Ski-town news roundup: Snow to return to Colorado |

Ski-town news roundup: Snow to return to Colorado

Compiled by Lauren Glendenning

Light snow and wind for Interstate 70 and north on Sunday and Sunday night. Heavy snow for all mountains late Tuesday night through Wednesday, with very cold temperatures Wednesday through the weekend.

After a week of quiet weather, we’ll be back on the storm train very soon. In one week from now, it’s going to look and feel like mid-winter.

We’ll see a quick shot of snow Sunday morning through Monday morning, focusing on the mountains along and north of I-70. Total accumulations could be about 2-4 inches, with more in spots that do well in northwest flow. The models do not agree on the snow amounts (not a surprise considering northwest flow is rarely accurately predicted), so my confidence is low on the accumulation forecast. A few flakes to an inch or two might get south to Aspen, but this will mainly be an I-70 and north event. The heaviest snow will likely fall Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, with snow tapering to flurries by mid morning on Monday.

Monday afternoon through most of Tuesday will be dry as the big storm will still be to our northwest and west.

“We have made a last-minute decision to give all Peak Pass holders uphill access as part of their Peak Pass privileges.”
Scott Clarkson
Crested Butte VP sales and marketing

Look for increasing clouds, winds, and snow to arrive on Tuesday night. Some models show the snow starting to fall heavily Tuesday night, and others hold it off until Wednesday morning. But that’s a small detail that doesn’t matter much, because the take away is that we’ll see heavy snow sometime in the Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon time frame, with accumulations approaching a foot for many mountains by Wednesday night.

— To read the rest of this forecast, visit

Crested Butte reverses decision to charge uphillers

Crested Butte Mountain Resort last week reversed its decision to charge its season pass holders for uphill access.

In an email regarding the change to the resort’s uphill policy, which had previously required pass holders to purchase an uphill travel pass for $100, Scott Clarkson, the resort’s vice president of sales and marketing, thanked everyone who provided feedback about the new policy.

“Our main goal of this program is not to make money, but to grow the sport, and create additional value for this customer base. The money gained by this program will go right back into the program,” he wrote. “In considering our goals with growth and value of this program we have made a last-minute decision to give all Peak Pass holders uphill access as part of their Peak Pass privileges.”

Uphill skiers without a Peak Pass will need to purchase an uphill day ticket for $10 or an Uphill Access season pass for $100. Crested Butte Nordic pass holders wishing to purchase an uphill pass may present their Nordic pass at the resort to receive an uphill access pass for half-off. Likewise skiers who have already purchased an Uphill Access pass or a Peak Pass+ may present that pass at Crested Butte Nordic Center and purchase a Crested Butte Nordic season pass for $50 off.

— To read the rest of this story, visit

New proposal expected for Squaw Valley village expansion

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Amid continuing feedback, a revised proposal for Squaw Valley’s village expansion should be submitted to Placer County next month.

The current plan outlines the addition of 1,093 lodging units, new commercial space and the year-round indoor activity center “Grand Camp” across 101.5 acres.

“We’ve really worked hard to get the input of the whole Lake Tahoe region on our plan, with a real focus on environmental stewardship, family oriented experiences and job creation,” said Chevis Hosea, vice president of development for Squaw Valley. “The community has been providing valuable input, and we’re considering it as we make revisions.”

While it’s unclear what exactly those revisions will be, Alex Fisch, senior planner for Placer County Planning Services, said he thinks they will be “notable.”

Once the revised plan is submitted — expected in the second week of December — the county will release a notice informing the public of changes, Fisch said.

Since the application was submitted to the county in December 2011, it’s drawn skepticism, as evidenced in results of a recent survey conducted by project critics Sierra Watch and the Friends of Squaw Valley.

Of 220 people who responded to the open-ended question of which factor they least like about Squaw Valley, the proposed village development was the top answer, at 30 percent.

When asked what factor survey-takers like most about Squaw, 34 percent answered “mountains, scenery,” 33 percent with “skiing, terrain” and 10 percent said “natural environment,” out of 282 responders.

In total, 330 people took the online survey, which was available from May 30 to Aug. 30.

— to read the rest of this story, visit

Some Northeast ski resorts open earlier than ever

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Ski areas in the Northeast continue to pump millions of dollars in new high-tech snowmaking to draw early season skiers and riders and to ensure their slopes will remain snowy into the spring.

An early cold snap allowed resorts from Vermont to Maine to fire up snow guns in the beginning of November.

New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain opened Nov. 8, its earliest top-to-bottom opening ever, thanks to a $1.3 million investment to revamp its snowmaking.

“This season, we opened about 10 days early which is really big for us,” said spokesman Greg Kwasnik.

In Vermont, Okemo, Mount Snow and Bromley Mountain are among the resorts that opened in mid-November.

“It’s the earliest opening that I can remember, and I’ve been here 40 years,” Bromley President Bill Cairns said.

Stowe Mountain Resort continues its major snowmaking revamp spending another $3.4 million on new equipment and upgrades, including 100 tower guns, three fan guns and miles of snowmaking pipe. That’s on top of $4.7 million spent last year.

Maine’s two biggest resorts — Sugarloaf and Sunday River — have installed hundreds of new energy efficient snow guns for this season, on top of big investments in equipment in recent years.

The new high efficiency, low-energy equipment allows the resorts to keep the slopes covered at a fraction of the energy costs, eliminating the need for thousands of gallons of diesel fuel.

Aside from more snow, skiers and riders will notice new lodging, terrain parks and glade offerings at some resorts.

Big changes to the tune of $43 million are on the ground at Jay Peak in northern Vermont near the Canadian border, including an 80,000-square-foot (7,430-square-meter) Stateside Hotel and base lodge and 84 new mountain cottages.

Sunday River in Maine has added a new 15-acre (6-hectare) terrain park including a jump line, super pipe and rail park. And Sugarloaf has expanded its back-country-style terrain by 70 more acres (28 hectares) and added a new 30-person outdoor hot tub to its Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel.

— The Associated Press

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