Steamboat snow the stuff of legends |

Steamboat snow the stuff of legends

Allen Best

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Winter roared at Steamboat Springs, with the big storm after Thanksgiving producing two feet of snow on the slopes and three feet at the summit. The skiing, asserted The Steamboat Pilot, was the kind that people will be telling their grandchildren about 50 years from now.Lake Louise trees fall to thwart firesLAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Crews have begun felling 2,500 trees around lodges at Lake Louise. Fire experts say the area faces a growing risk of big fires because of thick vegetation and a dense aging forest.Similar to many resorts of Colorado, Lake Louise is located within a dense forest of lodgepole pine trees that are up to 120 years old, as well as stands of spruce trees that are between 250 and 300 years old.The last major wildfire in the Bow River Valley, where Lake Louise and Banff are located, was in 1908. Since then, fires were suppressed within Banff National Park and other provincial lands. However, destructive wildfires in neighboring British Columbia in 2003 provides what the Rocky Mountain Outlook describes as a huge wake-up call for many communities, including Lake Louise.Sun Valley snow getting groomedKETCHUM, Idaho – Count Sun Valley among the resorts plowing money into snow groomers. The Idaho Mountain Express reports the resort has added 10 new groomers, which are described as more powerful and sophisticated tillers than the old ones. “People are going to notice more seamless grooming,” promised Kerry O’Brien, the grooming manager for Bald Mountain.Steamboat plan calls for small increaseSTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The five-year master plan for the Steamboat ski area calls for small, incremental expansions that could yield an 8 percent increase in what the U.S. Forest Service calls the “comfortable carrying capacity.” The current capacity is 12,340 skiers a day.The plan submitted to Forest Service officials calls for consolidation of lifts, allowing the space devoted to the displaced lift towers to instead be used for beginner terrain. As well, the plan envisions expanded on-mountain restaurants and more summertime mountain biking and hiking trails, reports The Steamboat Pilot.Vail, Colorado

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