Friday, August 24, 2018

Baby Butt Smooth

So now we have two spider hoes on site.  They are doing a bang up job for us digging lift towers and getting the bottom terminal and lift maze area ready. On top of that, it has a tool called a masticator, aka a stump grinder. The machine has been gingerly walking up and down Davis and Loafer grinding down the stumps and any left over larger pieces of wood. 

The outcome has been incredible. We want these two trails very smooth, but we didn't want to drop the blade of a bulldozer. We wanted to keep the soil, plants and roots intact to minimize erosion and minimize stream impacts. Both trails are now baby butt smooth. Not only is this process is a little kinder on the Earth. It is going to make for some REALLY, REALLY GOOD SKIING. This work will speed the opening of both these trails by at least a couple of storms.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Beavers' Towers

The first truckload of Beavers Chairlift towers showed up today. The Leitner Poma crew will be installing the tower head and sheave assemblies. The next step is to fly concrete for the tower foundations. As soon as we can pry a helicopter from the fires out West, we will be doing that (probably in 1-2 weeks). Once the concrete is set, the towers will be set in place.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bird's Eye View

Doe and Two Spotted Fawns

Look closely, I caught this image of a doe and two spotted fawns directly underneath me as I passed while riding Pali Lift.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Pali Outpost

The Pali Outpost is starting to take shape. We are bulding a very small Ski Patrol station at the top of Pali. It replaces the Patrol Equipment shed we built over there about 30 years ago. This will help patrollers be a bit closer to the North Side and the Steep Gullies. There is more need for more equipment over there. It will give them a quick and easy place to get warm. Mostly, it makes it easier to have more patrollers out on the hill working and skiing.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Some Color

Now some people get excited about this and some people don't. It depends on where you are in your personal winter/summer cycle of thinking. Either way, we can't deny the facts. Some leaves have started turning colors.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Cirque Series Mountain Running

373 runners joined us today for the Cirque Series Mountain Running Race. The weather was more similar to Southeast Alaska than it was to Colorado. Some steady rain mixed in with a little white stuff made for tough conditions.  At times the clouds were completely socked in. Other times, the clouds broke for some stunning views. That didn't seem to bother this group. There were lots of smiling and impressive people. We closed out the afternoon with a great party in the base area. Another good day.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Lift Operator House

The Beavers top lift operator house arrived today. It was transferred from its delivery truck (it was built in Grand Junction) via crane to a truck that could get it up the hill. Driving something that big up our small and rough service road is no small task. Once on the Summit, the building was transferred, again via crane, to its foundation. In the coming weeks, we will be adding siding and shingles to the building as well as connecting it, via data and electrical lines, to the motor room. The motor room is scheduled to arrive in mid September.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Beavers Lift Parts

More and more stuff is showing up.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beavers Picnic Decks

The Beavers project includes a couple of picnic decks. One is off the right side of Loafer just below timberline. The other is at the very bottom right side of Beaver Bowl. The decks will be 12' x 20' and will have a couple of tables and a bench. Both have dramatic views and will be excellent places to have a sandwich with your friends.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Kitchen Remodel

We are doing a major remodel and expansion on the A-Frame kitchen, more than doubling its size. There will even be an entrance from the 6th Alley directly into the kitchen. While this is technically one big kitchen, it really will be like two kitchens, one for the 6th Alley and one for the Legends Cafe. 

A heap of utilities work had to get done before we really got rolling on the building itself. The footers are poured. Foundations and slab are next. Then we move on to walls and roofs and kitchen equipment.

Not the sexiest of projects, but something extremely important to running a ski area.

Sunday, August 12, 2018


Marmot is a really nice trail accessible from the right side of Loafer above timberline near the Summit. It can be a little wind blown at the top, but it fills in very nicely down below. Its tree spacing creates excellent skiing. The trail joins Davis. If you are really sneaky, you can cut across Davis and ski Faculty Club, Porcupine (lower lift line) or Lower Bailey Brothers. Good, good skiing.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


The Beavers Lift now has some steel above ground. The P Towers were installed this week. Tomorrow, the backfill will begin on the summit foundations. The crew is working on tower concrete forms and waiting for a helicopter to be available. We will see a lot of concrete being flown soon. 

Friday, August 10, 2018


We have had a great summer for fireweed (chamaenerion angustifoliu), one of our most common and most beautiful flowers. There are all over Lower Sundance and other parts of the Lower Mountain. It seems like each year we have more and more of it. Great to wander through them when they are blossoming. I like it.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Dog Woods

Between Loafer and Davis, you will find another classic set of trails, The Dog Woods. Four gladed trails, Alex, Jaeger, Jetta and Digger, were named after our our first four avalanche dogs. These four working animals had three handlers, Pete Heckman (Alex), Rob Ware (Jaeger and Jetta) and Tom Gross (Digger). These teams paved the way for today's avalanche rescue dog program.

You will love these gladed, black trails. They can be accessed from the right side of Loafer just below timberline. The trees spacing is ideal and you will be surprised by the steepness of some of the pitches, particularly on Jetta. This will be some very fun exploring.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Glockenspiel Glade

As I have stated before, many of the names in the Beavers reflect historical places or people. Glockenspiel Glade is no exception. Back in the early days, Powderkeg was known as Glockenspiel Glade. This might be one of your favorite runs in the Beavers. Its upper portion parallels Loafer just to the west. It starts out relatively cruisey and ultimate rolls into steeper terrain. The glading there is perfect. Eventually it runs into our western traverse, The Last Waltz, before bringing riders back to the bottom of the Beavers Lift.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Updated Trail Map

Alright, the new latest and greatest updated trail map is now available on the website. Check out this image or the link below. You will find that the Beavers Chairlift has been added. An additional 97 acres of gladed trails have also been added west of Loafer. Enjoy exploring the map and the new trail names. Many of the names have historical significance.  In coming posts, I will share some of that history.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

More Spider Hoe

More pictures of the Spider Hoe tip toeing its way down the lift line. The machine is down to the last few tower holes. The lift will have a total of 15 towers. Once it gets to the bottom, it will start working on the bottom terminal and lift maze sites. A second spider hoe will join it for this work.