Front Range Riffraff

All things Colorado snow+gravity.

Archive for the ‘Snow’ Category

The View

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on December 19, 2010

The view that never gets old.


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Colorado skies, and guns of September, start blasting snow

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on September 22, 2009

Yes, it’s the first day of fall. And for the last day of summer 2009, snow fell from the mountain skies, and Loveland Ski Area fired-up the snowmaking equipment. You can watch Loveland’s snowmaking progress here. From their website:

Cold temperatures and natural snowfall arrived earlier than expected allowing us to officially kick-off snowmaking for the 2009-2010 season. Crews fired up the system at 11:00 am, 3 days earlier than they were able to last season. With a favorable weather forecast for the next few days, conditions look good to get some good, productive hours in.

Loveland starts the guns a' blasting on Monday, September 21, 2009. (Loveland Ski Area)

Loveland starts the guns a' blasting on Monday, September 21, 2009. (Loveland Ski Area)

Colorado Ski Country USA blogged with member reports on the summer snow.

Keystone had a timely and savvy react to the change in the weather, with a slick video of the storm cut with stock powder footage to get you all excited.

And photographer Jack Brauer nailed a sweet last day of summer photo down in Ouray, Colorado.

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Springtime means ridetime is far from over

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on May 2, 2009

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All we are is dust in the wind (from Arizona, to Colorado)

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on April 11, 2009

Some massive dust storms have hit western Colorado this season. Observe the telltale red layer in these tracks down Larkspur Bowl at Beaver Creek on Saturday, April 4, 2009:
Larkspur Bowl at Beaver Creek, 9:01 a.m., Saturday, April 4, 2009.

Larkspur Bowl at Beaver Creek, 9:01 a.m., Saturday, April 4, 2009.

And I have found the source of said dust.. Actually, NASA’s Jeff Schmaltz with the MODIS Rapid Response Team and the Goddard Space Flight Center has found the source, and have the pictures to prove it from their crazy space camera thingamajig:
Dust storm over northeastern Arizona, April 3, 2009. (NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center)

Dust storm over northeastern Arizona, April 3, 2009. (NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center)


A few bloggers and news sources have posted about the storms, but Gunnison Country Times Editor Chris Dickey nails it:

“It’s not unusual to have dust storms,” said Doug Crowley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Grand Junction. “But what it comes down to is that this has been an active spring season. Seems like it’s been windier than normal.”

Friday’s event — which turned skies an eerie shade of red, reduced visibility in some towns to next to nothing and, combined with moisture, in some cases made it literally “raining mud,” according to Crowley — wasn’t the first dust storm of the year. But it definitely was the biggest.

Some longtime weather watchers called Friday’s dust storm “the worst they’d ever witnessed,” according to Chris Landry, who closely monitors “dust on snow” events for the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies in Silverton.

“This is the biggest event of this nature that I have seen in the 20 plus years I have been here,” said John Scott of Gunnison’s National Resource Conservation Service.

The Vail Daily covers the “Brah, it was that volcano in Alsaka” rumor.

CBS4 in Denver brings you the “Danger in the High Country!!! (film at 10)” angle.

All joking aside, the dust does appear to have an effect how how fast the snowpack melts, and possibly on avalanche risk. Some sciencey-types take you to school on the subject of the West getting dustier and dust storms in winter.

Also, the trip reports documenting the dust have been slowly appearing like, uh, dust on your VCR:

Whew, what a stack of links this post has been. Don’t let the dust get you down. Dusty snow is better than no snow.

Hope you are having a superb spring of snowriding. I know I have.

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Vail Resorts Epic Pass changes lives, promises to save Christmas

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on December 23, 2008

The Vail Daily teases you today with a story about the sweet, sweet powder of December and the hoards of folks who love their Epic Pass.

Not to be outdone, Chadd and Amy Westoff, of Virginia, bought 11 Epic Passes for six adults and five children. The Westoff group totals 18, and they stay with Amy’s parents for two weeks of the winter vacation.

“We just love the flexibility of (the Epic Pass),” Amy Westoff said. “We have young kids and young skiing kids and it helps to be able to get on and off the mountain anytime.” 

Like this morning, when Amy and Chadd decided to pass of their early shift of watching the kids, promising to be back at 10:30.

“This is one of the best days in a few years,” Chadd Westoff said. “We’ve been really lucky.”

Amy said that the family is planning on coming back two more times this year, something they couldn’t have done without the Epic Pass.

“The Epic Pass changed our lives,” she said. “Whatever we have to do to bring it back next year, we will do it.”

Also, the continuing lineup of storm swells keeps rolling, so it looks like it’s going to be the Best Christmas Ever for one of these young whippersnappers:

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Gizmodo holds ski area snow report iPhone app battlemodo

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on December 20, 2008


Snocator app screenshot.

