Quandary: Closing down the ski areas
How do ski resorts determine when to close or extend the season?
Mostly this comes down to you and Ullr. As long as there is snow on the ground, people on the lifts and someone to keep them turning we can keep skiing all yearlong. March is a very telling month for what the resorts will be able to do and this year Ullr grabbed a second home here. Copper Mountain Ski Resort added 62 inches of the good stuff in the month, meaning bonus skiing for all you lucky plankers. Obviously, there are those other two factors to consider as well, so the mountain won’t be open during the week for skiing after April 17, but will be open for a bonus weekend. Most of the other resorts in Summit have already said they will be open into late-April as well, but with a few more powder showers from the snow god, maybe May will bring more turns instead of fresh blooms.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is usually the last Summit resort on the dance floor — often in competition with Loveland Ski Area for first to open, but usually alone at closing time. With closing date regularly set for May, the Basin almost always extends the season, so long as the beach stays sandy. Last year A-Basin saw 84” of snow after April 16 meaning ski season was extended well into June.
The biggest issue that affects whether you ski or hike is how the weather holds up, obviously. Not only in terms of snow totals, but overall temperatures as well. The Summit Rotary Club is already selling ice melt tickets this year, and when the ice is gone, often so are most of your skiing options. Have no fear though, last year, like most years, the ice melt winner could saunter over to the Basin for a victory lap.
So with all the fun to go around, what finally brings down the hammer on ski season? Well, when your skis start grabbing rocks and your runs become tests of your survival skills, it’s usually time to send the last of the lifties off for a summer of snow dreams.
I really want some pine trees for my yard, can i transplant ones from the forest?
Trees for me
Do you want a goat, too? I promise I could probably be house trained, and I’ll only bring a few friends — I’ve gotten really close to this bear I’d love to bring by. No? It doesn’t sound like a great idea to have a mountain goat and a bear kicking it in your living room? Well it’s also not a great idea to take trees from the forest. They are just as wild as this old goat and just as illegal to mess with.
I know all you locals get attached to the wilderness and feel a certain amount of ownership. That’s great for stewardship purposes, but just because you’ve been walking by a spruce for the past 10 years, that doesn’t mean it’s yours.
Some people do have reason to chop down trees in the forest, but these people all have permits, and are usually employed to do so. Wanting to beautify your yard is not a legitimate reason, so don’t even try it. If you do have concerns about the health of some trees or think they present a safety risk, notify the proper forest district, but don’t try and become some lumberjack lionheart.
Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to email@example.com
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