Top 5 stories on for the week of Sept. 15

Michael Rohr and his group spotting a moose in front of them on Sept. 13, 2019.
Courtesy Michael Rohr

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. Nine injured in Colorado Highway 9 crash

A two-vehicle, head-on crash near Green Mountain Reservoir on Sept.15 closed Colorado Highway 9 for hours and sent at least eight people to hospitals, including one via a Flight For Life helicopter.

At 1:43 p.m., Colorado State Patrol received a call about a collision on Highway 9 north of Silverthorne near Heeney Road in Heeney. Sgt. Blake White reported that a Subaru Ascent, which was traveling northbound, entered the southbound lane, colliding with a Toyota Tundra. The front driver’s side of the Subaru hit the front driver’s side of the Toyota in the southbound lane, he said.

White said there was one driver and one passenger in the Toyota and one driver and seven passengers in the Subaru. Of the eight people in the Subaru, one was flown to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood. The others were transported via ambulance to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Two of the four juveniles in the Subaru were not wearing seatbelts.

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

2. What Summit County ski resorts are doing to move toward sustainability

Ski resorts have a strange mix of contradictory truths: avid skiers and snowboarders want the snow to continue, yet travel to the resorts and electricity use on the mountain require contributions to climate change. The four major Summit County ski resorts — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort — have all shared projects with the goal of achieving sustainable mountains.

A-Basin is working to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. This goal comes with six subgoals, which are to centralize purchasing, achieve 100% renewable energy, increase carpool and public transport participation, achieve 75% waste diversion, have no net increase in water use, and lead in ecosystem stewardship and wildlife management.

At Copper, the team has made upgrades to lighting and buildings, and has deployed high efficiency snowmaking equipment, which offers 20% to 70% energy savings. The mountain has installed solar panels on various buildings and also has entered into the Xcel Energy Renewable Connect program.

Vail Resorts announced in 2017 its commitment to achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030. This goal applies to all Vail Resorts locations. At Breckenridge and Keystone, energy efficient snowmaking guns, LED lighting and a food scrap collection program highlight sustainability efforts.

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

3. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area closed for summer operations

On Sept. 16, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced on its Twitter account that it is officially closed for summer operations. According to communications manager Katherine Fuller, summer operations typically close after A-Basin Oktoberfest in order to prepare for winter.

The closure does not include the disc golf course, hiking trails and biking trails, which will remain open until they interfere with winter mountain operations.

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Human-bear conflicts a concern as bears pack on weight for winter

There are a lot of perks in getting to live in close proximity to Colorado’s wilderness, including the opportunity to observe some of the state’s famous wildlife in its natural habitat. But that proximity also means that conflicts between humans and animals can become a problem, and officials say it’s the responsibility of residents and visitors to make sure we’re able to coexist.

So as bears in the area begin to enter hyperphagia, a period of excess eating to prepare for hibernation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging residents to be aware of their responsibilities in order to assure the safety of the public as well as the bears.

According to Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras, bears are on the search for easy meals before winter, spending up to 20 hours grazing and trying to pack on 20,000 calories a day. And for black bears — omnivores that live largely on berries, nuts and the occasional scavenged carcass — those easy meals can often be found in back yards and dumpsters.

— Sawyer D’Argonne

5. Summit County visitor escapes tense moose encounter while hiking on Tenmile Trail

A visitor to Summit County escaped a scary encounter with a moose outside of Frisco. On Sept. 13, Michael Rohr and some friends were down to town on the North Tenmile Trail near the Gore Range Trail crossover when a bull moose walked out onto the trail and blocked the way.

After three or four minutes, the moose began to walk toward the group. That’s when Rohr’s friends took cover behind some trees. Rohr said he took the safety off the bear spray and sprayed it once into the air above the moose’s antlers.

“He immediately stopped and lifted his head up like he could smell it,” Rohr said. “He turned around, made two jumps away from us, stood there for a minute and jumped into the woods,” Rohr said.

Tom Davies, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the better option would have been for Rohr to join his friends behind the trees instead of staying on the trail.

“You never stand your ground with a moose,” Davies said.

— Sawyer D’Argonne

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