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The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

College Student Discounts At Colorado Resorts

Wolf-Creek-College

Selected days at Wolfie mean deep stuff on the cheap. (Wolf Creek Ski Area)

Going to college has many benefits for one’s future, but one perk for the present is a discount on season passes at Colorado ski resorts.

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Mountain Solitude: Huts, Yurts Await Backcountry Skiers

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Finding some freshies above Sun Valley. (Sun Valley Trekking/Facebook)

Heading into the backcountry transports skiers and rider into a world of powder, mystery and quiet – especially if the trip includes a night or two out in the woods.

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Loveland Opens For 80th Season

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Not long before it's like this at Loveland. (Loveland/Facebook)

Ever since 1936, Loveland Ski Area has been among the first mountains to open for the winter season. And 2017-18 is no different for the Continental Divide ski and snowboard area.

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Denver Expo Signals Official Start To Ski, Snowboard Season

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High-flyin' fun at ski and snowboard expo. (Colo. Ski & Snowboard Expo photo)

A sure sign that winter is just around the corner comes when the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo opens its doors in downtown Denver.

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Arapahoe Basin First To Open In Rockies

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Cheers for the new ski and snowboard season. (Arapahoe Basin/Facebook)

The annual friendly competition to see which Colorado mountain starts up first is over for 2017-2018.

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Airlines To Fill Skies Over Colorado Resorts

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Ready to go after landing in Aspen. (Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Facebook)

This season, it will be easier than ever to hop on a plane and head for where the powder is freshest in Colorado.

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Pay Less To Stay At Slopes In Rockies Early

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Sun Valley set to go with early discounts. (Sun Valley/Facebook)

Once the snow begins to fly, skiers and riders make plans to get up into the hills as soon as possible – and stay there as long as possible. As a result, many Rocky Mountain resorts lay out early season ticket and lodging deals.

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Court Decision Hamstrings Wolf Creek Project

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Wolf Creek base will remain as is for the foreseeable future. (Wolf Creek)

A federal judge recently ruled against the development of a village around the base of Wolf Creek Ski Area, further dimming the prospects of the Colorado mountain becoming a destination resort.

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The Mountains Shape Colorado Golf Courses

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Fourteeners loom over Keystone golfers (Keystone/Facebook) 

The golf season at Colorado winter resorts may be truncated but, while they are open, the courses reflect the mountains amidst they sit.

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Empowering Vets Through Summer Adaptive Sports

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Wound Warrior, Ryan Major participates in the ASF's Warriors in Motion cycling program. (ASF)

After Kirk Bauer lost his leg from a grenade explosion in Vietnam in 1969, he experienced the thrill of skiing as part of his rehabilitation through Disabled Sports USA. “There was a demand from vets to get involved in sports so DSUSA began as a ski organization in 1967,” Bauer said.

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New Investment Spurs Snowmass Base Construction

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Snowmass Base Village gets new life. (Snowmass Village/Facebook)

There’s lots going on at Snowmass this summer as ownership works to finally build out the resort base area and to establish the Colorado mountain as a major summer destination.

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Wildfire Requires Evacuations Near Breckenridge

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Smoke rises from Peak 2 fire. (9News/Twitter)

An intense but compact wildfire between the Colorado towns of Breckenridge and Frisco has forced fire officials to clear people out of the Peak 7 resort area.

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Rafting Whitewater Near Rocky Mountain Resorts

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Payette River goes big near Tamarack. (Tamarack Resort/Facebook)

The winter may be over, but a solid reminder of what a good year it was in the West continues to play out in the rivers that are flowing bank-full out of the mountains this spring.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Storm Finishes The SnoCast Season

SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Storm Finishes The SnoCast Season

(Yes, this is really the end of April at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta, Canada with nearly 145cm this month. Similar scenes will overtake the Rockies as yet another snowstorm finishes the month of April. (Lake Louise Ski Resort/Twitter)

Believe it or not, we’ll be turning the calendar into May with a bonafide snow storm for part of the Rockies and upper Midwest.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Who's Open, Where To Find The Snow

SnoCountry SnoCast: Who's Open, Where To Find The Snow

Brighton enjoys the buttery corduroy of their last few days of the season. Brighton expects to close for the season on Sunday, April 23 after an impressive season total of over 600" of snowfall. (Brighton/Facebook)

And we press on. The ski season is definitely winding down, but that won’t stop you die-hards from seeking out the last turns. If you plan to shred what’s left at the slopes, here’s what to expect weather-wise in this week’s SnoCast.

