Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ski Season (#2) Ski Season (#2)

In my previous post, I pointed out that ski season is rapidly approaching in Colorado. We have had the big Sniagrab (Bargain spelled backwards) ski sale now run by the mega-sports chain Sports Authority (after buying out Gart Brothers, which had previously bought out Dave Cooks, which started the mega-extraviganza). And you can probably still find Warren Miller ski movies (a staple when I was in high school, and for the 38 years since).

But what is interesting to me is that most of the ski areas in Colorado close before they have to, based on ski conditions. Keystone closed last year about the first of April, and probably could have stayed open most of the way through the month. By mid April every year, we are left with Arapahoe Basin, which stays open most years as long as it can, occasionally beyond the 4th of July.

But the reason that Keystone closes so early is that by then, most of the ski crowd is from the Front Range (i.e. Denver, Boulder, C. Springs, etc.), and they are thinking summer sports. Now, while you can still sail on Lake Dillon, bike, ride, etc., everyone is ready for the snow again. Weird, but I am as bad as anyone. Last year, I only skied once after Keystone closed, even having a pass that worked at A-Basin. Mostly, I was tired of skiing, though I only skied 50 or 60 days last year. (I have two 100+ day seasons, the most recent being 4 years ago).


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the day - mid 70's I skiied 165 days in a row. It didn't hurt that I worked at Keystone that year. I still consider that accomplishment a badge of honor.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

Where did you work then? I think I missed you by a couple of years there for my first 100+ day skiing year (72/73).

Part of the reason that I was able to get over 100 days that year is that I had a job at the Mountain House cleaning up after they closed. So, I would get to work around 4-5 and work until midnight.

The reason that I didn't go much above 100 days is that I graduated in December, and so didn't really get going until the 1st of the year. We closed about May 1st, but during Jan. and into Feb., I wouldn't ski weekends. Then, I figured I skied better on Monday if I took a run or so on Sat. and Sun., so went to 7 days a week.

I have worked as a volunteer there the last four seasons, and know a bunch of people who are in the 250 range, and some who occasionally go over 300. Of course, they do this by swapping to the Southern Hemisphere in our summer (mostly NZ). A couple of patrol (250) and more ski school (300). My 50+ year old body won't take that.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at the summit lodge, so I had to ski to and from work. So I didn't ski full days, sometimes only 2 runs, and lunch, but I never missed a day.

I think that was '75,76. I too graduated in Dec (CU) but managed to make it to the mountain to report for work by Thanksgiving.

At that time if you worked at Keystone you could ski at Copper and maybe Breckenridge for free. So on days off we would go to Copper, get our tickets, scalp them in the parking lot, and run to Vail where it was half price, and we spend the day on lift ten, highline and Blue ox. (If I recall correctly.) That was the same year Claudine Longet did Spider in, and we watched the Claudine Longet invitational on SNL. Do you remember that?

It was a wonderful year.

6:45 PM  

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