I have been receiving this question a fair bit. Having only been open two seasons, we don't have the history we do on other trails, but we think a 35-40 inches deep base is a good number for an approximate Montezuma Bowl opening. Of course there are lots of variables that impact this and they change from year to year. I do have some good news on Zuma. Opening the top requires a fair bit snow farming and snow cat operations. The cat crew had a great start back there and we have corduroy surfaces down Columbine and Larkspur all the way to the Tower 13 zone. Every time the wind blows, it snows a bit, and we catch the snow behind our snowfences, the cat drivers will push the trail down a little further. Those wooden, 8 foot tall fences you see back there are critical in the snow farming program.
Of interest on another note, Pali trail is usually opened with 30-35 inch base. Very early this season, Pali had a large avalanche that buried the willows and brush on the bottom. I don't think it will take a whole lot of snow and wind to fill in the top. I suspect that trail will open relatively soon with very good cover down low from the avalanche debris. If you have been up here, you have noticed the extensive work (explosives, foot packing, ski packing, boot packing, etc.) the ski patrol is doing on Pali. Kudos to them. Think snow.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
We just added another new webcam with views of the bottom of Exo, the Beach, and the bottom of Pali. Check out the image captured this afternoon and use the link below to see it live (except when it is dark).
Friday, January 8, 2010
Big news. Pali Lift is opening tomorrow, Saturday January 9. West Wall and Grizzly will be groomed. Upper Slalom Slope is open and in outstanding shape. I skied it a few times yesterday and it was great. I have attached a very cool photo from Casey Day. Come on out and join the fun.
On another note, we are getting a little closer with Montezuma Bowl. The snowcats have been doing their magic on Columbine and we have corduroy down to Tower 13. There are some very big drifts at the top of Larkspur that they will rip into over the next couple of nights. Leif and the patrollers have been kicking the cornice and throwing some shots out in West Bowl. We are getting closer.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
January 2 and I am looking out the window at snow falling heavily. The forecast the next several days is very good for snowfall. As always, my fingers are crossed and I am doing a snowdance. It looks like a really nice Arapahoe week. Spirits from both guests and employees are high as we watch the snow come down. I think the Base Area crew has shoveled the A-Frame deck three times this morning. The mountain opening has gone well although a little slower than most of us would like. Keep your eyes peeled for Slalom Slope and Powderkeg. With just a bit more snow the Ski Patrol will be opening that terrain via a short hike from the West Wall Saddle. It feels like a big change is coming. Take care and Happy New Year.