Surviving a Ski Season Without Snow


Olivia Janicek, Author

Let’s be honest, Colorado hasn’t had the best luck with epic snowfalls and powder days this year. Take a trip to the mountains, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It looks a bit more like spring, than Colorado’s usual winter. Grass and mud paints the scenery, while the horizons are dotted with brown mountain peaks. Every resort is parched for snow and every ski town is parched for people. One can only hope that February and March will bring bountiful blizzards across the Rockies.

For now though, skiers and boarders have to settle with icy moguls and rock-filled tree runs. Along with plenty of territories and runs closed to the public. Winter Park Resort recently opened their Eagle Wind territory for the first time this year. After Saturday evening left the mountain blessed in an additional 5″ of powder, people were eager to catch first-tracks in the tree-heavy area. After a brief wait for Ski Patrol, they dropped the rope and opened the gate. Somehow, with extreme luck, I caught one of the first runs in the area. I savored the powder at every turn, knowing that it would be carved down in less than an hour.

Others were not so lucky. Once arrived at Eagle Wind, they were met with packed trails and a massive lift line. The magic hour was already over. That’s the thing about this ski season. Until the powder days start rolling in, only those who truly want it will receive it. Ski resorts just don’t have the snow they want to. Most have 30″ to 50″ of snow mid-base, and it seems no resort always has 100% of its land accessible. So when there’s any powder, even a couple of inches or a delicate dusting, Colorado-ans flock to the hills. Traffic on I-70 intensifies and lift lines grow long. They’re taking anything they can get.

If you want to ski powder, plan ahead. Check the forecast and look for double snow-days. Get up early if you want to hit the slopes early. Avoid the busiest runs. Try riding the ski train to WP if you want to avoid traffic. And overall, remember, if there’s powder, and you want it, it’s likely that everyone wants it too.