of three backcountry skiers reaches the East Ridge en route to Quandary Peak: one of three Summit County 14ers and the only one that’s easily accessible from Breckenridge, found just 6 miles away. This is the resort’s hometown 14er, a snow-scoured sentinel that looms high and majestic and intimidating over the upper Blue River to the east, Hoosier Pass to the south and Breck’s own Peak 10 to the north. It’s also the highest point in the craggy Tenmile Range, and, for decades, it’s been a backcountry badge of honor.

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Bob Craig announced as Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee

May 6, 2016 — 

VAIL — The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame announced today the six members of its class of 2016, who will be formally inducted later this year.

Heading the list of new hall of fame members is U.S. Nordic Combined athlete and six-time Olympian Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs. Lodwick will be joined by 10th Mountain Division veteran and Silver Star winner Hugh Evans of Boulder, former Ski and Snowboard Club Vail Executive Director Aldo Radamus and Steamboat Springs’ Olympic and X Games snowboarding medalist Shannon Dunn-Downing.

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On The Hill: Summer in the city with Z Griff (video)

May 7, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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On The Hill: Free summer snow park now open with Frisco skatepark

May 6, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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Ski Conservation Fund has doled out $4 million over 10 years

May 2, 2016 — 

This spring, the National Forest Foundation has awarded more than $400,000 to eight different local nonprofit stewardship organizations to support projects on the White River National Forest.

For the 10th year in a row, these investments were made possible by skiers and visitors at the National Forest Foundation’s partner ski resorts — Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Vail. By making a donation on top of a room night or lift ticket, guests at these resorts have contributed nearly $2.7 million to the fund since 2006.

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Arapahoe Basin Ski Area hosts springtime music, events

April 29, 2016 — 

While every other Summit County resort stopped turning its lifts, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is just now gearing up for its spring season on the mountain. With the chance of May powder days and plenty of sunshine, locals and Front Rangers alike are eager to flock to The Beach to enjoy the weekends.

“It could snow 1 inches, 2 inches, 10 inches, and be sunny the next day, and there is always something fun going on in addition to how good the spring skiing is,” said Adrienne Saia Isaac. “So I just looked forward to those really outstanding spring days and the nice weather too — it’s the perfect combination.”

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Colorado Escapist: Spring backcountry skiing in powder magnet Montezuma

April 28, 2016 — 

Springtime is here and what does that mean? Backcountry skiing! Who says it’s time to put away your skis just yet? Colorado mountain weather is unpredictable, and snow in May is always a possibility (There’s a storm rolling in as we speak), so why not get some last-minute runs before it all melts off?

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What to know before skinning Breckenridge, Copper and A-Basin

April 27, 2016 — 

It’s that time of year again, when the lifts shut down and the only way anyone gets turns at the resort is by earning them. And those turns are more than worth it. After plenty of snow earlier this April — not to mention predictions for another foot over the weekend — touring at local resorts is a must for anyone who didn’t get enough of Springmeier or Claimjumper in the past five months.

That said, every resort in Summit County has rules and regulations for on-mountain access after the season comes to a close. True, Breckenridge and the rest are on public U.S. Forest Service property, but the ski area lease terms let management lay out a set of rules to keep uphill skiers and splitboarders safe while snowcats, snowmobiles and the rest are busy cleaning up the slopes for summer operations.

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Sights from the first Breckenridge pond-skimming challenge (photos)

April 27, 2016 — 

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Dear Drewbie: Skiing, biking and traumatic brain injuries in the Colorado High Country

April 25, 2016 — 

As mountain people, we often expose our heads to situations when injury seems not only possible, but also likely. Take a poll of your friends and see how many of them have had a concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or knocked their melon so hard they stars. Chances are it’s just about everyone.

In Summit County, it seems that well over 50 percent of us have knowingly had a head injury (This stat from random classroom and friend polls — very scientific stuff here). Many people also often realize that they likely had a TBI at some point that went undiagnosed and untreated.

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Proposed legislation could ease budget crunch in White River National Forest

April 24, 2016 — 

Legislation recently introduced in Congress may pave the way for the cash-strapped White River National Forest to retain some of the funds that ski resort operators pay to use public lands.

