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Forest Service Approves Guided Backcountry Snowcat Tours at Loveland Ski Area

Loveland Dry Gulch Snow Cat Tour Project

Loveland - A view of Dry Gulch from the proposed southern drop off area. 0
Loveland – A view of Dry Gulch from the proposed southern drop off area.

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland released its draft decision on Friday, February 7 permitting Loveland Ski Area to offer guided snowcat skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Dry Gulch. The 580-acre area is adjacent to Loveland’s existing permit area north of Interstate 70.

“We are honored to partner with the US Forest Service to offer a unique guided backcountry skiing and snowboarding experience,” said Rob Goodell, COO of Loveland Ski Area. “This special use permit will allow us to expand opportunities for winter recreational use consistent with our 2017 Master Plan and the Forest Service mission.”

Under the expanded special use permit, Loveland Ski Area will be able to offer up to two guided trips per day into Dry Gulch with no more than 16 people on each trip. Snowcat operations will be limited to three designated routes. The area will remain open to the public for non-guided use.  

Loveland Dry Gulch Snow Cat Tour ProjectLoveland Dry Gulch Snow Cat Tour Project

A number of monitoring and mitigation requirements will be implemented to protect the area’s environment and natural resources. Among them are that snowcat use will require at least two feet of snow cover, tree removal will be prohibited, compacted snow/ice routes must be broken up at the end of the season, and water quality and fish populations in the area will be monitored to ensure there are no negative hydrological impacts of the permitted activities.

More information about the proposal, including the draft Decision Notice, Environmental Assessment, public comments, and other supporting documents, can be found online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54196. Publication of the draft Decision Notice in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on Friday, February 7 began a 45-day objection period, during which time those who commented on the proposal may file objections to the proposed activity or certain aspects of it.

Extended Chairlift Hours at Aspen Snowmass

Tamara Susa - Aerial View of Aspen

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Aspen Snowmass – Tamara Susa 

As daylight hours last longer, select lifts at all four Aspen Snowmass mountains will remain open until 4/4:15 p.m. starting Feb. 15 through the rest of the season. 

Aspen Mountain will run the Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express and the F.I.S. lift until 4 p.m.  At Snowmass, the Elk Camp Gondola and the Sheer Bliss lift will operate until 4 p.m. The Village Express will run until 4 p.m. to the top and until 4:15 p.m. to the mid-station. Cloud Nine lift at Aspen Highlands will close at 4 p.m. with Exhibition lift closing at 4:15 p.m. The Summit Express lift at Buttermilk will run until 4 p.m. All other lifts will close at 3:30 p.m. 

For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200. Follow Aspen Snowmass @aspensnowmass on Twitter and Instagram, or atwww.facebook.com/aspensnowmass.


Loveland’s 29th Annual Mountaintop Matrimony

Mountaintop Matrimony - Loveland Ski Area - Dustin Schaeffer 

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Mountaintop Matrimony – Loveland Ski Area – Dustin Schaeffer 

The Mountaintop Matrimony is for couples (approximately 100 couples) getting married or renewing their vows and takes place at noon sharp outside the Ptarmigan Roost Cabin, elevation 12,050 feet. The Ptarmigan Roost Cabin is located at the top of the Ptarmigan Lift at Loveland Basin. Couples are required to sign-in the morning of the event and are asked to be at the Ptarmigan Roost Cabin by 11:30 am.


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Mountaintop Matrimony – Loveland Ski Area – Dustin Schaeffer 

The ceremony is a “mass wedding” done for all couples at the same time and lasts approximately 30 minutes. At the conclusion of the ceremony, all participants and guests will ski or snowboard down the mountain for a casual after-party with cake, music and prizes. The runs leading back to the base area from this point are beginner and intermediate. The after-party will start at 1:30 pm at the base of Loveland Basin.

Individual lift tickets will be $89 the day of the event. Guests that pre-register will receive 2-for-1 lift tickets for the event and will be eligible to purchase a lunch package for $15 including an $15 lunch voucher, 2 beer coupons and wedding cupcakes at the reception. These packages will also be available for purchase at morning check-in. Couples can pre-register for the event at https://skiloveland.com/wedding-registration/

Couples are encouraged to dress in appropriate “ski-wedding” attire as there will be a prize for the best-dressed couple. Please keep in mind that The Ptarmigan Roost Cabin is located at 12,050 feet and that dressing warmly is important even on a sunny day. The wedding will not be rescheduled because of snow or cold weather, so be prepared!

