Sweepstakes Grand Prize Winner Will Celebrate Good Fortune all Season Long!

The 2013-14 ski and snowboard season was a roller coaster of emotions. The early season saw big snows and cold in the east but fell into a freeze/thaw cycle during the winter that kept everyone on their toes. Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana had different results based on their location in the Rocky Mountains, with Colorado and Montana/Wyoming getting lots of pow, while Utah and Idaho had less. Lake Tahoe and Mammoth looked like they were going to face a second drought year in a row early on, but have ended up having a pretty standard season with good late spring snow depths.

Tony was our Grand Prize winner, taking home a Full Epic Pass for the 2014-15 season!

Tony was our Grand Prize winner, taking home a Full Epic Pass for the 2014-15 season!

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A Backcountry Guide to the Loveland Pass

When the ski lifts turn their lights off come late spring, it signals something more in Colorado. Backcountry skiing during the winter consists of a stagnant wave of snow set in motion by a skier’s turn. But come spring, the melt-freeze cycle turns that snow into something as dense as your grandma’s fruitcake, and much more enticing. Spring is the time to take advantage of backcountry skiing, as the risks of avalanches are much less. And the Loveland Pass is a good place to do it. If you’ve yearned to take advantage of Colorado’s best, worst-kept secret, then here’s a backcountry guide to help you access The Pass safely and like a pro.

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Getting There:
The Loveland Pass is located on US-6. From Denver, take I-70 W to US-6 W. Park your car in the parking lot across from the Continental Divide sign and follow others’ tracks to hike in (no more than 100 yards).

Gear:
Always bring a shovel, probe and beacon for backcountry skiing, and ski with a friend. Tell others of your plans too.

Terrain:
The terrain on the front is about 800 vertical feet and requires solid intermediate skills. For the most part, by hiking in no more than 100 yards you should be okay, just follow the tracks of other skiers. About ¼ of a mile out is what’s known as “Idiot’s Cornice” and you should avoid this as it poses the greatest risk for avalanche (five people died there in 2013). Safety tip: don’t hike in more than 100 yards, and ski or ride near tracks of previous skiers.

Hitchin’ a Ride:
The front side funnels down to US-6 (represented by a circle on the map above), and hitching a ride back up to the top is half the fun. Wait times can vary, but a ride always comes along ready and willing to drop you back off at the Continental Divide parking lot. Look for trucks, as they’re pretty much always willing to let you ride in the bed. You can also go up with a group of people (three or more) and alternate driving up and back so that you won’t have to wait.

Insider Tip:
Go during a full moon for moonlight skiing.

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Have fun, be safe and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

How to Save $182 a Day in Summit County

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With late snow and resorts extending their season, this spring is the perfect storm for winter sports enthusiasts. And for more runs with less cash, the greatest value resides in Summit County, notably Copper Mountain and Breckenridge. They’ve both just extended their season to April 27, which means major discounts to get you to the […]

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Three Things to Know about Spring Skiing

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As the end of ski season approaches, skiers and snowboarders have long since welcomed the gentle giant that is spring skiing. Long days, soft snow, and holding-our-breath-hoping-for-snow-and-not-rain characterize the start of this quirky shoulder season. But before we pack away season passes in exchange for backcountry and warm weather gear, it’s time to make our […]

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Opposites Attract: Favorite Runs in Vail Valley

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Talk about polar opposites. These resorts may be right next to one another, but they don’t agree on much. If you’re looking for variety—Vail is the measuring stick for manicured runs and big bowls, while Beaver Creek offers a leisurely getaway with hidden gems.

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Great Places for Late Spring Skiing

Photo property of the Summit Daily

Spring is known for its corn snow—the small, round balls formed by the melt-freeze cycle typical of the season. As the day progresses, the sun turns corn into something velvety and highly-edgeable. To make the most of it, keep this in mind: Follow the sun. Ski bluebird days and start out on east-facing slopes, then […]

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Navigating Heavenly

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Which State to Ski and Epic Season Pass to Pick Standing atop Heavenly’s 10,000 ft. peak, there’s only one thing to decide: ski down the California side or make your way through Nevada. The answer could depend on your allegiance, or the weather. But from where you’re clipped in, one thing remains the same: You’re […]

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