Loveland’s Free Inbounds Snowcat Heads Out Again

Loveland’s Free Inbounds Snowcat Heads Out Again

Young skiers at Ridge Cat pickup. (Loveland/Facebook)

At Loveland Ski Area – like all mountains -- a day ticket or season pass gets you onto all the lifts on the mountain. Unlike most others, your ticket at Loveland also puts you in line for a few snowcat rides into powder country.

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Snow Comes To The West, Opening Days Abound

Snow Comes To The West, Opening Days Abound

A pair of skiers punctuate the new season at Copper Mountain. (Copper Mountain/Facebook)

Just as doomsayers raised their voices, Mother Nature came to the rescue in the West and turned the conversation to, “When are you opening?”


For many resorts in the Rockies, Sierra and Cascades, the answer is a resounding “soon.” Yes, terrain will be quite limited – often a couple of runs in the beginner/intermediate areas – but many ski and snowboard areas put up cheap ticket deals to get people to the slopes as soon as possible.

Significant snowfall coursed across the northern tier of the Western mountains in the past week, dropping as much as a foot on Steamboat which opens this week. Most Colorado resorts that pushed back their traditional pre-Thanksgiving opening days have put a new date on the calendar. Colorado’s Keystone, Breckenridge, Winter Park and Copper Mountain all dropped the ropes this past week, after a week’s delay. Eldora is set drop the ropes this week.

Farther south, resorts like Purgatory got enough to open while others, like Taos Ski Valley, put it off until snowmaking and natural snowfall will cover more terrain.

Mammoth snowmakers

Out west In SoCal, Mammoth Mountain has been open for a couple of weeks and, in the Sierra, both Boreal and Mount Rose began spinning lifts this past week while a slew of other Tahoe-area resorts plan to open for Thanksgiving.

Early snow has come fitfully to Utah, but Snowbasin plans to lead the pack with a Wednesday (Nov. 23) start, followed by Park City on Friday (Nov. 25). A bunch of Utah’s 15 resorts haven’t announced an opening yet.

Up in the Northwest, Mount Baker expects to win the race this season by kicking off the season on Nov. 23. Others have coverage, but await more.

OpenSnow forecasters see multiple storm systems rolling in off the Pacific in the next couple of weeks, bringing significant snowfall to the mountains and brightening the prospects for early-goers all across the West.


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Loveland, Mammoth Set To Spin Lifts Nov. 10

Loveland, Mammoth Set To Spin Lifts Nov. 10

Loveland's snow guns have been blasting in the last couple of weeks. (Loveland/Facebook)

UPDATED Wednesday, Nov. 9: Loveland Ski Area becomes the second ski and snowboard mountain in the Rockies as the resort is all prepped and ready for opening on Thursday (Nov. 10).

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Insider’s Guide: Copper Mountain Resort

Insider’s Guide: Copper Mountain Resort

All three base areas at Copper are never far from the lifts (Copper/Facebook)

If there ever was a mountain created for downhill skiing and riding, it’s Copper Mountain. Nestled among 13,000-plus foot peaks just off the Continental Divide, Copper sits in a snow alley right along I-70 about 1-1/2 hour drive from Denver.

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Eldora Cutting New Runs For 2016-2017 Season

Eldora Cutting New Runs For 2016-2017 Season

More steep and deep with new trails at Eldora Mountain this season (Eldora/Facebook)

Work is underway to clear three black-diamond runs at Eldora Mountain Resort that are slated to be open when the Colorado mountain opens in December.


The day-trip Front Range ski and snowboard area is undergoing its first major upgrades in several decades, thanks to infusion of capital by new owners Powdr Corp. after the U.S. Forest Service gave its OK to a master plan.

The trio of trails will run between Corona and Indians Peaks chairlifts, in what is called Brian’s Glades and Placer Glade areas in the Corona Bowl section of the mountain.

The longest run at 2,600 feet is named Alpen Horn. The steepest will be Wolf Tongue, while the third called Red Trail has an intermediate section at the top before plunging into black-diamond steeps.



Snowmaking will cover the entire 15 acres that the runs encompass, the resort says, to supplement what is often 300 inches of natural snowfall a years.

Now that Eldora has been cleared to build the new trails, ownership is setting sights on a new high-speed quad to replace the dual fixed-grip chairs Cannonball and Challenge on the front side. Completion is scheduled for the 2017-2018 season.

Eldora joins Copper Mountain in the Colorado portfolio of resort chain Powdr Corp., which has eight resorts total.

Eudora

“Colorado’s Front Range is one of the best ski markets in the world,” said John Cumming, CEO and owner of Utah-based Powdr at the time of the purchase last June. “Expanding our footprint here with now two of the most accessible resorts to serve those passionate skiers is an enormous honor. Eldora is admired as a leading entry point and training ground for children and beginners."


 

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Halloween Screams Echo Across The Mountains

Halloween Screams Echo Across The Mountains

Tahoe’s Freakers Ball will have DJs, gogo dancers, laser lights, plus $10,000 in cash and prizes costume contest. (MontBleu Resort Casino Spa/Facebook)

While the snow starts to fall on the high ground – and the snow guns get fired up – there’s still a couple of non-winter celebrations to enjoy at mountain resorts, including favorite Halloween.


 

A number of resorts across the nation put up the haunted houses, game booths and scary rides in October to get the nerves on edge for the big night, Oct. 30.

Here’s SnoCountry’s list of a few hair-raising, scream-filled events at ski and snowboard resorts:

Lake Tahoe. The 38th annual Freaker's Ball, Lake Tahoe’s largest, oldest and most extravagant Halloween party, brings the wild with a four-ring costume circus under one room on Saturday, Oct. 29, at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa.