Springs Skiing and Snowboard Tips and Tricks

Purgatory - Ryan Nott

Purgatory, Ryan Nott
Purgatory Resort – Ryan Nott 

Spring is approaching in Colorado, bringing warmer weather, longer days, bluebird skies and outstanding skiing and snowboarding conditions to Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts. Newcomers to Colorado skiing and riding can take advantage of discounted lift tickets, festive events and dozens of family-friendly activities that will make it easy to spend this spring on the slopes.

Below are some pointers for newcomers and long-time Colorado residents alike to enjoy spring skiing and riding in Colorado:

Learn to Ski or Ride this Spring

For those new to Colorado or new to snowsports, spring is one of the best times of the ski season to learn. Guests will find warmer spring temperatures, plenty of sunshine and a welcoming, stress-free environment. Enrolling in ski school for professional instruction is the best first step for newcomers to the sport and those returning after a few seasons off. Colorado ski areas offer great deals and discounts in the spring, making it easy for visitors to take advantage of the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard.

Come Prepared for Variable Weather Conditions

It’s always a good idea to account for changing weather conditions in Colorado’s high country. While warmer, sunny spring conditions are common in Colorado, spring weather can turn wintry again unexpectedly. In order to avoid being caught off guard when blue skies give way to

snowflakes, experienced spring skiers and riders know to pack layers and extra gear to accommodate any changes in weather throughout the day.

Consider the “Second Shift” of Afternoon Skiing

During the spring, some of the softest snow conditions can be found in the late morning or afternoon. Second shift skiing also allows for a slower morning and accommodates a busy schedule. Skiers and riders can also find great discounts on half-day lift tickets, freeing up some extra funds for après ski or other adventures.

Not Ready to Hit the Slopes? Not a Problem

For guests who aren’t ready to give skiing or snowboarding a try, or families with both skiers and non-skiers in tow, Colorado ski areas offer dozens of family-friendly non-skiing activities. Don’t miss the chance to ride a mountain coaster, take a guided snowshoe tour, glide across a frozen pond on ice skates, or experience a once-in-a-lifetime gourmet dining experience.

Spring is Prime Season for Après

While Colorado’s spring skiing conditions are world-class, Colorado’s spring après-ski scene is even better. Colorado ski areas offer no shortage of options to occupy skiers and riders after the lifts have closed, from sunny patios and relaxing environments to live music and spring festivals. Instead of hurrying home, spring is the time to kick back and enjoy the mountains with family and friends after an enjoyable day on the slopes.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Skiers and snowboarders should be mindful of sun exposure all season, but it’s especially important in the spring. With blue skies and longer days, sunscreen can help those on the slopes avoid the goggle sunburn that so often afflicts spring skiers and riders. Reapplying sunscreen at lunch is highly recommended.

Find End-of-Season Deals on Gear and Equipment

Spring is the perfect time to stock up on skiing and snowboarding gear, when ski areas and ski shops alike offer end-of-season deals to make space for next season’s inventory. Guests can find bargains on everything from skis and snowboards to soft goods like outerwear, base layers and gloves.

Win A FREE Pair of Skis! #AMountainForEveryone

Eldora Mountain

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Loveland Ski Area – Casey Day 

The recent snow has us feeling some sort of way here at Colorado Ski Country USA. We think that everyone should have the chance to get up to the mountains and enjoy some skiing! 


From now through the end of February, whenever you post a picture from a Colorado Ski Country member resort, use the hashtag #AMountainForEveryone ( A Mountain For Everyone) for a chance to win a free pair of men’s skis, women’s skis OR kid’s skis. Only one (1) pair of skis will be handed out. 

It’s as simple as just posting a picture and using our hashtag.

Choosing A Winner

At the end of February, the staff from Colorado Ski Country USA will each pick their favorite photo (5 photos will be chosen) from the submissions we receive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we will then post each photo separately on each of our social media platforms. Whichever photo accumulates the most ‘likes’ across all of our social platforms combined after one week’s time (7 days) will be the winner of whichever pair of skis they want! So be creative with your photos, capture the great views, the steep angles, the big smiles, the blue skies, whatever you think will capture our attention. 