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Stowe Hosts U.S. Ski And Snowboard Hall Of Fame Induction

Stowe Hosts U.S. Ski And Snowboard Hall Of Fame Induction

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame class of 2016. (Mary Jo Tarallo/Facebook)

Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort hosted the induction of nine new members to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame April 8.


Among the inductees were President of the National Ski Areas Association Michael Berry; skiing film legends Dan and John Egan; ski jumping Olympian and coach Jeff Hastings; and Copper Mountain conceiver Chuck Lewis. Also joining the class are athlete and author Ellen Post Foster; freestyle icon Marion Post Caldwell; National Ski Patrol visionary Gretchen Rous Besser; and ski marketing and trade-show impresario Bernie Weichsel.

The new inductees bring the total to 428 Honored Members in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

“Each member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 was a remarkable leader, as either an athlete or sport builder,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Chairman Tom Kelly. “So much of what all of us enjoy in our sport today has emanated from these outstanding honored members of the Hall of Fame.”

Attendees of Snowsport History Week get first tracks at Stowe.

HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016

Michael Berry, Colorado: Michael has been President of the National Ski Areas Association since 1993. Under his leadership, the NSAA significantly increased annual visits to resorts throughout North America. Michael’s vision helped create continuity and a sustainable growth model for resorts.

Dan and John Egan, Vermont | New Hampshire: The Egan brothers have starred in more Warren Miller films than anyone worldwide. As pioneering explorers and ambassadors they traveled the globe to put “extreme” in skiing. This dynamic duo set the standard for what is possible in big-mountain skiing.

Jeff Hastings, New Hampshire: Jeff impacted Olympic ski jumping as a competitor and coach. His fourth-place Olympic performance in 1984 in Sarajevo holds as a record in modern U.S. ski jumping. He has continued his work teaching, judging and commentating competitions and advocating for jumping and Nordic combined.

Chuck Lewis, Colorado: A competitor at heart, Chuck is known within the industry for his vision and passion. His dedication and meticulous planning helped to conceive Copper Mountain and a trail design and layout philosophy widely accepted and used to this day.

Ellen Post Foster, D.C.: Ellen touched both the freestyle skiing world as an athlete and the Professional Ski Instructors of America as a model instructor and visionary. Her efforts and passion for snowsport motivated countless youth skiers to hit the slopes. Her contributions continue as an author and advocate of skiing education.

Marion Post Caldwell, D.C.: As a freestyle skiing icon, Marion dominated the sport in the 1970s. Women’s overall champ in ’76 and ’77 and being named Freestyle Skier of the Year are among her accomplishments. She brought skiing to the world stage as an ambassador and pioneer of the sport.

Gretchen Rous Besser, Vermont: While her unprecedented career as a ski patroller and first aid instructor are impressive, her impact as an historian, international liaison and visionary in the world of skiing sets her apart. She generously shares her passion and vast knowledge to better industry organizations worldwide.

Bernie Weichsel, Massachusetts: Known globally throughout the industry, Bernie has done it all. As an advocate, he created an organized freestyle competition circuit. His innovative SKI USA worldwide promotions continue to bring thousands of international skiers to U.S. slopes and his consumer ski and snowboard expos attract tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The mission of the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is to honor athletes and sport builders for their lifelong national and international achievements in the sport. The National Ski Association of America, now known as USSA, was established in 1905 in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing. The Hall of Fame Museum, established in 1954, resides in Ishpeming as well.

A national voting panel selects the incoming class in the fall of each year. The class of 2016 will be enshrined next September at the Museum in Ishpeming.