Giz has a quick rundown of (most of) the current offering of iPhone snow report apps. Their winner? The $2 app from

The North Face Snow Report was left out of the lineup, but Freeskier mag has a report on that free app.

And there’s an more in-depth review of the Snocator app on Snow Hugger. 

For a comparison of online snow reports for Colorado click this. Or head straight to my favorite, the Denver Post Colorado Ski Report, to see the sick December snow that the Centennial State has been enjoying.

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Ride this weekend like it’s 2007

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on December 5, 2008

A crowd gathers while waiting for the rope to drop into Fox Trot during the opening day of The Outback area at Keystone, Colorado, December 7, 2007.

A crowd gathers while waiting for the rope to drop into Fox Trot during the opening day of The Outback area at Keystone, Colorado, December 7, 2007.

The start of the 2008-2009 ski season has been eerily like that of the 2007-2008 season: a mostly dry October and November followed by a pummeling of snowfall soon after Thanksgiving.

This weekend is one of those times you really really really really really should go riding. It seems like almost every ski resort in the state is opening additional terrain by this weekend. Nothing beats hitting the opening of a bowl after a week of storms. It’s like riding untouched backcountry snow without all the uphill work. This type of mass early-weeklong-dump/drop-the-ropes action only happens once a season if at all.

Just be sure to get there early to get the goods. And play nice all you Front Range riffraff. I know you’ve been waiting for this.

UPDATE: Keystone is also getting in on the party this weekend.

Posted in Resort Events, Snow | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Thanksgiving Colorado

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving my snow-starved friends. Southwest Colorado is about to get dumped on. It’s a long weekend for many people. Crested ButteTelluride, and Wolf Creek and are open, and Silverton Mountain opens Saturday with free skiing in exchange for your mad bootpacking skills. You know what to do.


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And the best Colorado ski/snowboard/snow report is?

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on November 17, 2008

Front Range riffraff wanting to see snow conditions for all of Colorado used to have a great resource at Colorado Ski Country USA. Their snow report previously listed almost every ski area in the state, until Vail Resorts pulled out of the group earlier this year. Now their snow report does not include Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone or Vail. What’s a ski bum to do?

Well, there are many other sites to choose from. The Denver Post Colorado Ski Report is one of the best snow reports. Why? For starters, it lists snow totals for 24, 48 and 72 hours. Most other snow reports only give you 24- and 48-hour numbers. In addition, total acres open is listed instead of just number of lifts or percent of terrain. That’s a good thing to know early season, as total acres open is often the best indicator of who’s getting/making the most snow. You also get vertical drop. No RSS feed, though. Score: 8 woots! (Out of a possible 10.)


Denver Post Colorado Ski Report


The Rocky Mountain News Colorado Snow Report has less useful information. It’s more of a quick summary, although it does give you the window ticket price. (As if. Friends don’t let friends pay full window price.) And you do get opening/closing dates, which is helpful for planning. As with the Post, no RSS feed. Silly newspapers. Score: 6 woots!


Rocky Mountain News Colorado Snow Report lists 24- and 48-hour snow, base depth and weather. You have to click on each resort if you want more than the basics. They provide the Denver Post’s info, so it’s pretty much the same data once you click on each resort, but in a more drawn out, clicky fashion. RSS is also an option, which is a good thing. Score: 6 woots!

picture-5 Colorado Ski Report


And then there’s the Colorado Ski Country USA “Today’s Snow Conditions flown in by… Frontier.” You get the percentage of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain open, which could be useful. There’s not much love for KABVBC passholders, but it does include Arapahoe Basin. Info is “Updated twice a day by the resorts themselves.” They offer good RSS and email options, too, although they do their best to hide the RSS feed. Oh, and you can view it in metric measurements, which is cool for your Euro friends. And, as previously mentioned, there’s no sight of Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone or Vail. Score: 5 woots!


Colorado Ski Country Snow Report


Anywoo, those are the reports I found. Please leave a comment if you know of any other good online reports.

And stay tuned for an upcoming iPhone app snow report roundup later this season.

Posted in Resort Events, Snow | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Storm nails Telluride

Posted by frontrangeriffraff on November 12, 2008

While you were busy watching Obama wallop McCain last week, a storm hit the southwest Colorado mountains and walloped Telluride Ski Resort with three feet of snow in 24 hours in Revelation Bowl.

In related news, I’m moving to Telluride.

But seriously, let’s hope there’s much more of that sweet storm action all season. Telluride opens on November 27 if you want to head down now to camp out in the lift line.

Check the white goodness from last week:

Posted in Resort Events, Snow | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »


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