11.14.2005

Let it snow...

It turned out to be quite the snowy weekend up here. Originally it was supposed to snow overnight Friday, and start to clear up as Saturday progressed before giving way to a sunny Sunday. Instead it pretty much just snowed the whole weekend, and in fact we are still under a winter weather advisory until 5pm on Monday. Most of it in the valley has been light, but it has been more consistent in the higher elevations. It was opening weekend for a couple of ski resorts, Keystone and Breckenridge; and with Vail opening next Friday the snow is truly welcome. A few of my friends and I made it up to Keystone this weekend to enjoy this new snow. On Saturday we got a late start and didn’t leave until after having lunch here in town. We only got in about 2 hours on the slopes before they closed, but for a first outing of the season it was fine. They had only some of the upper slopes open, and in fact we had to downride the gondola at the end of the day because there were no trails open to the base. Even with all of the new snow, the warmer temperatures earlier in the week slowed down their snowmaking efforts at the lower elevations. The upper slopes did include the upper sections of a couple of intermediate runs, and one beginner run back to the lift. It was cold and snowy all weekend though, and they were continuing to make snow all day Saturday while we were there in hopes to open more terrain soon. We drove back over the pass in a good amount of snow, and headed to back to my friends’ house for some chicken on the barbeque grille. Nothing quite like grilling in a snowstorm! As the snows kept flying, we slowly decided that we should head back up on Sunday, and I told them to call me in the morning when they were leaving and I would join them too. We left around 11am, and we were on the slopes in time to enjoy almost a half a day worth of skiing back at Keystone. The snows overnight definitely helped them out, and this time they had the intermediate runs open all the way, and even added two more that were not open Saturday. Still no runs open to the base, but at least there was some good fresh snow, and a couple of new runs to explore that had not been open the day before. It snowed all day, despite the forecast for sun, and even the entire drive home was in the snow. Vail Pass was getting some good heavy snow, and it was snowing in my town too. The snow carried overnight and for a brief period on Monday afternoon it was really going full blast. We could barely see out the windows at work as blizzard like conditions pounded us. It cleared up in town before it was time to go home, but it was severe enough to shut down 68 miles worth of highway, from just east of Vail all the way to Idaho Springs! Rough night to be out driving, but luckily I only had to go from work to home, which is about a mile. Vail opens on Friday, and it looks like all this snow will at least be good for something!