Be sure that we can access your account so that we can send you a message. Those with private accounts may not be able to be reached by us when we try to slide into your DM’s to give you a free pair of skis. You will have three (3) days to respond to our message or else the photo will the next most likes will be chosen. 



Sacrifices on the Mountain – an Ode to Parenting

Family Skiing at Echo Mountain

IMG 20190328 Copper Spring break Spaulding bowl2
Spaulding Bowl at Copper – Helen Olsson 

As parents, we often find ourselves doing crazy things for our children. But someday, those sacrifices will translate to epic skiing or riding with the family in Colorado Ski Country. 

My Cold Right Foot

I was skiing the vertiginous pitch Aspen Highlands’ Temerity, 1,690 vertical feet of 28-degree pitch, and every right-footer turn I took was a little less awesome than my left footers. Two weeks before, in the lodge at Winter Park, my son’s Booster Strap had broken. He’s a ski racer and for racers—or any skiers who want control and transmission of power from boot to the ski, which I think is really, probably everybody—Booster straps are key. So, his broke, and naturally, I kicked my boot up on a chair, like a horse ready to have its horseshoe replaced. He unscrewed the screw at the back and relieved me of my right strap.

At that moment, it struck me that as parents, we do the craziest things for our kids. We’d do anything. We’d donate a kidney if we had to. We’d take a bullet. In the grand scheme of sacrifices, losing a little control on my right footers wasn’t really that big a deal. Although, it also meant I didn’t have a boot heater battery on that right boot either, because of my Hotronic battery affixes to my Booster Strap. So I also had a cold right foot.  

A couple of weeks later, my son got a new strap and returned mine to me. But he’d lost the little rubber washer that protects the strap from the screw. That’s the thanks we get. (Shout-out to the helpful fella at Eldora’s tune shop for finding me a loose snowboard binding washer to sub in.)

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Skiing with a giant Teddy Bear – As Promised – Helen Olsson 

And then there was that time I promised my daughter I would ski with a giant bear if she would just do one more year of ski team. I was so sure she would forget about the promise by the end of the season. She didn’t. So I packed Fudgie, a tan 3½ foot tall bear into my Kelty baby backpack carrier, and I skied a day at Copper Mountain. I looked like an idiot. But a promise is a promise.

Aspen Highlands Will 2020 2

Sometimes the thing we do for our kids is wearing a Day-Glo headband that says “Send it Jerry!” – Helen Olsson

That day at Aspen Highlands, on the side of the racecourse, my friend Will took off his helmet and donned a super dorky florescent headband that read “Send It Jerry.”

“What’s up with that?” I asked.

 “I promised my son I would wear it while I watched the race,” he told me. Seriously, I think our kids might be messing with us.

Will’s wife, Kim, told me about the time they hit a deer driving to Telluride, totaling the car. Their two kids were racing, and they didn’t want to miss it, so they convinced the tow truck driver to ferry them to Telluride. They would deal with the car later. A few years later, on the way to Crested Butte, they hit another deer—literally while talking about the Telluride deer incident. I think the deer might also be messing with us.

When my kids were small, I’d pull them and all their gear in a sled to get them to the bottom of the bunny slope at Copper. Packing the snacks, warming up tiny fingers, picking them up when they fell, over and over. Those days, the sacrifice was not being up in high alpine, in Spaulding Bowl or Resolution ripping.

My brother Pete told me about deciding to teach his two toddlers to ski—with his beginner wife in tow. “It was a nightmare. I’d have one on the magic carpet, and the other one would be crashing,” he said. “I was totally outnumbered.” And then his youngest pushed the big red emergency button on the magic carpet. “Because, you know, it was a big red button.”

Okay, some perspective. We make sacrifices so that our kids will fall in love with skiing and snowboarding–and so that they aren’t screen-timing it every minute. We still have both kidneys, and we haven’t (yet) had to take a bullet. These sacrifices are hardly monumental. And on top of it all, there has been a tremendous payoff. Now we can stand on top of Highlands Bowl with our teenagers and just try to keep up with them on the way down. We can hike Tucker Mountain at Copper, and they might even carry our skis for a spell. And, get this, after I drove four hours (just a few weeks ago) from Winter Park to Eldora and back in a day to drop my son at a ski practice—which He. Could. Not. Miss.—that child went out into the cold garage and tuned my skis. And that brought me joy.  

