A-Basin opens tomorrow

WOW! I just drove by Loveland Sunday and didn't expect it to be at least until this weekend. Darn it all though, the team doesn't have my pass ready. :cry:
 
My friend is heading out there right now. He had hoped to be there for opening day, but I'm guessing he's somewhere near Indiana right now. He's a true ski bum...teaches waterskiing in Ithaca in the summer and spends the winter in the western mtns.
 
Looks like the lines aren't too bad this morning! Too bad they don't have a cam pointed at the WRoD.

No word on the Loveland page as to opening day.
 

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Actually, that line is relatively short compared to what we encountered about Oct. 20 last season.

this is why I no longer go on ski trips to Summit Co, CO. The day my friend left he was trying to convince me to visit him there. I told him it was not in the cards because it is so expensive and crowded (home of the $80+ lift ticket), though it seems the early season Pass at A-basin would be worthwhile for $300. But to go visit for a week is just not cost-effective. I'd much rather spend my time in the Wasatch while on vacation where I spend an avg of $50 per day on a lift tix.

I have another friend who went out to Summit Co to be a ski bum. he came home before Xmas because it was too expensive to live on a ski-bum's income. Rents were astronomical. He couldn't make enough money working in a ski shop to pay the rent AND eat.

We'll see how long this other dude stays. I am betting he'll be looking for someplace more affordable, and I also wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in Utah.
 
Just got a report from someone that was at the mountain at 10am planning on doing a few runs. She said the line was all the way back to the slow sign as the the run merges into other runs (when there's snow). She decided it wasn't worth it.
 
Not to be a downer about early turns, but there is a reason the ski patrol at ABasin & Loveland call the period with their first trail open the "white strip of death". Seriously, that's what the patrollers call it. They tell stories of getting hit by skiers as they do a sled evac, etc...

Great to have something open and the season started, but I sure wouldn't bother just yet. It's still warm enough here in the flatlands to keep in shape otherwise and save myself from getting hit. Weekdays starting next week might be OK (but darn that 'real' job).

I sort of wonder when someone is going to get hurt bad enough that they win a lawsuit based on negligence at an early opening area that clearly overloads a single trail by using a detachable quad (Keystone and Copper I've actually seen do that). They really ought to be limiting tickets/skier #'s in such situations. Or loading every other or even every 3rd chair, etc... Just my 2 cents.
 
And all the Front Range areas will have wall-to-wall coverage in mid-April, when most of them will shut down due to lack of interest.

Recall that former NASJA president Claudia Carbone fractured her pelvis and several other bones from a hit-and-run snowboarder on Breckenridge's early November 2004 WROD. She is only recently back in action as a result of successful vertebra fusion surgery in early 2006.
 
Here they call it "the white ribbon o death"

Gives the patrollers some early-season condensed practical experience.
 
there are other ways to get down a mountain at this time of year - try two wheels.
you couldn't pay me to be there.
 
I would have needed to get on an airplane and fly to Denver in October 2005 to do this to keep my streak going. I decided it wasn't worth it.
 
Tony Crocker":2cirb4la said:
I would have needed to get on an airplane and fly to Denver in October 2005 to do this to keep my streak going. I decided it wasn't worth it.

Was Colorado really your only option in 2005? :wink:
 
Yes. Mammoth had only 7 inches snowfall in October 2005. They had no more than that in 8 of the past 10 Octobers. And I'm not willing to kill a whole weekend and pay Mammoth lodging cost to do what admin did last weekend either.

For marginal, one or two run novelty skiing, I think you need to be within daytrip distance. In SoCal 2004 was the only time lifts ever spun in October. I'll bet hike-to October snow adequate to ski without destroying gear is well under 10% here. I would have to fly to get October snow most of the time.

In 2000 I went through Denver on an October weekend on the way to a business meeting elsewhere. Loveland wasn't open yet, so I spent the weekend sightseeing around Colorado Springs. That was the time I got the 7 hour headache from driving up Pikes Peak 20 hours after leaving sea level.

