Where to Ski This Weekend

It’s a good week to be a skier in Colorado.

On Monday, a storm dropped 10 to 25 inches in the southern mountains, 12 inches at Steamboat and Snowmass and 2 to 6 inches elsewhere in the central and northern mountains.

Though Tuesday was dry, two storm systems that merged Wednesday are expected to deliver 6 to 12 inches of snow in the high country by Friday morning, wrote OpenSnow forecaster Joel Gratz.

The storm is expected, once again, to favor Steamboat, dropping 16 inches through Friday morning. Gratz’s forecast models show Wolf Creek receiving 13 inches, while the Vail Resorts mountains and most of the Interstate 70 corridor is expected to see 11 inches.

Keep in mind: President’s Day weekend is one of Colorado ski country’s peak times. To avoid the crowds, skip I-70 and head to one of Colorado’s smaller, southern resorts such as Monarch and Wolf Creek.

For the extended forecast, head to Gratz's Colorado report.

Heightened Avalanche Danger

For those looking for real solitude on the slopes, head into the backcountry. With the new storm, there should be plenty of fresh stashes.

That means powder skiing but also heightened avalanche danger.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued an Avalanche Watch for the Front Range, Vail & Summit County, Aspen, Gunnison and Steamboat & Flat Tops regions. If the storm delivers the expected snow totals, large avalanches will be likely due to new snow and wind-drifted snow overloading the weak snowpack.

CAIC is advising skiers against traveling in the backcountry, since conditions in these regions are expected to elevate from “moderate” or “considerable” Wednesday to “high” above and near treeline Thursday.

Many reported avalanches in Colorado in 2018 are breaking at the ground and across wide slopes, sometimes up to 100 feet. Conditions like this have not occurred since 2013-2014, when Colorado recorded eight avalanche fatalities.

For a breakdown on Colorado avalanche conditions, check out CAIC’s newest video on deep persistent slabs.

Photo of the Week

Have a great photo from out on the slopes? Send it to us for the chance to be featured as photo of the week. Here’s this week’s pick.

Copper Mountain Subaru Winterfest

The influx in snow in January and February, although not quite enough to compensate for the dry start to the season, is worth celebrating.

What better way to honor the favorable weather pattern than with gear demos, live music and all-thing après? Subaru Winterfest, hosted by Copper Mountain, has all that and more.

From Friday afternoon through Sunday, the event sponsors--including Nordica, Lib Tech, Thule and Klean Kanteen-- will

be giving away free gear and offering demos for those looking to try out a new board or pair of skis.

In between runs, head over to Center Village to jam with a DJ from Sirius XM. For live music, don’t miss a performance by indie pop artist Bleachers from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

And what is a winter outdoor festival without an appearance from Copper’s avalanche rescue dogs? The snow-lovin’ pups have been trained to rescue someone buried in an avalanche and are a key resource for ski patrollers at resorts across Colorado.

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