Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Snowmaking Crew and Equipment

Over the summer our snowmaking crew can be found doing maintenance on their equipment. This involves checking pumps, testing water lines, testing electrical lines, completing routine maintenance on the fan guns and changing fluids, filters, fuses, bulbs and more. We actually start making snow in late September or early October depending on weather. In the coming days and weeks, the snowmakers will be doing their final tests and tasks and will start deploying equipment. Soon you will notice fan guns, hoses and hydrants out on the hill. Then we wait for it to get cold.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Other Side of Black Mountain

I suppose some of you have wondered what is on the other side of Lenawee and Black Mountains. Beyond that ridge line is a North to South running stream known as Chihuahua Creek. Chihuahua runs into Peru Creek which runs into the Snake River which runs into Lake Dillon (formerly the Blue River before the dam was built). Bounded by Lenawee and Black Mountains on its West Side, Chihuahua Creek is bounded by two 14'ers, Grays and Torreys Peaks on its East Side. At the head of the creek on the West side is Chihuahua Lake. This photo was taken during a snow squall at the lake this past Monday. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Very Bottom Of Pali

The other day I was out wandering around at the very bottom of the Pallavacini path. The Pali ski trail doesn't actually go to this spot. A few hundred feet above where I took these photos, skiers take a right turn on Pali-Wog and head for the chairlift. This area has great wild flowers and willows. It is a particularly interesting view of Pali that we don't really see that often.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The East Wall Is On Fire

The folks at Saturday night's wedding were treated to some particularly stunning colors on the East Wall. My jaw drops every time I see this. 

Wildlife Surveys

Each year Colorado Parks and Wildlife does aerial surveys of mountain goats and bighorn sheep. For several years the agency has used the Last Chance Parking Lot for staging and helicopter refueling. Their team did the surveys Thursday monitoring areas above timberline between Loveland and Boreas Passes. As always, we are glad to help these guys any way we can. Plus, it looks kind of fun.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yesterday's Snow

Yesterday's snow was a treat. The snowline was about 12,000'. While yesterday was a cold and drizzly/snowy day, this morning there are only a few little snow patches left. I suspect that by day's end all of the snow will be gone. August snowstorms are common for us. The snow never lasts, but it does send a message, "Don't panic, but start winding down those summer projects and start winding up towards opening." Denver temperatures are supposed to be in the 90's again next week. We have a lot of warm, sunny days to go. Old Man Winter just stirred a bit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Yes, that is snow on the East Wall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Another Colorado Classic

Last night was time for that summer pilgrimage down the hill to Red Rocks for a show. Last night's entertainer was Jackson Browne. Last time I saw him was about 1982 or '83 in Flagstaff. He put on an incredible show then and another incredible show last night. Great fun made all the better by enjoying the fantastic amphitheater that is Red Rocks. We all owe the people that created this venue a big thank you. I am not sure where else you can enjoy a music legend like Jackson Browne in a dramatic setting like Red Rocks. Good to be in Colorado.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Biking And The 6th Alley

Saturday I enjoyed a nice bike ride up Highway 6 to The Basin. It is a bit of climb, but not bad if you are a regular rider. There are plenty of riders like me, slowly pedaling uphill. There are also a few really fast, serious bicyclists making the climb. Either way, it is very beautiful ride. 

If you do this Friday through Monday in the Summer, you can enjoy lunch in The 6th Alley. Speaking of  Summer in The 6th Alley, it has two more summer weekends to go. Summer closing will be Monday, September 5. See you there.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not Sure The Day Could Have Been Better

I am not sure if today could have been better. The weather was perfect. Very blue skies. The Rob Drabkin Band rocked Black Mountain Lodge. Be sure to catch this Colorado band. The F & B Crew did their usual outstanding job with BBQ and pies and all kinds of good stuff. People were hiking all over the place and enjoying the mountain. The chairlift was busy all day. Many people hiked and biked and walked their dogs up to BML. Turnout was fantastic. 80+ runners showed up and many, many, many more people just came up for a good time. Clearly we have to do this event again. Thanks to everyone that enjoyed The Basin today.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Slight Chill

While temperatures have warmed up a bit, last week we had some cool, rainy afternoons. If you look super closely to this photo, you can see a few white spots on Black Mountain. It is probably hail. Each summer, about mid to late August, we get that chilly reminder that winter isn't too far away. While I still have several hikes and bike rides planned and one more Westwater trip to raft................ the days are a little shorter and the nights are a little cooler. Maybe start thinking just a little bit about skiing.

Free Chairlift Rides, Free Concert, BBQ

Just wanted to give you one more reminder, tomorrow (Sunday) we are hosting a great party at Black Mountain Lodge. There will be free chairlift rides from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM. There will be a free concert with the Rob Drabkin Band. Most importantly, there will be plenty of Chef Rybak's world famous BBQ. The weather forecast for the day looks great. You can even sneak in a little hike.

The best part of the day, hanging out with our friendly and cheerful lift crew pictured below.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Eagle's Nest Wilderness

Last week Kay and I spent four very lucky days backpacking in Summit County. The Gore Range is mostly in the Eagle's Nest Wilderness in the Northwestern portion of the county. These mountains are extraordinary especially if you get a bit off the beaten track, off the trails and up high. We experienced some of its best. We endured a couple of big thunderstorms. The wildlife viewing was exceptional including bald eagles, pika, moose, marmot, grouse, deer and mountain goats. We watched a moose swim all the way across a fairly good sized lake..... and 10 minutes later swim back to where it started. The vistas from the ridgetops were beyond description. We felt very lucky to enjoy such a magnificent place with the trailhead only 25 minutes from home.

Last night someone asked me when we were going to open.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Montezuma Bowl From Near Montezuma

Kay and I went for one of those long, grueling (grueling for me anyway) 5 hour mountain bike rides with lots of vertical and a bit of pushing the bike up hill. We wandered around a lot covering ground between Summit Cove, Keystone and the Town of Montezuma. In this part of the world, there are mining relics, cabins, cans, equipment and old stuff around just about every corner. That included a very old, shot up dump truck. It is a classic. The Summit County mining history is extraordinary. 

As we were riding and just a few miles from the Town of Montezuma, we had some awesome views of Montezuma Bowl. Since this a vantage point of Zuma that is not seen by too many people, it may look a little different to you. If you look closely, you can pick out the chairlift and some snowfences. Since most of the skiing is above timberline, there are not a lot of trails to pick out. Enjoy the view.