A Few Must-Do’s This Spring Ski Season

Copper Mountain - Curtis DeVore

Eldora on a Colorado Blue Bird Day 

Spring Forward

Spring break and ski resorts can conjure up images of Solo cups, swimsuit-clad skiers and rowdy pond-skimming events. At Colorado Ski Country resorts, however, spring takes on a side as soft as the snow, as family-friendly activities abound. Whether you want to take the kids to one of the most incredible spectacles of racing in the world, jump into Olympic-grade trampolines, or catch live music (and a few Mardi Gras beads), the Rocky Mountains have you covered—no swimsuit required.

Aspen Snowmass

Tamara Susa -Aspen Snowmass

The standout of this spring’s offerings at Aspen Snowmass is the NASTAR National Championship, which was first held here at the Spider Sabich race arena in 1998 and now makes a triumphant return from March 24 to 28 after a tour of numerous American resorts. It’s the Olympics of recreational racing, with perhaps even more fanfare as athletes aged 1 to 95 take on the Blue Grouse racecourse. It’s fast-paced fun, and a good chance to meet famous pacesetters Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Laurenne Ross and Marco Sullivan, among others.

Copper Mountain

2-7-20 (04) Powder Day Curtis DeVore
Curtis DeVore – Copper Mounain

With 24 lifts, nearly 2500 acres of skiable terrain and more than 140 marked trails (half of which are beginner or intermediate), Copper has your family covered for spending spring break exploring seemingly unlimited options on the hill. Plus, the mountain received 98 inches of the white stuff last March—the snowiest month of the winter. But Copper’s also cool because of its wide array of alternative activities. Ride the Rocky Mountain Coaster, terrorize the tubing park or take the team uphill with the latest trend of skinning to the summit. But the shiniest spring break at Copper has to be the Barn at Woodward, a 19,400-square-foot indoor playground of foam pits, Olympic-grade flybed trampolines and BMX training zones, to name a few of the head-spinning features.


2.6.2020 Steamboat
Steamboat Ski Resort 

Besides its world-famous Champagne Powder, Steamboat has plenty of high-spirited events that require no spirits to enjoy. Laissez les bon temps rouler at the mountains’ Mardi Gras celebration that kicks of February 22: kids can pick apart tiny crustaceans at the crawfish boil, collect beads, see street performers, cheer on a parade and get their faces painted. Instead of NOLA, it’s snow-LA. Also, every Saturday in March from 3:30 to 5:30 means live music at the base area.

Winter Park

We’ll skip the planes and automobiles, please, and take the train, instead—namely, the Winter Park Express that bypasses 1-70 for a scenic tour through mountain passes and 31 tunnels, including the 6.2 mile Moffat Tunnel (yes, the length of running a 10K). From Friday through Sunday, the Amtrak train departs Denver’s Union Station at 7am, arrives right at the Winter Park lifts at 9am, and heads back to Denver at 4pm. Snag a seat in the bi-level Superliner Sightseer Lounge for onboard snacks and drinks and floor-to-ceiling views of the Rockies.

Ten Easy Ways to Make the Most of a Powder Day

Fresh Snow at Steamboat Springs

2.6.20 Steamboat
Steamboat Resort 

By R. Scott Rappold

If you’re at a Colorado ski resort, you’re already having a good day. Just ask the 13.8 million skiers and snowboarders who visited a Colorado Ski Country USA resort last winter. 

But there are challenges to being way up in the Rockies in the dead of winter: blinding snow, bitter cold, other skiers tracking up the powder that is rightfully yours. 

Anyone who skis as much as this reporter (101 days last winter) has a bag of tricks, little things they do to deal with the elements and have a better day on the snow. 

With a major storm bearing down on the Rockies this weekend and the promise of big snow totals, I decided to share some of my tips for surviving the nastiest weather and making the most of your powder day. 

Make first chair

I recently skied Wolf Creek with a friend who has been skiing her whole life and is frankly a much better skier than me. She needed a ride up and I told her we’d be leaving at 7 a.m. sharp. 

“Early bird, huh?” she said. 

“Early bird gets the worm,” I replied. 

It was her first time ever making first chair. I’ve since seen her several times up there bright and early. 

That’s because, on a powder day, first chair is where the magic happens. To be the first person to plunge down a blanket of untouched snow is about as close as you can get to floating while staying Earthbound. Do it once and you’ll find yourself getting up earlier and earlier on cold winter mornings. 

