Where to Ski This Weekend

Another storm swept through Colorado this week, boosting the state’s meager base.

Tuesday’s storm dropped 10-plus inches at many of the state’s ski areas. Keystone Resort reported the most snow in Colorado with 15 inches of fresh powder. Arapahoe Basin reported 14 inches overnight Tuesday and 19 inches over three days. The rest of Summit County joined the powder day celebration, with 10-plus inches falling at most mountains owned by Vail Resorts. 

The storm largely missed the southern and central mountains, with the exception of Telluride, which received 12 inches by noon Tuesday.

Light snow is expected to fall Friday night into Saturday, with a couple of inches of light freshies falling on the mountains across Colorado. 

Though this weekend won’t be a powder day like Tuesday, those headed to the mountains should see playful packed powder and fewer exposed rocks.

I’m putting particular emphasis on “exposed”, because, despite the favorable snowstorms the past couple of weeks, Colorado snowpack still is struggling to match historic averages.

Nearly a quarter of the almost 200 snow monitoring sites in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s network recorded the lowest or second lowest levels on record.

“In the mountains of Colorado, January proved to yield the best precipitation so far this water year, but it can hardly be viewed as a reprieve from the tenacious pattern of dry weather...” said Brian Domonkos, a spokesman with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, in a statement. “With nearly one-third of the typical winter season remaining, a major shift in weather patterns will be needed to make significant improvements, particularly in Southern Colorado.”

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

Got cabin fever? Steamboat Springs has the solution for you.

Head up to Routt County for the ski town’s 105th Winter Carnival, the oldest continuous winter carnival west of the Mississippi that was named one of the world’s top winter carnivals by National Geographic in 2012.

The five-day extravaganza taps into the town’s Western roots to alleviate the mid-winter onset of cabin fever. Saturday during the Winter Carnival Street Events, local kids are pulled on skis by horses down Main Street, while adults can do the same -- but on shovels. On the town’s local mountain, Howelsen Hill, skiers of all types -- cross-country, park, downhill, jumpers-- can test their skills in a variety of competitions and races.

The night ends with local athletes skiing down Howelsen Hill, illuminated by flares and LED lights. The caboose is known as the Lighted Man, who shoots fireworks from a pyrotechnic suit while Nordic and alpine jumpers soar off a ski jump and through a fire hoop.

Steamboat’s Mardi Gras celebration also will take place Saturday, with a parade, street performances and a free concert at the base of the mountain.

For the full Winter Carnival Schedule, go to the Steamboat Springs Chamber website.

Free-heelers Unite

Some believe telemark skiing is dead, as highlighted by a May 2017 article in Powder Magazine detailing the rapid decline of ski style.

Mountain Chalet and Monarch Mountain like to think otherwise.

This Saturday, embrace the free-heel lifestyle at TeleFESTIVUS. The second annual event will feature telemark clinics, uphill and downhill races, clinics, a tour in Mirkwood Bowl, avalanche awareness activities and gear demos for the novice and expert skier.

The event is free with the purchase of a Monarch lift ticket at the mountain or at Mountain Chalet.  

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.

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