Colorado Ski Season Heading Into Prime Stretch

Rick Langenberg

The Colorado ski season is heading into peak time, as we move into early March, a great time to hit the slopes before we really get invaded by obnoxious spring breakers and St. Patty partiers. Bad combination, but some definite good festivities on our Colorado mountains. Still, and whether you enjoy a Guinness beer or Irish jig or not, avoid the busy weekends.


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 later this month and April. After a slight letdown, the ski mountains in Summit and nearby areas, such as Breck, Keystone and Copper Mountain got hammered last weekend. As a result, area skiers are registering no complaints.


Based on the most recent reports, Crested Butte and Vail emerged as the prime powder gold champs, with a combined strike of some 30-plus inches. In fact, the Butte is just hitting the jackpot with snow this year.


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-55 Inches, Runs Open 67, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

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

Arapahoe Basin:  Snow Base-58 Inches, Runs Open 141, Percentage of Terrain Open 97

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

Loveland: Snow Base-52-53Inches, Runs Open 94, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments:  Another great local gem, pounded with considerable snow and like A-Basin, stays open well longer than other mountains. 12 inches of snow in past six days.

Breckenridge:  Snow Base-53 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.  Eight inches of snow in last six days.

Keystone: Snow Base-45 Inches, Runs Open 130 Percentage of Terrain Open 100

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

Copper Mountain: Snow Base-58 Inches, Runs Open 155, Percentage of Terrain Open 100

Comments:  Probably the best laid-out mountain; great back bowls, although access is sometimes tricky. 12 inches of snow in last six days.

Ski Cooper: Snow Base-36 to 46 Inches, Runs Open 63,  Percentage of Terrain Open 98

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. Six inches of snow in past six 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.  15 inches of snow in past six days.

Aspen (Aspen, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands):  Snow Base-49 to 83 Inches, Runs Open 83 to 117, Percentage of Terrain Open 87 to 100

Comments:  Check out Aspen Highlands for diversion and views from the top.   Snowmass probably the best mountain in state for blue skiers. Much better conditions reported at both the Highlands and Snowmass. About five inches in past three days at most Aspen area mountains.

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

Comments:  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.  23 inches of snow in last six days.

Telluride: Snow Base-53 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. Six inches of snow past 6 days.

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