Have a ski quiver

The days of having a single set of skis or a single snowboard for all conditions are long over. Whenever I ski I have all three of my sets in the car because you never know what the snow is going to be like until you get up there. 

I have my Head Kore 93s as my go-to, all-mountain skis that do well in any conditions. I have my Ski Logik Ullr’s Chariot, a wider and heavier ski that shreds the powder like nobody’s business but can still handle the chop in the afternoon. And I have my Rockstars, massive, 120-mm underfoot, rockered and light as a feather, for the days when it’s dumping and refills are free. 

I’ve been known to ride all three sets in a day. My wife says I’m obsessive. I say I’m practical. 

Avoid the lines – ride smaller lifts 

When I used to ski Colorado’s larger resorts like Copper Mountain or Steamboat, I would take advantage of the fact you can get 3,000 vertical feet in a run if you go all the way to the base. But why was I spending so much time in line? 

The base area quad chairs (and larger – I believe I’ve ridden an 8-seater in my time) is the fastest way to get up the mountain and get the most vert, but I no longer ride them except at the beginning of the day. I like the smaller, slower and more isolated chairs that take you to more remote terrain and untouched powder. 

For example, when I ski Copper Mountain, I ride up on the American Flyer, a high-speed, six-person chair that even has a plastic bubble to protect you from the elements. Then I skate over to Sierra chair, a three-seater that takes you to some great steep terrain. When the back bowls open I spend the rest of the morning on Blackjack and Mountain Chief, both old two-seaters. 

I can’t recall ever waiting in line on any of those. 

Make sure you can see

I see it all the time: someone is in the lodge by 10 a.m. on a stormy day because they can’t see. That’s what happens when you have goggles designed to filter out the sun and snow on a day it’s dumping. 

Most goggles these days come with interchangeable lenses, or they should. Low-light lenses are scientifically designed to help provide definition on the worst days. 

Because any powder lover will tell you the worst days are the best days. 

Keep goggles from fogging up

Another problem many skiers face on the stormy days is goggles fogging up. Heavy breathing and perspiration (it is an action sport, after all) trap warm air in the goggles, which causes ice when it meets the frigid air outside. 

Avoid the fog by not tucking your ski mask into the goggles. And don’t put your goggles on your helmet – the heat from your head will just make it worse. 

As any ski instructor will tell you, those goggles should never be anywhere but on your face. 

You should also apply anti-fog material to your goggles every few days to help fight the ice. 

Keep your phone alive

Modern smartphones are notoriously susceptible to cold temperatures. I’ve watched my iPhone drop from 90 percent life to 10 percent on a single lift ride. 

So how are you supposed to take pictures, find your friends or email your boss that you’re home sick if your phone is a dead brick?

I like to use a peel-off foot warmer, sold in most grocery stores and other general retailers here in the colder regions. Just put it against your phone in a pocket of one of your inside layers.

Bonus: They’re also good for keeping toes warm, though not the most comfortable thing to have in a ski boot. 

Pack the car the night before

I’m always amazed when friends show up late to the ski area because they had to load the car in the morning. 

Except for ski boots, which should never be left out in a frigid trunk, everything else can be loaded the night before. Get your food and drinks together. Set out your ski pass. If it’s snowing, shovel the sidewalk the night before. 

Because getting to the ski area as early as possible should be your goal. 

See Tip Number 1 above for supporting evidence. 

Don’t tighten your boots too much

Yes, we all like tight boots while riding, since having an ankle sliding around can make for sloppy turns. 

But too-tight boots also cut off blood flow, and skiing can be no fun when you can’t feel your toes. So leave a little wiggle room. 

Stay hydrated

Yes, this is one of the most important things you should do while exerting at high elevation, but it’s also easier said than done. 

I’ve never found a ski hydration pack that doesn’t freeze on the nastiest days. Blowing in the hose each run may help but Mother Nature always wins. You could put it under your jacket, though it will make you feel constricted and make you look like the Hunchback of Summit County. 

I like to bring a tiny plastic water bottle and just put it in my pocket. Anything too big will make your balance awkward and hurt on a fall, so I use a cleaned-out cough syrup bottle. Just a sip every now and then and refill every time you take a break. 

Take breaks

It’s tough to stop when the snow is pounding and you’re getting fresh tracks every run, but we’re all human and need to warm up and rest sometimes. 