The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both Democrats from Oregon, takes a broad look at expanding outdoor recreation use of public lands. It would force federal agencies to place a priority on recreation, and it proposes ways to maintain public lands.

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Scenes from the 2016 Imperial Challenge at Breck (photo and video)

April 23, 2016 — 

The wind was blowing, the sun was shining and race organizers were cranking Christmas tunes for the 25th running of the Imperial Challenge, an annual end-of-season ski mountaineering race from the Breckenridge Recreation Center to the summit of Peak 8.

Here’s how it went: Beginning at 9:15 a.m., more than 140 athletes between 12 and 70 years old biked 6.2 miles from the rec center to Peak 8 base, skinned or hiked past the T-Bar and Imperial Chair to the top of Peak 8, then turned around for a whip-fast descent on spring corn to the finish line back at the bottom. There were folks in tie-dye, others in spandex and still others in cut-off jean shorts, plus local celebrities like outgoing Breckenridge mayor John Warner, elite triathlete Jaime Brede and longtime local Doc PJ, the sort of guy who travels the Imperial route almost daily during winter.

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On The Hill: Pow turns at Fowler-Hilliard Hut to last laps at Park Lane with no expiration date (snow video)

April 24, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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Backcountry clubs pop up across the country, but are unlikely in Summit

April 22, 2016 — 

For the past six decades, skiing in Colorado has nearly mirrored the beer industry. It’s dominated by the biggest names with the deepest roots — Vail Resorts, Powdr Corporation, Aspen Skiing Company — and small-time mountains tend to either get bought out by the big guys or fizzle out completely, like the short-lived Echo Mountain outside of Evergreen.

But the industry is changing. Again, like the beer industry with the rise of craft breweries, independent and private backcountry resorts are now gaining traction across the U.S. As Vail Resorts and Powdr Corporation start to partner with resorts across the world, small pockets of investors with a thirst for powder are getting away from the resort mentality to build backcountry clubs for a select few.

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On The Hill: Spring corn, 14er finding and Pyramid cliffs on top of sunny Breckenridge (snow video)

April 22, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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On The Hill: 2-for-1 riding Quandary on 4/20 and park laps with Ripperoo

April 21, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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Breckenridge, Copper Mountain shut lifts and runs before closing weekend

April 20, 2016 — 

Last weekend’s freak snowstorm couldn’t have come at a better time — for the most part. After a winter of above-average snowfall, Keystone Resort closed on a bittersweet note less than a week before Summit County was blanketed in two-plus feet of wet, heavy, manky April powder.

But hey, at least Keystone didn’t pull a politician and waffle back and forth before extending the season. That’s what Vail Mountain did — the resort hosted official closing weekend concerts on April 9-10 and yet stayed open an extra week until April 17 — and so did Copper Mountain, which held the annual Eenie Weenie Bikini contest and other closing weekend festivities April 16-17 only to stay open for one last weekend, April 22-24.

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Take 5: Mud season training with Kim Orr

April 19, 2016 — 

There’s still snow on the ground but Kim Orr’s mind is already on that other type of skiing.

Come the dog days of summer, the longtime Summit County local takes at least a few trips to Green Mountain Reservoir for water skiing. It’s slightly different than its winter cousin, but both sports have at least one thing in common: You enjoy them so much more when you’re strong.

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On The Hill: April backcountry at A-Basin with the boys (snow video)

April 19, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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On The Hill: Ode to an April snowstorm with 15" at Breckenridge (snow video)

April 18, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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Imperial Challenge returns to closing weekend with heavy metal division on April 23

April 15, 2016 — 

The Imperial Challenge is getting back to its roots.

For its 25th anniversary, the annual bike-skin-ski race is back on the Saturday of closing weekend after several years bouncing from March to April. This season also brings the debut of a heavy metal division for folks with alpine touring skis, splitboards, snowshoes and just about anything other than an ultra-lightweight ski mountaineering setup that’s all the rage these days. The division replaces the short-course option by giving competitors a 45-minute head start on the open division.

