Many area mountain bike trails are likely to stay a little too muddy, or even too snow covered in some areas, to be fully accessible until late June or early July this year. However, avid downhillers will soon be able to come out of hibernation and quench their lift-served, trail-charging desires. Keystone Resort officials announced they will begin Bike Park operations next Friday, June 13, in conjunction with the resort’s other summer offerings.
“We’re excited to get the summer rolling,” resort spokeswoman Laura Parquette said. “From the moment we close for the winter season, we begin working on the summer preparations.”
Parquette said the park will likely continue to have some trail closures due to conditions and maintenance needs.
“Our crews are working as hard as possible to get as much ready as possible,” she said. “We look forward to continuing to open terrain as it becomes available. We’ll have a great variety of terrain ready for opening day.”
In years past the resort has occasionally started the season by opening trails from the gondola middle station down, before proceeding to open the upper mountain.
Resort officials are expected to announce the extent of their trail offerings sometime next week. Parquette said they might offer a discounted lift ticket if they open with limited operations.
The Keystone Bike Park serves all ability levels with a variety of downhill terrain ranging from big drops and rock gardens to smooth flowing green switchbacks.
This year the park will again expand on its mountain biking clinic and lesson offerings with weekly women-only classes.
“Over the last few years we’ve continued to add to our beginner downhill offerings,” Parquette said, adding that the women’s program grew from the popularity of last year’s inaugural two-day Betti AllRide Clinic — scheduled this year for June 21-22.
“We see a lot of women being able to learn in an environment that’s catered to them,” she explained. “It really helps increase their progression.”
The women’s clinics will by offered every Wednesday evening from 3:30-5 p.m. beginning June 18. The clinics will cost $30 each and include lift ticket, optional bike rental, protective gear and lessons from one of the mountain’s female instructors.
The bike park will also continue to offer group lessons and private instruction for men, women and children of all ages and skill levels, including the Bike 101 Clinic for beginners to more advanced skills progression.
More information is available at www.keystoneresort.com
Around the county, across the pass
While summer is getting underway this weekend in the Vail Valley with the 2014 GoPro Mountain Games and Vail Mountain opening summer operations, Summit County residents will have to wait one more week to put mud season completely in the rearview — without crossing the pass or heading to the Front Range. Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breckenridge resorts will kick off their summer seasons next Friday, June 13, with some limitations due to on-mountain conditions.
Copper’s offerings will include the start of golf season at the Copper Creek golf course along with other summer activities in the resort’s Center Village. Woodward at Copper — the mountain’s indoor freestyle training facility — will start its summer drop-in sessions Saturday, June 15. Sessions will run three times a day on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer.
The Breck Summer Fun Park, located at the base area of Peak 8, also will start the summer season next weekend. New this year, the mountain will offer scenic chair rides to access hiking and mountain biking from the Peak 7 in addition to Peak 8.
Each resort may limit some upper-mountain operations due to early-season conditions
GoPro Mountain Games and Vail Mountain
The 13th annual Vail Mountain Games — in its second year with GoPro as the title sponsor — got underway Thursday, June 5, with the Steep Creek Championship whitewater kayak competition. Events will continue through Sunday, June 8.
The competition features all things outdoors, with kayak, rafting and paddleboard races, mountain bike/BMX slopestyle competition and racing, climbing contests and the ever-popular dog jumping competition. The two-day Ultimate Mountain Challenge — a sort of mountain sport triathalon — is also a signature of the event. Most events take place in and around Vail Village along with live music and gear vendor tents. Vail Mountain is beginning summer operations this weekend with gondola rides and other mountain activities.