The Outsider: Snow, snow and more snow
Yep, you guessed it. I’m going to talk about snow.
Why beat the dead horse? Because it’s everywhere right now, just like it will be — only in greater quantities — for the next five or six months. Come May, I might be sick of it. You might be sick of it. We all might be sick of it, and that’s why Mother Nature gave us Moab.
But, for now, Summit County has caught first-snow fever. It’s hard to avoid it this time of year, when Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Loveland Ski Area duke it out for opening day before the remaining resorts fall like dominos. I dropped by Keystone on Friday for first cabin and was surprised by just how much snow was on the ground. Sure, you still can’t ride from top to bottom — it’s download-only for the moment — but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed by next weekend, when Breck and Copper join the opening day furor.
Not only was there more snow than I expected — it was also lighter and softer and drier than we typically get this time of year. Is it a side effect of El Nino or global warming or some other phenomenon, or just the start of winter? I honestly have no idea. I just I hope it’s a sign of the season to come. The past few winters have been oddly warm — remember when it soared above 45 degrees through most of February? — and I’d be more than happy for a repeat of the record-breaking 2010-11 season. It was cold, snowy and wintery from start to finish, just as I imagine portion of heaven might be.
Obviously, I’m no expert on the science of snow. So instead, I’ll turn to the powder sage himself, Joel Gratz of Open Snow. Here’s what he had to say early Friday about the first legitimate snowstorm of the season:
“It’s all good news, as snow is continuing to fall across Northern and Central Colorado. On Thursday evening, we didn’t lose the moisture from the Wed/Thu storm, we just lost most of the energy to lift this moisture and turn it into snow. So we saw a few showers with perhaps an inch of accumulation early in the overnight hours.
“Now as of late Thursday night into Friday morning, a quick-moving storm from the northwest is pushing additional energy into northern and central Colorado, so the snow is ramping back up.”
The best news: Gratz is expecting another two storms next week after a relatively dry weekend. Bring it on, because it ain’t going away.
Summit Nordic Ski Swap
New to Nordic? The Summit Nordic Ski Team has you covered with its annual Nordic and cross-country ski swap. The swap, held at the Breckenridge Nordic Ski Center, coincides with the center opening on Nov. 13 (see full article on A2) and is a pitch-perfect way to get geared up for the season. As usual, the swap is a collection of new and used gear for just about anyone: Skis, bindings, boots, poles, outerwear and more, split between private gear and last year’s demo skis. There will also be plenty of backcountry and telemark gear for alpine touring types.
The swap begins at 9 a.m. on Nov. 13 and runs through the weekend. About 20 percent of proceeds go to the team for travel and competition. If you have old gear, the center is still taking consignments. Contact the center directly at (970) 453-6855.
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