Colorado is a decent place for a ski streaker to live, with October lift service and 12,000+ foot road access to July backcountry. Mapadu's reports have shown that most of us would prefer the latter to the former.

Bob Peters in Jackson Hole does maintain his streak by flying to Denver in October. This might not be a bad year to do it; you might get to see a World Series game.

This year as in many others Bob Peters had a fall European vacation. So he got in his September skiing on a glacier in the Alps. This might not be a bad option for retirees with more time for general travel.
 
Tony Crocker":27f59pyh said:
For marginal, one or two run novelty skiing, I think you need to be within daytrip distance.
New Hampshire and Vermont had more than a couple of runs open. :wink: Amazing skiing regardless of the month. 8)

This is something I don't know anything about, but doesn't those Colorado areas open more terrain as the days go by or is it marginal 1-2 runs until the Real snow gets here?

Also curious, isn't there any lifts running (most years) elsewhere than Timberline? I believe they had lifts running on weekend only after Labour Day last year?
 
October 2005 in NH/VT was the outlier equivalent to October 2004 in the Sierra. Of course I was still skiing on that October snow 2 months later, while the New England snow was gone in a week. :p

This is something I don't know anything about, but doesn't those Colorado areas open more terrain as the days go by or is it marginal 1-2 runs until the Real snow gets here?
Terrain opens very gradually in Colorado, particularly on rugged wind-exposed mountains like Loveland and A-Basin.

Loveland averages 22% of acreage open at Thanksgiving, 35% mid-December and 43% Christmas week. For A-Basin those figures are 21%, 41% and 60%.

Loveland and A-Basin are best positioned for super early season WROD's because at their base elevations close to 11,000 feet overnight freezing is common by late September.

I still always refer people to http://people.montana.com/~jbraun/coloearly.htm for the reality check on Colorado in early season. Of the big destination resorts, Steamboat stands out as having the best early season record, though Vail is pretty good most of the time. The big areas not on this list? Aspen/Snowmass would be similar to the majority of the group listed, Telluride somewhat above average and Crested Butte near the bottom.

When Timberline first built Palmer in the 1970's it ran year round except for 2 weeks of mid-September maintenance. The 2001 drought season resulted in barely making it to Labor Day and not reopening until new season snowfall. The 2005 Tropical Punch season added to the damage and Timberline closed mid-August that year. 2006 was a big year, so perhaps they had enough snow left for the fall. 2007 was about average but most of the snow came early, so I'm sure the spring/summer snowpack was lower than in 2006.
 
Patrick":ya1xsvmq said:
Also curious, isn't there any lifts running (most years) elsewhere than Timberline?
I guess the answer is no unless something out of the ordinary happens (ie. Mammoth, Wildcat, etc).

Thanks for that Colorado table, I wasn't aware that any October liftserved skiing in Colorado relied 100% on snowmaking (ie. without the snowmaking, the lifts wouldn't start until November - most years).

BTW Johnny from Bozeman has made some September AND October turns at Bridger. :shock:
 
I can certainly confirm that Colo Oct skiing is nearly always exclusively manmade. Very occasionally late in the month enough natural will fall that a handful of low angle natural snow runs may open - at a resort that already is open (aka A-Basin or Loveland). But that is rare.

I have seen early to mid November have some good natural snow though. Maybe one of every 3-5 years or so. That's where you can hear stories of great Colo early season skiing - but that is not exactly 'common' either. Turkey day can be 60-70% open on mostly natural or it can be 5-10 trails of manmade (per resort). A lot of possibilities and variation early season - though less so than much of the rest of the country as there will be at least those 5-10 runs/mtn and no rain.

I had forgotten that I took a pic of a banner in Denver on my commute the day A-basin opened earlier this week (bad cell phone pic's I know)
 

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