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Colorado Winter: The Show That Never Ends

Colorado Winter: The Show That Never Ends

Hit Mary Jane up for more spring. (Winter Park/Facebook)

Just when Colorado resorts prepare to shut down winter operations, snow storms roll into the Rockies -- and forcing a trio of mountains to keep their lifts running longer than scheduled.


Vail, Aspen and Mary Jane portion of Winter Park will stay in operation for at least a week longer than expected because of recent snow.

Resorts still open in the Centennial State report more than a foot of snow since the beginning of April – with some adding two feet or more. While temps warmed unseasonably in March, they cooled significantly once April arrived to not only produce new snow but also slow the annual slushing-up during the spring skiing period.

Extra week of partying at Vail

Vail has announced it will a week longer to April 17, due to two feet that have fallen in recent days. The majority of the front side of the mountain – plus Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls – will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ski school will run private lessons only.

High ridin' at Aspen

Over the hill at Aspen Mountain, diminishing snowfall in March – 30 inches total – made the scheduled closing date of April 16 realistic; however, another 17 inches in the first week of the month pushed the shutdown to April 23.

Operating hours will shift to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. to take allow slopes to warm up in the morning and to take advantage of longer days – unless a powder day shows up and lifts crank up at 9 a.m.

Top-to-bottom skiing will be served by Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express, FIS and Ruthie's lifts.

While the bulk of Winter Park closes on April 23, the bumps of Mary Jane will be ready for spring skiing and riding until April 30.


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Hop To It: Easter In The Mountains

Hop To It: Easter In The Mountains

Sometimes you luck out with an Easter snowstorm. (Bretton Woods)

April snow will still be in abundance at many resorts across the country, so hop out for some spring runs with the Easter Bunny this Easter.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into April

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into April

Nearly a foot of snow came down Monday at Alta Ski Area in Utah, and they are loving the forecast with more snow in the cards at the end of this week. (Alta /Facebook)

We turn the calendar into April in this week’s SnoCountry SnoCast. There’s still plenty of great skiing and riding to be had, with more snow in the forecast.


In this week’s outlook, I’ve got my eyes on a large storm system that will impact all areas from the Great Lakes to Northeast Friday-Saturday (March 31-April1) that will no doubt leave some bullseyes of deep snow in parts of New England and Quebec. In the West, a storm system drops in from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest Thursday, before spreading inward by the weekend. Here’s what to expect by region for March 29 - April 3.

Eastern U.S. / Midwest: In the Northeast and Midwest, March is sure to go out “like a lion," as they say. A storm system/low pressure will track from Missouri on Thursday, east-northeastward, eventually scooting off the Southern New England coast by Saturday. On the northern side of this storm system, a swath of snow will fall from Eastern Wisconsin, to Central/Northern Michigan, then eventually spreading over parts of New York and New England. There is some discrepancy among weather models by the time this system reaches New York and New England. The trusty GFS (American) and European models disagree on exact placement of heaviest snow once the storm reaches the northeast. 3-6” is a “safe” forecast for now for most of the lower Adirondack slopes, southern Vermont and the southern White Mountains in New Hampshire, with nearly 10” in far southern Vermont and Massachusetts’ Berkshires. That forecast is more in line with the GFS.

The European is hinting at the system being a bit farther north, which would bring more widespread 6”+ amounts in the areas I just mentioned, and also spread farther north to cover more areas of northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine with snow. Given that difference, it’s important to check the forecast as the time gets nearer to seek out the deepest snow for your Friday/weekend ventures to the slopes. If I had to pick some early best bets, I’d say you can’t go wrong with some central and southern Vermont mountains, and even western Massachusetts Berkshire mountains by Saturday first chair. But again, keep an eye on that forecast because the storm can shift by the weekend.

European model forecast snowfall totals in Northeast and Midwest through April 2.

 American model forecast snowfall totals in Northeast and Midwest through April 2.