Nashoba Valley Witch's Woods

Nashoba Valley. The popular Witch’s Woods is open Thursdays through Sundays through Halloween at the eastern Massachusetts mountain. Admission ticket gets a ride on Haunted Hayride, entry into three haunted houses, and unlimited time in the Jack O’Lantern Jamboree and Horrorwood Chamber of Chills.

The Ghoullog Cranmore

Cranmore. The Ghoullog has been going on in the Artist Falls Lodge for 10 years. Four “haunts” challenge with “chases through dark woods,” plus nighttime rides on a swing, zipline and Mountain Coaster. Runs weekend evenings through Nov. 5.

Bretton Woods Trunk or Treat

Bretton Woods. On Halloween weekend, the northern New Hampshire resort opens its Wicked Woods center for Halloween activities. Scheduled are costume parties for both young and old, game booths and annual Trunk or Treat Family Celebration.



Mammoth. Bring scooters, skateboards, roller blades or roller skates for an evening on Oct. 28 at Mammoth RecZone in Mammoth Lakes. Plenty of carnival games to play while circling the rink.

Copper Mountain. The Colorado resort combines Halloween scary fun with a fundraiser for a local infant with a brain tumor. Entrance fees donated to family – plus cover candy, games and freaky fun.


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A Few Resorts Charge Nothing For Scenic Summer Lift Rides

A Few Resorts Charge Nothing For Scenic Summer Lift Rides

Free rides all the time at Bretton Woods (Bretton Woods/Facebook)

A ride up a ski lift in the offseason both gives a different perspective on a favorite mountain and gets the juices flowing for the upcoming skiing and snowboarding season.

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Summer Camps Offer Growth Through Outdoor Activities

Summer Camps Offer Growth Through Outdoor Activities

Campers hone their culinary skills at Sugarbush's Farm-to-Plate summer camp, one of the many weekly themed summer camps. Photo courtesy Sugarbush Resort.

If you are heading to a mountain resort to enjoy golf or tennis and want the kids to have a great time in the outdoors, summer camps for kids and teens are just the ticket.

The camps focus on educational fun and outdoor activities that challenge as part of facilitating growth. They offer a huge variety to activities that kids love and some even offer camps for families.

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Summer Mountains Put Fat-Tire Bicyclists To Endurance Tests

Summer Mountains Put Fat-Tire Bicyclists To Endurance Tests

Rider in Big Bear Grizzly 100 gets encouragement from a fan (Big Bear Gran Fondo/Facebook/Pink Shorts Photography)

For those with big lungs, tree-trunk quads and a desire to spend hours on a mountain bike -- or folks who enjoy watching them -- the mountains all across the country are an endurance racer’s heaven.

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Copper Mountain Aims At Coaster, Other Summer Upgrades

Copper Mt.Summer at Copper Mountain will get the primary attention with upcoming improvement projects designed to keep ‘em coming up to the Summit County resort year-round.

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Trip Report: No Mountain Does More Than Copper

Copper Mt. bowls

I pulled into the Copper Mountain parking lot at 8:30 a.m. with minus-8 temps on a midweek road trip -- Summit County crackling' cold. Not many others were there that early, likely because of the cold and that there had been two days since new snow fell.

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January Is Time For Western Newbies To Learn To Ski Or Ride

Learn to skiMost of us know someone who has never skied or snowboarded but would love the thrill of gliding down a hill on freshly groomed snow. But it’s hard to find the time, get the equipment and be confident that the ski school instruction at a particular resort will get your friend or family member properly introduced to the sport – and eager to return for more.

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Holiday Fun Lights Up The Rockies

Winter Park Christmas Tree LightingThe Christmas-New Years season at Colorado ski and snowboard resorts definitively says that winter is here for good, punctuated by traditional torchlight runs down the slopes, fireworks, Santa appearances and much more.

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More Resorts, Terrain Open Across The West; Northeast Still High And Dry

Loveland Ski AreaWith up to two feet of new snow this past week, resorts across the west continue to open and expand terrain heading into the weekend.

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Loveland, A-Basin First Out Of Gate As Colorado Resorts Set Opening Dates

Loveland early groomingThe unofficial race to open first in Colorado is over for 2015-2016, with Loveland Ski Basin and Arapahoe Basin both opening for the season on Thursday, October 29.

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Colorado Resorts Upgrade Lodges, On-Mountain Eateries

Colorado eateries upgradesNew lifts and trails often get the headlines during the off-season, but much of this summer’s work in Colorado centers around lodges, base facilities and restaurants.

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SnoCountry’s Best Offbeat Summer Fun At Western Resort Bases

Mountain Coaster at SnowbirdThe scenic chairlift ride, the downhill mountain bike run and the alpine hiking trek have long been standard fare at summer mountain resorts – but the focus has moved off-mountain lately.

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Woodward Camps Keep Terrain Parks Hoppin’ During Summer At Copper And Boreal

Woodward CampsFor terrain parkers, the end of the winter ski and snowboard season means more than six long months of life without a jib, jump or butter box – unless you got the bread for some time at Woodward.

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Epic Adventure! Eight Colorado Resorts In A Day

Eight ResortsSporting an Epic Pass, a Copper/Winter Park Patriots Pass and a Loveland lift ticket, Disabled American Veteran Jerry Eller of Canon City, Colorado recently conquered an eight-resort solo adventure.

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Colorado Resorts Unveil 2015-2016 Season Pass Deals; Save And Get Ahead Of Crowd

Copper Mt.In what has become a major ritual of spring, winter resorts have started rolling out discounts on season passes for next year – either to keep the current buzz going or give hope for a better season ahead.

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