Welcome to the 2018 /19 ski season!
The lifts are turning and just on time… Ullr Provides! By now, you may have heard that the traditional early bird ski areas of Arapahoe Basin and Loveland have been turning the bull wheels, including the newest chair Chet’s Dream High-Speed Quad, for a couple weeks. In an epic suprise, Wolf Creek beat both of these traditional season openers with weekend services for nearly a MONTH! That’s not all, thanks to fantastic snowfall over the weekend, the Sleeping Giants of Breckenridge and Keystone are waking up on November 6, three days ahead of schedule! Every resort is is talking about fresh pow and fantastic conditions for snow making.
Meanwhile, it is also movie season at your local theaters with shows such as Teton Gravity launch of Ode to Muir and smaller Indigogo productions like Abandoned produced by The Road West Travelled. Both shows opening weekends had sold out in no time flat and continue to pack houses! The buzz is working and people are getting excited to shred the Gnar asap.
Before you call into work with a mild case of early season Powderitis and hop in your car, there are few things to be at least aware of before you show up expecting thigh deep powder in the back bowls. While I hate to be a downer, let’s get real that is not going to happen. Instead, you are going to be hanging out with lots of your closest friends on the road, in the ticket and lift lines, and down the few white ribbons of death open, and at Aprés If you are a die hard armed with a ski pass, you probably have dealt with it previously and fine with a little inconvience to get the first turns in and get that snow selfie for Instagram. If you are a beginner or intermediate that hasn’t gone to the rat race, you’ll will be in for a suprise.
One critical item to know is, dont cut a line because you think there is enough snow. While the quanity of snow is there, the stability is not. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has been sending out numerous reports and alerts about the early season fracturing, hore frost layers, and wind blown slab risks. Until Ski Patrol drops the ropes, there is noone looking for you over there, the resort can clip your pass, and the rules of the back country apply. You may even find yourself at a lift not turning and have to hike a long ways out. If you dont want to risk your pass or your life, please don’t go.
Another early season mishap is cuting between the available runs through the trees. This early in the seaon, you will sink to through to the latest consolidated layer. This may or may not cover up the rocks and likely wont cover any downed logs or roots, lovingly referred to as Snow Snakes. The worst thing for a snowboarder or skier is getting the equipment under one of these snow snakes and ramming into your binding or worst yet your leg and breaking one or both of these. If you followed our advice in Save Some Dough – Lift Tickets to buy a ski pass or at least a 4 pack, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the fun between the runs later in the season.
Last advice, slow it down and give people space. This is especially true at the top of the lift and the beginnig of the run. I know you might think you can zip around the pile of beginners at the top of the mountain. You probably can, but try to remember the fear you had when you first were learning and the lack of confidence you had when you first were finding balance on your edges. It may be no big deal to you, but that close call between you and a never-ever may be enough for them to never come back. I know you’ve heard it before… Space, Not Speed. Be nice Bro (Bro-dette), don’t be a Chad (or Chad-dette)!
Hope you found these bits of advice helpful. If this isnt your cup of tea, dont worry, the season is long, there will be plenty of good days ahead!
Until Next Time, Pray for Snow, Celebrate when Ullr Provides!