Holy pleasant surprise Batman.
I was definitely not expecting the super carvy glorious groomer runs I just took. I knew it would be pretty out, Colorado blue sky. I knew that it would be a quiet morning on the hill, everyone still recouperating from turkey leftovers. I knew I’d take a few runs to work out the creaks in my knees, I’m getting old ya know.
But it was a lovely surprise to find this mountain is actually in great shape! Make no mistake – I am only talking about the groomers. All non groomed slopes look slightly terrifying. Don’t get off the groomers. Signs are all over the mountain urging us to stay on the groomers. Do not be tempted to ski any thing but the groomers, it’t no good, you will not like it, not one bit.
The rest of the hill, all 42 trails and 525 acres are really fun skiing.
The crews on this hill are working round the clock to whip the slopes into shape. I’ve been chasing them down all morning to say thanks, and they are so proud of the work they have done, and this is as it should be. The groomers have been taking the snow cats onto every slope they can to break up the wicked frozen layer and open our access to more and more skiable terrain. The flashy guys in florescent orange are out in the freezing temps (and only the freezing temps) making snow to fill in the arteries on the mountain that help us all get from place to place. The patrolers are working their turkeys off, doing avalance control on our steeper aspects to manage the dangerous layer of ice that would other wise persist through much of the winter. They are even out there side stepping runs to break up the ice in zones that won’t support a snow cat.
We pay good money for our season passes and day passes and these crews are making it all worth it. So as you see them today, and in the coming weeks, say thanks! Their jobs look so easy when it snows a foot everyday, but it’s times like this when you can see how much work goes into making this mountain a resort.
That said here’s my recommended iternary for your day: Rudi’s to Blizzard to Storm Peak Express – the cord is perfect on Blizzard but look out for a few grassy knolls poking out on the sides. Then head over to High Noon for the views of the valley, then down 2 O’Clock – creamiest turns of the morning. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of Duster back to Rainbow Saddle, it’s moving so fast you don’t have to do a thing. Head back down to Storm for another ride to the top – do check out the craziness that is the “snow” on Vortex (closed!!!). Then perfect your racer stance to cruise down Storm Peak South (you’ll have much of it to yourself). If you’re still feeling strong go a few more laps on Storm Peak – Buddy’s is open all the way to the bottom, and all the Winter Sports club groms are getting after it. When your legs are starting to wobble, ride up BC lift for the Heavenly Daze finale – it’s skiing better than it does most years because of our die hard grooming crew and all that early season snow.
There you go. Get up on this hill. Enjoy!
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier