Where to ski for some late-season turns
The Geiger Counter’s weekend picks
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
I haven’t been skiing since Keystone Resort’s closing day on April 11. Even though there’s still time left in the season, I’ve unfortunately been timing the weather wrong. I accidentally make other plans when we get a surprise snowstorm and find myself free to ski when it’s uncharacteristically warm. I was extremely envious about the storm that came in Monday, May 10.
I’m currently at 59 days, and I’m looking to eke out a few more to pass the 62 I did in the 2018-19 season. Thankfully, Breckenridge Ski Resort still has trails open on Peak 8 to help out.
While I can’t speak to the current conditions and coverage, I’ve always enjoyed warming up on Claimjumper. It’s an early season favorite — because on the right day, I can quickly catch Peak 7 opening for the season — and I imagine it is just as good as a late season choice. After that, head to Rounders for a nice, low-elevation black diamond that works the muscles with a few moguls. Spruce, Little Johnny and High Anxiety offer nearby variation if you get tired of the same run, while Crescendo and Swinger are family friendly options.
Above timberline, it’s hard to beat Whale’s Tail. The view and high-Alpine snow are frequently a delight. Trust me, the traverse is worth it. But if you prefer not making the trek and sticking to the main Imperial Bowl, you can follow it to Upper 4 O’Clock and down for a long, final run to end a sunny, spring day.
Closer to the Continental Divide, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is still chugging along and hopes to remain open until June 6, weather permitting. Unlike Breckenridge, A-Basin has the majority of its terrain open, so I don’t have much in the way of recommendations. Go wherever your heart desires!
I usually start my day taking intermediate blue runs such as Lenawee Face and Dragon or Dercum’s Gulch back toward the Lenawee Mountain Lift. A quick hop into the trees at places like TB Glade and Weasel Way is a refreshing spin to Sundance and Wrangler.
The wide-open Montezuma Bowl has plenty of options for the mountain’s backside, as well. Columbine and Northern Spy are some of the more direct routes to the bottom of Zuma Lift. Or head to skier’s right down Larkspur, Black Bear or Long Chute. Ned’s Cache may be open, though Miner’s Glade, Independence and the other nearby tree runs appear closed.
Hopefully, I’ll see you out there on one of these trails. Maybe by then I’ll have broken my personal record.
‘A Little Light Music’ by Jethro Tull
I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, and Jethro Tull’s live 1992 album “A Little Light Music” is practically stuck on repeat on my iPod. I should probably listen to something from this decade, or century, yet I keep coming back to the classic rock that blends folks, blues and jazz.
The CD always sat in my dad’s car growing up, meaning it was frequently played on summer road trips whenever my brother and I forgot our own stash of music. Yet I wasn’t dismayed to hear it. Something about the very ‘90s album art and somewhat-out-there genre made it a wonderful pairing to outdoor art shows and renaissance fairs.
There isn’t a dud on the album, but it’s telling that “Locomotive Breath” was played so many times that it became too scratched to copy over to my computer. The melodic flute and soothing acoustic guitar strums make “Bourée” — the same Johann Sebastian Bach song that appears in Led Zeppelin‘s “Heartbreaker” — a fine instrumental. Meanwhile, the version of the graphic folk song “John Barleycorn” gives Traffic a run for its money.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Explore Summit. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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