Colorado Ski Season Heading Into Prime Stretch

Rick Langenberg

The Colorado ski season is heading into prime time, as we move into late February, a great time to hit the slopes before we get invaded by spring breakers. Try to avoid the busy times, such as President’s Day weekend.

Conditions are great for our prime mountain slopes, courtesy of another El Nino year that pounds our ultra-high country region, while leaving us rather unscathed, until March and April. The ski mountains haven’t got quite the pounding they did earlier, but still certain areas received an extra snow bonus in the last week. Unfortunately, the storm southern Colorado and Denver got invaded by didn’t quite strike the prime Summit County mountains, such as Keystone, A-Basin and Breck.  But all in all, skiers are registering no complaints.

Based on the most recent report, Crested Butte, Monarch and Telluride emerged as the prime powder winners.

On a regular basis, and with the help of local sponsor 315 Survival, your prime local spot for skin tuning, equipment and needed advice. Make sure to pay them a visit, prior to your next trip to the mountain. 315 is located in the Safeway shopping center and sports unique outdoor equipment, and right now is doing some prime ski tuning.

TMJ will publish the most updated reports, based on updates from leading online sources.  If anyone has any good ski stories , or tidbits to share with us, email us at

A couple of requirements: Don’t ever take any pointers from TMJ staff members. I (Rick Langenberg, editor) was fired years ago as a family tour guide after a lost sojourn into the back slopes of Snowmass that almost took on glimpses of Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” disaster.

But don’t waste any time, talk to Eric and 315 Survival and then hit the slopes; tell your employers you are sick, as mid-week trips are best. Throughout the next few months, we will offer regular reports and needed anecdotes along the way.

Enjoy our many Power Days.

The following is the most updated ski information as of last weekend, regarding some of our favorite mountains, based on the Colorado Ski Country and Colorado Ski Central websites, along with our own analysis. Enjoy.


Monarch: Snow Base-56 Inches, Runs Open 67, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: The locals favorite place for snow; shorter runs than most places, but very convenient. Eleven inches of snow in last seven days.


Arapahoe Basin: Snow Base-52 Inches, Runs Open 137, Percentage of Terrain Open 94

Comments: Never a bad day at the Basin; parking sometimes a problem. Pick a day, though, with sun, as sometimes gets really cold. Two inches of snow in last four days.


Loveland: Snow Base-47 Inches, Runs Open 90, Percentage of Terrain Open 96

Comments: Another great local gem, pounded with considerable snow and like A-Basin, stays open well longer than other mountains. Two inches of snow in past four days.


Breckenridge: Snow Base-49 Inches, Runs Open 187, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: Call in sick during week; try to avoid Breck on the weekend, but can’t beat the close distance from Teller County and their local happenings. Six inches of snow in last five days.


Keystone: Snow Base-41 Inches, Runs Open130 Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: Ideal mountain for families and kids. Underestimated for the great amount of tree runs. Four inches of snow in the last five days.


Copper Mountain: Snow Base-52 Inches, Runs Open 155, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: Probably the best laid-out mountain; great back bowls, although access is sometimes tricky. Three Inches of snow in last five days.


Ski Cooper: Snow Base-32 to 43 Inches, Runs Open 64, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: Secret gem for telemark skiing; and for advanced intermediates, check out the Snowcat tours. Can’t beat the small, family atmosphere, almost brings back memories of skiing before the big resorts. Two inches of snow in past seven days.


Vail: Snow Base-70 Inches, Runs Open 275, Percentage of Terrian Open 100

Comments: Colorado’s biggest and most well-known mountain resort. Great, but try during the week due to the crowds. Five Inches of snow in past five days.


Aspen (Aspen, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands): Snow Base-43 to 68 Inches, Runs Open 45 to 117, Percentage of Terrain Open 96 to 100

Comments: Check out Aspen Highlands for diversion and views from the top and some really crazy skiers. Snowmass probably the best mountain in state for blue skiers, while Aspen boasts some of the steepest runs in the state. Much better conditions reported at both the Highlands and Snowmass. Not much snow reported in last three days.


Crested Butte: Snow Bass-58 Inches, Runs Open 160, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments: Probably one of the best kept secrets of Colorado ski mountains. The acclaimed T-Bars, access to the Butte’s Extreme Limits Terrain is now open. Tours are often provided to this section, under guided supervision. Worth checking out, if you are an advanced intermediate-plus skier. Get your snow legs ready. Eleven inches of snow in last five days.


Telluride: Snow Base-50 to 54 Inches, Runs Open 144, Percentage of Terrain Open 98

Comments: Their blacks are definite blacks, so Plunge down the Plunge run with care. No mountain in Colorado rivals the views at Telluride. Thirteen inches of snow past five days.

If anyone has info they would like to submit for our ski reports, contact us at