No. of Recommendations: 24
Hello fellow snow-lovers!

On The Hill

Saturday at Breckenridge - lots of terrain and lots of lift capacity, two high speed quads, and the double 6 chair - no lines at all. Breck opens natural snow terrain very quickly, it's a super thing. You are skiing over grass and rocks, but it's really fun. If you don't want to go off-roading, you can easily avoid the thin runs because they all have clear signs. I just wish it were a little steeper. This is a really good place to go now if you are just getting started and want to learn how to ski/ride.

Saturday Night - dinner at Eric's (again). I love that place, but I've had everything on the menu at least five times. I found out about a free newspaper for Summit County; you can get it in front of restaurants and gas stations and such. It has loads of two-for-one dinner coupons in it. You have to get it in the morning though, cause they'll run out.

We stayed the night at Breckenridge Mountain Lodge for $63.00. That included a full buffet breakfast for two. What a great deal!

Sunday morning at Keystone - Mozart is now open on the back side. Wow - fast run. It is served by the new Ruby six chair. Keystone still isn't running the chairs at full capacity. On the Ruby chair, they would only let every other chair be loaded, which effectively turned the six chair into a three chair. It did have the shortest wait of all three chairs that were running. Keystone claims to have five lifts running, but one of them if a fifty-foot long poma on the bunny hill and the other is also a very short fixed grip in the beginner area.

Sunday afternoon at Loveland: Didn't ski, but did notice that they were still only running one chair. Had a great time in the bar at Loveland Valley though. Hobnobbed with racers from all over the world. There was a Swedish guy watching the band play funk/reggae/blues looking mystified. Actually seeing the racing would have involved hiking at least 400 yards up the run, which wasn't going to happen on my dead legs. Only the racers and the people with press passes could actually ride the chair up. I met the editor of Ski magazine there and emailed him a few of these reports. Maybe he'll pony up for me to go heli-skiing in BC.

Favorite Person of the Week

A couple of years ago I was riding the gondola up at Steamboat Springs and I met a really sweet girl named Issy LaLeve. She was a successful young racer, already traveling around the country to race and train. She mentioned her older sister Caroline who is already on the pro circuit. I have been watching and waiting ever since then to hear news of her.

So anyway, I'm standing at the bar in Loveland Valley talking to the US Ski Team coach and I mentioned her name. He points to the next table and says there she is! So I chatted with her for a few minutes - she was very disappointed to have placed fourth. I like that attitude! We should all look for her at Salt Lake City, I think. I hope she gets to the weight room and puts a little more muscle on her quads before then, she looks a little skinny to me.

Chatter – Safety

I guess you all know how annoyed I am at Keystone's clever attempt to keep us safe by keeping us in the lift line and off the runs. I was standing in the Ruby line and a ski patrol guy asked how I liked it. I told him I liked it better at every other resort in Summit County where I could ski. He retorted that I could go home and leave more room for everybody else. I hope that guy's rescue skills are better than his resort hospitality skills. I guess his question was rhetorical and I should have just nodded my head and smiled.

I want to talk about safety, because my not so humble opinion is that education is the key to the whole issue. First the obvious - the Skier/Rider Responsibility Code:

1) Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

2) People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

3) You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.

4) Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.

5) Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

6) Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

7) Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.

All of the above items are no-brainers. In Colorado they are also the law. But I also want to talk about what the more advanced skiers/riders can be thinking about. Especially now in early season when all we really have are blue runs. I actually feel much safer on black runs. People ski them more carefully and you won't see too many people without basic skills there. On the blues, we love to go fast, but we just have to remember the incredible variety of skill levels that you'll see on the same run.

Always remember that someone might be right behind you, so it's important to keep your pattern of turns as consistent as you can as you work the hill. If you want to work a different line, give a quick glance over your shoulder to make sure nobody is right on your tail. The same goes for stopping. If you are skiing fast and want to stop to rest, give it a quick glance up hill first. It's not the rules; it's just plain smart.

I like to stop right behind the big orange SLOW signs for a couple of reasons. First, it's a safe place to be, and second, it usually marks the beginning of a steeper change that I want to have a look at. Don't get me wrong, I love skiing blind and launching over these drops, but there could always be some poor five-year-old that just yard-saled there. I would rather die myself than hurt a little kid.

We have to take care of each other on the hill. If you want to go all out, wait for a good stretch that you can see completely, maybe 2-300 yards long and go for it. But as soon as you can't see what's ahead of you, for heaven's sake, slow down. Always imagine the worst case scenario - something like two beginners traversing in opposite directions.

I guess I ought to say something about skiing the blue runs along the tree-lines. I do it a lot - the snow is nice there and it's interesting. The thing is that it's REALLY dangerous. So if you're doing it, please be double, triple, quadruple careful! Go into hyper-awareness of everything around you. Don't go all out either; just take it down a notch.

Okay, that's my safety lecture for the season. Thanks for putting up with it. Now go have fun!

News & Real Deals

Vail opens today on the front side. Game Creek Bowl will open this Saturday. Someone recently told me they had one of their best powder days ever in Game Creek Bowl and it was before Christmas. My early season experience with Vail has not been so good - from the highway you can see shrubbery growing on the ski runs in November. They are advertising free parking until November 21. We've been parking in the Betty Ford Alpine Park lot though and that's free all the time.

Next Day Out

We'll be skiing for a whole week starting on Saturday! Winter Park: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Breckenridge/Keystone: Monday, Wednesday. Aspen: Saturday, Sunday.

The weather forecast for Saturday is looking like snow again, so bundle up. I am now wearing a VERY bright yellow Boeri helmet, so I am easily located.

As always, all of you are welcome to join us anytime for fun on the hill. Also, if you would like to stop receiving this email - just drop me a line. If you know anyone else that might want to get this report just send me their email and I'll add them to the list.

Miriam

...See you on the slopes...

Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think of this report. What do you like? What don't you like?

Ski Areas

Arapahoe Basin
Http://www.arapahoebasin.com/inside.php3
Sat, Dec 2

Aspen Highlands
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
Sat, Dec 16

Ajax
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
Sat, Nov 18

Beaver Creek
Http://www.beavercreek.com/
Fri, Nov 17

Breckenridge (1)
Http://www.breckenridge.com/
Open

Berthoud Pass
Http://www.berthoudpass.com/main.html


Buttermilk
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
Sat, Dec 16

Copper Mountain (1)
http://www.ski-copper.com/Home.html
Open

Loveland (1)
Http://www.skiloveland.com/
Open

Keystone (2)
Http://www.keystoneresort.com/
Open

Snowmass
Http://www.skiaspen.com/
Sat, Nov 18

Vail
Http://www.vail.com/
Open

Winter Park/Mary Jane
Http://www.skiwinterpark.com/
Open

Wolf Creek
http://www.wolfcreekski.com/welcome.html
Open


Colorado Ski & Golf

(303) 337-1734
2680 S Havana Street
Aurora

(303) 420-0885
6530 Wadsworth Bypass # 130
Arvada


Gart Sports

(303) 741-9621
9000 E Peakview Avenue
Englewood near Arapahoe Rd & I25

(303) 220-9933
2690 E County Line Road
Littleton

(303) 692-0121
2496 S Colorado Boulevard
Denver

(303) 340-3524
14401 E Exposition Avenue
Aurora

(303) 341-4305
14200 E Alameda Avenue
Aurora

(303) 333-4123
3000 E 1st Avenue # 123
Denver

(303) 333-1933
233 Milwaukee St
Denver

(303) 933-9005
8055 W Bowles Avenue # 4
Littleton

(303) 972-0350
8501 W Bowles Avenue
Littleton

(303) 861-1122
1001 Lincoln Street
Denver (Sports Castle)

(303) 922-5549
7200 W Alameda Avenue
Lakewood

(303) 431-8537
7400 W 52nd Avenue # A
Arvada

(303) 920-2226
251 W 104th Avenue
Denver


Christy Sports

(303) 708-8535
9609 E County Line Road # A
Englewood

(303) 740-7055
5926 S Holly Street
Englewood

(303) 321-3885
201 University Boulevard
Denver

(303) 972-0432
8176 W Bowles Avenue
Littleton

(303) 237-6321
875 Parfet St
Lakewood

(303) 271-0155
14371 W Colfax Avenue
Golden







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