Skiing

Jibs, jumps and Torstein Horgmo at the Woodward Copper summer snow park (photos)

July 22, 2016 — 

On a pristine morning in July, a small group of campers, coaches and pros took to the snow at the Woodward Copper summer terrain park for jibs and jumps high on Copper Mountain. They were surrounded on all sides by dry grass and green, uncovered mountains, like a surreal dreamscape in the heart of Summit County.

Here’s how they spent it.

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Keystone Resort offers new mountaintop history tour

July 16, 2016 — 

Keystone Resort has had a place in Summit County history since the Dercums founded the ski area back in 1970. The resort is now offering a free guided mountaintop history walking tour to give guests a chance to learn unique Keystone and Colorado facts while taking in the views along Dercum Mountain.

The Mountaintop History Walk is offered each Sunday through Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The walking tour lasts for one hour, and is a mellow and slow-paced 1.5 mile walk along the Dercum Hiking Trail. No registration is required, and a summer scenic lift pass is needed.

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Vail Resorts plans to abandon 'Park City' trademark

July 17, 2016 — 

PARK CITY, Utah — Vail Resorts, with Park City Mountain Resort, said Saturday it would withdraw its polarizing trademark application for the name “Park City” as it applies to a ski area — an unexpected turnabout amid widespread opposition to the bid to trademark the name of the community.

Park City Mountain Resort on Saturday morning released a prepared statement attributed to Bill Rock, the chief operating officer of the resort, explaining the decision to withdraw the application, which was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He noted the application was initially filed by Powdr Corp., the former owner of Park City Mountain Resort, and it is “common within the ski industry” to obtain trademarks.

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Yet another record-busting winter for Colorado ski towns

July 10, 2016 — 

Not only did a record number of visitors pack Colorado ski areas last winter, but the spendthrift skiing masses left mountain towns awash in record tax revenue.

The past three Colorado ski seasons have hit all-time highs. The ski areas are making more money than ever — as evidenced by record-setting revenue-based annual rent payments to their Forest Service landlords. The sheer number of visitors is growing, reaching a record 13 million in 2015-16.

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On The Hill: Snow to skate for Woodward opening and Go Skateboarding Day (video)

June 22, 2016 — 

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

VIDEO: One joy of living in the Rocky Mountains is June, when it's easy enough for the dedicated few to go snowboarding one day and skateboarding the next, all under a bright, warm summer sun. Z Griff heads to Copper for opening weekend at the public on-snow terrain park before joining a mob of skateboarders for a cruise down Main Street Breck the morning of Go Skateboarding Day, June 21, the unofficial holiday for skaters the world over.

Watch for Z Griff's recap of the Go Skateboarding Day shenanigans in Leadville and at Vail's new skate park later this week.

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Colorado ski industry hits all-time attendance total in 2015-16

June 13, 2016 — 

The state’s ski industry is alive and well, and once again hitting new heights.

Across its 21 member resorts, trade association Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced at its annual meeting late last week that the 2015-16 season set a new mark as its best on record. The total of 7.4 million skier visits — the industry’s standard metric for tracking participation — tops the previous all-time high from 2013-14, when 7.1 million skiers and snowboarders passed through the gates at the majority of Colorado’s ski areas.

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FIS confirms Aspen's World Cup Finals

June 12, 2016 — 

The Finals are final.

The 2016-17 calendar for World Cup alpine skiing was approved Saturday with Aspen hosting the World Cup Finals March 15 through 19. The calendar was approved at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Congress in Cancun, Mexico.

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On The Hill: Closing weekend flashback to final A-Basin rail jam (video)

June 10, 2016 — 

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

VIDEO: After 200+ days, Arapahoe Basin is calling an end to the Colorado ski season this weekend with skiing and riding on the front side, plus plenty of pond-skimming at Lake Reveal beneath the Lenawee Express chair. Z Griff made it out on Memorial Day Weekend to keep the stoke alive at the final rail jam of the season. These guys and gals have been throwing down all season, and you know what that means: 270s on to tap out over the GoPro. Cheers to an incredible year, we'll see you out at 4th of July Bowl this summer.

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Court ruling bolsters ski area legal protections

June 9, 2016 — 

Inbounds avalanches are part of the inherent risk of skiing at the state’s ski areas, Colorado’s Supreme Court affirmed last week.

The split 5-2 finding upheld a state appellate court’s previous 2-1 decision from 2014 regarding a wrongful death suit first brought against IntraWest-owned Winter Park Resort in 2012. After 28-year-old skier Christopher Norris died in January that year, his widow asserted that Winter Park was liable for his death because the state statute that insulates resorts from lawsuits based on the understood and innate dangers of the sport did not specifically include avalanches. A Grand County District Court had originally thrown out the lawsuit, believing the language of the law, “snow conditions as they exist or may change,” covered the winter phenomenon.

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Keystone, Breckenridge open for summer biking, hiking and tubing June 10

June 8, 2016 — 

Just a few short weeks after the lifts stopped spinning for ski season, Keystone and Breckenridge are back in business for the summer season.

Local’s day at Breck

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Copper Resort owner Powdr Corp buys Eldora

June 6, 2016 — 

Park City, Utah-based Powdr Corporation, owner of Copper Mountain Resort in addition to seven other ski resorts in the West, announced on Monday that it has added Eldora Mountain Resort in Nederland, Colorado to its portfolio.

The adventure lifestyle company, which also owns Woodward camps across the United States and media company Outside Television, sees Eldora as a consequential addition. That, and a strategic complement to Copper Mountain.

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Araphoe Basin extends Colorado ski season to June 12 with top-to-bottom terrain

June 1, 2016 — 

Don’t break out the storage wax just yet.

Earlier this week, Arapahoe Basin breathed an extra weekend of life into the Colorado ski season with one final extension. After 220 days of continuous operation — from opening day on Oct. 29 to the original closing day on June 5 — the ski area will re-open from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, with top-to-bottom service on Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain lifts. Beach parking is first come, first served the final weekend, and uphill access is restricted to Friday, Saturday and Sunday outside of operating hours (access very limited when lifts are spinning).

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Avalanche is an inherent risk of skiing, Colorado Supreme Court rules in Winter Park death case

May 31, 2016 — 

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing, ending a contentious debate over a ski area’s liability when an avalanche kills a skier inside a resort boundary.

The Colorado ski industry celebrated the high court’s decision, which was delivered Tuesday morning. The court ruled that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing and resorts are protected from avalanche-related lawsuits under the venerable Ski Safety Act legislation, which prohibits lawsuits by skiers and snowboarders injured or killed as a result of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing, such as difficult-to-mitigate threats related to terrain, weather and snow conditions.

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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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