Riders say good-bye to ‘powder rush’
EAGLE COUNTY – Sara McClure slashed the waist-deep powder of Blue Sky Basin so many times this year, she can’t pick out just one particularly memorable day.”Man, there were some good runs out in Blue Sky,” she said. “It’s like you get that powder rush. You don’t want the run to end, but you can’t wait to get back to the lift to do it again.”Similar stories burst from the mouths of many mountain faithful around the water cooler and over frosty mugs of beer this season. At the beginning, the snow dumped.
“The conditions were awesome this year because Vail opened to full-on winter skiing,” McClure said. “We were riding in the trees on the first day. They were filled in pretty quickly and that’s rare.”The snow subsided quite a bit the second half of the season, but the sun shone on the faces of many while plenty of leftover snow coated the ground.”We kind of traded good snow for good weather,” skier Chris Belk said. Belk agreed early-season was “awesome” and the season remained good despite a few snow droughts.
“I got a little worried for two weeks in March,” Belk said. “But the (leftover) snow was still so good from November and December. The base was so good you could still ski on the mountain.”Indeed the snow bases at both mountains remained thick throughout the season and continue to do so, despite warm spring temperatures and bountiful sun.As of Wednesday, more than 345 inches of snow had fallen at the top of Beaver Creek Mountain, which closes Sunday. A few miles east, Vail Mountain, which closes April 23, reported 420 inches, or 35 feet, at its summit. That’s a six-foot increase over average yearly totals.
“Record-breaking sun and snow,” is how Lauren Sims described the season. Sims skied between 30 and 40 days this year across the country, calling this year at Vail one of the top two or three seasons she’s had on the mountain.And the good conditions continue.”It’s crazy. It’s mid-April and it’s just now getting bare,” McClure said.With Blue Sky open until closing day, McClure said she’s going do a little spring snowboarding and picnicking.
“It’s going to be a good spring riding in some slush and do some picnicking,” McClure said. “I’m tired of the powder and ready to drink a beer and do some riding.”Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado