Current Colorado Winter Outlook

Below is a map of Colorado that blew me away. I knew it was a low snow year so far for Colorado, but to look at this map just plan hurts. Not only are we 70% of our average snow fall, but we are  91% of last years snow fall. Never in my wildest dream could I imagine that last year would be better then this year, but that is the case so far.

To top it off it’s not looking good until the end of the month. On January 23th it looks like a storm will finally hit the West Coast. It is anyone’s guess if it will hit Colorado as long range weather models are very unpredictable and the weather pattern has been trending mainly North of Colorado. Even worse is the thought of this drought that has plagued the area for about two years now. At this rate our reservoirs and rivers will be struggling to fill up. I can not imagine the Blue Mesa Reservoir any worse then last year, and my sail boat can not either. Check out the Colorado reservoir storage graph for a more detailed look at all the reservoirs in Colorado and there percentage of capacity.

On the positive side, if you are willing to travel most other ski areas around the west are doing much better. Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Wyoming are near or above average. Below is a graph illustrating this.

Also check out this graph which illustrates the previous 3 winters, the current winter, and the median and averages. You can see how slow of a start we had, and also how big December was. the graph speaks for itself.

I keep hearing how bad the conditions are in Colorado right now from friends, on the news, and online forecasting sites. Is bike season right around the corner for Colorado? I think not as we still have three more months left. All we need is a few good dumps and the resorts will be skiing well again. Until then, pray for snow!

December Review

December was a very fun month for lift service skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR). It was a very gloomy first week or so of December. All I heard around town and on the mountain was, “it’s just like last year” or “I’m about to move.” There was no hiding that it was a very bad start, but it had to snow and it would eventually.  CBMR only had the Red Lady Express Lift open to start the month, which is a lift that services beginner and intermediate terrain, and needed a substantial amount of snow to open some of the more steep terrain on the Mountain. Then came December 9th, 7 Fresh inches blanketed the mountain, bringing every deprived powder hound to fill the morning Mountain Express buses and lift lines. Little did we know, we all woke up for nothing as every inch of new snow had been groomed to help create a solid snow base. I was mad at the time but luckily for us, it kept snowing. The next storm, which started December 14th and ended the 19th, dropped 28 inches.

CBMR Ski Patrol was working hard at getting terrain open, but being very cautious as they should with a persistent weak faceted layer of snow from early November. I heard a lot of disrespect towards CBMR Ski Patrol. Living in the valley for 5 years now it seems that CBMR Ski Patrol has a reputation for being slow. I see it as being conservative, and I think that’s a good thing when it comes to safety and the long term. We live in such a tight-knit community and any tragic incident would effect many people. Take your time, because life is precious. I am actually very surprised they opened some bony terrain so early. Anyways, more and more terrain opened and eventually Silver Queen Express Lift, East River Express Lift, Paradise Lift and everything in between (excluding Horseshoe, Westwall, and Bakery/Crossers). When it was all said and done, my snow count recorded 51″ for the month of December. Now I could be off with these totals as I recorded what the Pow Cam said every day at 3:55pm. I do believe the first inch on the CBMR Pow Cam is more like an inch and a half but I record what it shows me. So maybe we did receive the 60″ that the resort reported for the month of December. Either way it was a very fun month and mountain biking season took an abrupt halt until the spring.

I would love to share with you my first movie edit with my new Contour +2. Bare with me as I am new to this, but boy did I have a fun time doing it. I’m still working out kinks with mounting angles on my helmet, but just enjoy some fun times and some laughs in the month of December.

If you have time try and load it with 1080p it will make a difference! 🙂