Some skiers and snowboarders are choosing to make fewer trips to the mountains due to congestion on Interstate 70, according to a new study from the I-70 Coalition.
There are no silver bullets. No car-sized teleporters, either — at least not yet. Sometimes, Interstate 70 through the Colorado mountains in the winter is just a painful, unending, unavoidable slog. But several tricks can minimize the pain.
Leapin' off the ridge on bluebird day. (Loveland/Facebook)
Many of the original ski areas in Colorado went up hard by the snow-grabbing Continental Divide. Born in 1937, Loveland Ski Area is one of them, where above-tree line skiing and riding means never the same line twice … and the snow just keeps on comin’.
Last year, a snowy winter in the Colorado mountains dumped nearly three times the normal snowfall on the Interstate 70 corridor out of Denver – and created some of the worst weekend traffic jams on record.
Vail Mayor Andy Daly’s youngest son is ski patrolling in France this ski season and he and his wife went over to visit. On their way home they flew the 5,000 miles direct from Frankfurt to Denver on Lufthansa in nine hours. But because of gridlocked Interstate 70 traffic, it took them more than seven hours to drive the 120 miles from Denver International Airport to Vail.
Harry Frampton, the Vail-based developer whose company revamped Denver’s iconic Union Station, is a skeptic when it comes to the concept of passenger rail connecting Colorado’s Front Range cities to the state’s mountain resorts.
Looking for ways to unclog skier traffic on I-70 to some of the state’s top ski resorts, Colorado Department of Transportation officials have instituted the so-called “wave escort” strategy during bad weather on weekends.