If you’re at a larger resort, duck into a warming hut or upper lodge every few hours. At a smaller ski area, ski down to the base and take five. Being cold and tired is when mistakes happen, which is when injuries happen, so listen to your body. 

Scott Rappold

R. Scott Rappold is a journalist with more than 20 years of experience, including 10 at The Colorado Springs Gazette, where he wrote about skiing, hiking, camping and all the things that make Colorado great. He is now a full-time ski bum who writes when he needs money for beer or lift tickets. He lives in Colorado’s beautiful San Luis Valley. Read more of Scott’s stories here

POWDER ALERT – MAJOR Snow Heading to Colorado.

Casey Day - Loveland Ski Area

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Loveland Ski Area – Casey Day 

Have you dreamed of skiing or riding in shoulder-deep powder?! How you dreamed of skiing or riding on soft, fluffy snow? What about carving your way through feet of fresh. first tracks on a ski hill? 

Good news, your time is coming! 

This weekend, February 7-9, will be an AMAZING time to get out in Colorado Ski Country. A major snowstorm is expected to drop FEET of snow in most areas. Let’s talk about specifics so you can plan your weekend accordingly. 


Travel will be near impossible at certain times over the next few days. Thursday and Friday are looking to be the worst travel days as heavy snow will be occurring almost consistently. Mountain passes are also expected to see wind gusts up to 60 mph creating white-out and blizzard-like conditions. I’m assuming some mountain passes will be closing due to the nature of this storm. 

It is recommended that you carpool or use public transportation as much as possible to get to and from the mountains this weekend. Most ski areas offer shuttles from towns close by and the benefit there is that the towns normally sit at lower elevations where the snow may not be as bad. Look into the Winter Park Express train that brings you to and from Winter Park Resort from Downtown Denver. You can also use the new Bustang service which provides daily weekend trips to Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Resort and Loveland Ski Area. 

Please plan ahead for tough travel. Remember the new traction law that is in place this year. Use the Colorado Department of Transportations website to check road conditions ahead of time. You can also follow and accidents and road closures that may be occurring.

The National Weather Service in Boulder will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Denver, Steamboat, Winter Park and Loveland Ski Area.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Grand Junction, Aspen, Telluride and Powderhon Ski Resort. 
The National Weather Service in Pueblo will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Colorado Springs, Wold Creek and Monarch Mountain.
You can support Andy, Colorado Ski Country USA’s resident meteorologist on Facebook and Twitter for more weather and ski information across the state. 


February 5-7

Thanks to a screaming Jet Stream above us, ample amounts of Pacific moisture are funneling into Colorado. The Jet Stream provides energy and carries along moisture and those two combined creates snowfall. Also, the mountains of Colorado are so tall that they impact snow. Orographic lifting is when you get lift in the atmopshere due to the topography. All of these together will provide the mountains with a very big snowstorm. 

Steamboat, Howelson Hill, Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Copper, Cooper, Aspen (All Mountains), Sunlight and Monarch

All ski areas listed are under a Winter Storm Warning for 1-3 feet of snow. This will start overnight into Thursday morning and continue through Saturday morning. Northwest facing slopes may see significantly more snowfall than forecast due to the trajectory of the winds and that orographic lifting that was aforementioned. 

Echo, Eldora, Powderhorn, Silverton, Wolf Creek, Telluride, Purgatory, Hesperus, Granby Ranch, and Kendall Mountain 

All ski areas listed will be receiving snow in this period as well but not advisory or warning criteria. Most areas can expect 2-8 inches of fresh snow over the next few days. Travel will be difficult as well but they may not be as severe as areas in the Winter Storm Warning. 

February 9-11

Another round of snow is expected during this period. This time, the southern mountains will receive more snow. Early estimates are calling for the possibility of 5-15 inches of snow during this period. For the north-central mountains, roughly 4-10 inches of snow can be expected. This forecast could change as we clear up some of the data and get closer to the actual date.

February 13-20

More signals of intermittent snow can be expected for this period. This far out, it’s hard to distinguish storms but there are signs of consistent light to moderate snow totals for mountain locations.

This will all add to our above-average snowpack but will also lead to an increased risk for avalanche danger for a prolonged period of time. Snowpack as of January 31, 2020 is sitting at 109 percent of average on a statewide level. This number is expected to increase with the amount of snow that is expected over the next two weeks. We have also seen a reduction of the severity of drought in some mountain locations thanks to the snow that continued to fall in the High Country. 