Western U.S.: The Western U.S. gets another system or two this week as energy moves into the Pacific Northwest Thursday, then eventually spreads inward by the weekend. This will mean more snow over nearly all of the higher mountains to finish March and start April. Look for anywhere from 4-9” for the Washington and Oregon Cascades, all mountains of Idaho (5-10"), and northwest Wyoming through Thursday. Then, look for new snow, probably higher totals, 6-12”, widespread for Utah’s Wasatch and Uinta Mtns, Wyoming and Colorado Rockies from Friday-Saturday. Locally higher totals will likely be squeezed out at the higher mountains, with up to 2 feet possible over the Colorado peaks. A good setup for the West into the weekend. Use caution, though, for those venturing into the Cascades. I do see high risk of avalanches after recent temperature fluxuations and wind. Ski areas typically maintain and control avalanche danger, but caution for those who seek out the backcountry.

American model forecast snowfall totals in West through April 2.

Now remember, what I've shown you in images is a computer forecast model. There always needs to be some human interjection to make a good forecast. Thats what I do! And also what the National Weather Service does. Here's a look at the actual forecast snowfall totals from the National Weather Service. This shows through the end of Saturday, April 1. No joke!

 

Canada: Plenty of new snow opportunities in Canada this week. The same storm I mentioned in the Midwest/Northeast section will bring fresh snow to our Eastern Canada mountains in Quebec and Ontario Friday-Saturday. Again, depending on storm track, forecast amounts may vary by the weekend. Generally, 5 – 10 cm looks achievable, with locally higher amounts if the storm sneaks a little farther north. Just enough to soften up the trails. In Western Canada, a storm system brings ample mountain snow Thursday (March 30). Many ski areas in British Columbia and Alberta will squeeze out 20-40cm from Thursday-Friday. Enjoy that!

Forecast snowfall totals in Western Canada through April 2.

That's all for this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, skiers and riders. Have a blast with any new snow in your area. As always, I'll catch you next Wednesday for the next edition of SnoCast right here on SnoCountry.com. 

Special thanks to Lyndon State College student forecasters Amanda Stone, Scott Myerson, and Christopher Kurdek for their weekly contributions and forecasts.

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Fling In Spring At Colorado Resorts

Fling In Spring At Colorado Resorts

Kayak racing at Monarch (Monarch/Facebook)

As the end of another season is in sight, Colorado skiers and snowboarders go a little crazy knowing that they will soon have to find another way to fulfill their mountain jones. Such anxiety translates into a number of wacky spring traditions.


Beyond pond skimming and beer guzzlin', SnoCountry took a look around the high country of the Centennial State and came up with a sampling of the off-beat, unconventional ways to celebrate both the end of the season and the beginning of spring.

Eldora. Denver's neighborhood mountain has made a habit of returning to its roots every spring. The annual Eldora Retro Days kick off April 1-2 with folks digging through their closets for throwback skiing outfits – “onesie” powder suits, neon headbands, ski bibs, outrageous sunglasses. The resort is set to close the next weekend, and retro gear dominates the final week.

Monarch. The southern Colorado mountain combines its vernal celebration with the upcoming river boating season on the Arkansas River with its annual Kayaks on Snow race April 15. Adventurous paddlers navigate berms, banks and bumps before splashing into the traditional icy pond. The next day, April 16, is the last day of the season with a sendoff cookoff and tailgate party in the parking lot.

Loveland. At a mountain that doesn't plan to close until May, the party begins a month early with the "world's highest cornhole competition" April 1. Skiers and riders will form two-person teams and ride up Chair 1 to the Continental Divide. From there, they will toss bean bags into a hole at 12,700 feet – on hopes of setting a Guinness World Record for the activity.

Build-your-own at Aspen Highland's Scheentag. (Aspen Highlands)

Aspen Highlands. April 9 is closing day and, to finish off the season, the ninth annual Schneetag race goes full bore. Four-man teams build a "craft" that will slide down the main slope and across a small pond at the bottom. At the top, they perform a skit to exemplify the theme of their craft. Winners choose from a list of prizes.



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