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On The Hill: Farewell to stellar season at Keystone on closing day (snow video)

April 17, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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On The Hill: 15in powder day for the godfather, Noah Salasnek (snow video)

April 16, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

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On The Hill: At the USASA Nationals ski halfpipe with young Axl Bonenberger (snow video)

April 15, 2016 — 

On The Hill is brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

VIDEO: Closing day is in sight for most of Summit County and Z Griff is getting ready for the last-minute storm, which might bring 2-4 feet between Friday night and Monday morning. Until then, On The Hill puts a spotlight on the youngest halfpipe skiers at the USASA National Championships in Copper earlier this week.

Breckenridge official report: 0", 0", 0"

Summit Daily field report: There has been excellent spring conditions of late with partial clouds keeping it from turning to soup by noon. Today, we are staring down a grey cloud that could signal the start of a spring storm that has some weight behind it.

Weather: High of 39 F, Low of 22 F. A chance of snow showers before 11 a.m., then a chance of rain and thunderstorms and turning into snow tonight.

Lift lines: Just fine.

Breakdown: Spring grey day with excellent corduroy and park conditions.

Wounded heroes brought together by a week in Breckenridge

April 14, 2016 — 

William Garibaldi watched his children turn circles around the ice rink. Nearby, a mom guided her daughter across the ice, while two siblings high fived as they sped past each other.

Garibaldi, an Oklahoma resident, came to Breckenridge with nine other families for Family Ski Week, an annual event organized by Wounded Heroes Family Adventures. The former marine and army sergeant found out about the weeklong camp in 2012 at a Warrior Transition Unit.

“Yesterday, I made it to the sign at the top of (Peak 8),” he said. The weekend was also a treat for his wife, Lisa, and their four kids.

“They’re having fun, too,” he grinned, gesturing toward the rink.

Garibaldi finished his military service in September of 2013, following three deployments to Iraq as a heavy vehicle operator and one in Afghanistan as a sergeant with the 4th field artillery regiment. During his deployments, he communicated with his family through Skype.

Now, he is back with his family in Oklahoma and his loyal service dog, who stays by his side. One of 200 families who applied for Family Ski Week, he said they were able to apply after his youngest daughter turned 6.

“I like the fact that it’s bringing us all closer together,” he said. “It’s hard to communicate with others that don’t know what we’re going through.”

For Family Ski Week’s ninth year, military veterans and their families had four days of downhill skiing instruction through the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, as half-day counseling sessions, and a plethora of family activities. Bryan Hartwig, an Air Force veteran who helped organize the event, said Family Ski Week was created by a group of locals looking for ways to help wounded warriors of all military branches who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They turn out to be, in some cases, permanent friendships,” Hartwig said. “I think it brings them out of their shell a little bit.”

The nonprofit has since expanded to include a summer and fall event, with the majority of proceeds going toward ski lessons, food and instructors. None of the board members collect a dime.

John Ebright, a BOEC board member and secretary for Wounded Heroes Family Adventures, is also a veteran. He served with the first infantry division in Vietnam, from 1967-68.

“A major part of the help for them is meeting families in similar situations,” Ebright said. “The spouses and children need as much help as the soldiers.”

Several local businesses have also gotten involved with the event: Grand Timber Lodge provides spaces for the families to stay, local restaurants donate food and the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center provides instruction, equipment and lift tickets.

“There is no magic bullet, but there are a lot of pieces,” Ebright said. “A lot of programs just take them skiing, and that’s it.”

Thursday marked the program’s fourth day, with ice skating, a craft through BreckCreate and a day of fishing available as family activities. The families will have a final dinner together on Saturday, April 16, before departing the next day.

“The tears that flow are unbelievable,” Hartwig said.

With an April storm looming outside, Garibaldi joked that he wouldn’t mind a little snow, especially if it prolonged the trip.

“It’s just, the people that put this on, the volunteers, coordinators and everyone — they’ve put so much planning into it. I just want to tell them thank you,” he said. “It’s a great feeling, knowing there are people out there that care this much to do stuff like this.”

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