Enjoy the upcoming snow that we are about to see here in Colorado. It’s going to be amazing and the conditions are going to be superb. If you want to stay updated on the snow report that is updated DAILY from the ski resorts themselves, sign up to receive the snow report email that you can modify to get sent to you when you’d like. 

If you are out and about this winter, tag Colorado Ski Country USA in your Instagram and Facebook posts! We love to see you enjoying our backyard and would love to feature your photos on our social media platforms. You can also use the hashtag #AMountainForEveryone to get featured as well! 

~Andy (Find Andy’s Weather Page on Facebook

Andy is Colorado Ski Country’s Communication Coordinator. He is also a trained meteorologist with over 6 years of experience working most recently as a broadcast meteorologist. 


So, You’re Bringing Your Family Skiing. Now What?

Family Ski Day

1.13.18 Family 3 copy

Some of my strongest childhood memories come from ski days back in New England, where my brothers and I would lay out our multiple the night before, rub our eyes for a quick bowl of Cap’n Crunch and pile into the Suburban headed for Loon Mountain, “Brush Your Teeth” and other Raffi hits entertaining the youngest of us. Park, trudge to the lodge, stash the lunch, buy the tickets. Ride the lifts, ski,

Today, more than 30 years later, Colorado ski days are a bit different. TikTok obsession has replaced that whimsical guitar star in the car, and we’ve done plenty of advance work to avoid the lines and click smoothly into our skis—after all, powder awaits on the rollicking Rocky Mountain Trails. For new skiing families who are still working on the ritual, here’s how it goes in my family—my husband, Carlton; and our kids, Dillon (13) and Harper (11)—for a Colorado ski day, with perhaps a lesson or two learned along the way.

The night before: Thanks to some tips from fellow Denver/Boulder friends, we know how to not only layout our layers, but also to have boot bags packed and ready to go by the front door. The skis are on the car, which is gassed up and has an emergency kit of warmth, water, first aid, and food, just in case.

6 am: Rise and shine. No time even for a bowl of cereal; we all roll out of bed with our long johns already on and head to Moe’s for breakfast bagels and coffee to consume when the sun rises. Everyone except the driver goes back to sleep.

8 am (give or take): Arrive at our Colorado Ski Country resort of choice. Unless it’s bone-chillingly cold, we boot-up in the parking lot and leave just one bag with warm layers and a partial lunch (more on that later) in the lodge.

8:30 am: Amazingly, start riding the lifts right when they start spinning. This takes practice—and buying passes or tickets ahead of time. If you’re renting equipment, try to do this in advance, too, to avoid any potential lines at the ski area. We spend the morning tackling tougher trails

10:30 am: After two hours of skiing fresh tracks, it’s time for a break at one of the upper lodges. Hot chocolate for the kids; coffee for the adults.

12pm: Noon already? Lunchtime. It’s common advice to ski or ride through the busiest lunch hours at the lodge, but who can wait until 2? We’ve packed sandwiches and soup packets so that we can splurge on hot, crispy French fries and warm brownies. My kids and husband and I peel off our boots to dry and warm while we eat; I’ve stashed a pair of street shoes in the lunch bag to fetch cafeteria items.

1 pm: We ease into the afternoon with a few mellow cruisers, spending our chairlift time talking about which mogul run we’ll face as our final challenge before the day ends.

2:30 pm: OK, so once again we committed to ski until 4 pm—and once again find ourselves quitting early. But our little legs are tired and Carlton and I have learned by not pushing the kids past their limits, they’ll be more likely to continue love skiing as much as we do.

3 pm: One last hot chocolate before we hit the road.

5 pm: Home. A slow cooker of chili awaits us for dinner, over which we recount the killer Colorado ski day.

Sarah Tuff Dunn

Sarah Tuff Dunn recently moved to Louisville, Colorado, with her husband, Carlton, and their two children, Dillon, 12, and Harper, 10. They’re looking forward to exploring the world-class skiing in Colorado, aided by the Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. Sarah has been writing professionally for nearly 25 years and her work has appeared in The New York Times, SKI, Skiing and Powder, among other publications. Read more of Sarah’s stories here and follow along with her Colorado skiing journey here