2017-18 Colorado Ski Season Opening

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, A-Basin, has won the first-to-open competition for this season. The resort is scheduled to open this Friday, announcing that the Black Mountain Express lift will turn at 9 a.m., giving skiers and snowboarders access to the intermediate High Noon trail. A-Basin mountain operations will continue to make snow as weather permits to open additional terrain. Loveland and A-Basin were the first mountains in Summit and Clear Creek counties to make snow this year, kicking off operations on Sept. 25. Unlike other ski areas, Loveland and A-Basin don't set opening dates, opting instead to spin lifts soon.…

Disputed Facts Result in Settlement

A 2016 ski collision involving a Snowmass Village resident and a New Mexico man volunteering as a guide for disabled veterans resulted in a federal lawsuit. The case illustrates how complicated the dynamics of a ski collision can be. The controlling rule typically is that the uphill skier has the duty to avoid the downhill skier. But skiers also have a duty to not stop or position themselves in a blind spot. In the reported fact pattern, the downhill skier with the tethered disabled vet allegedly stopped below a ridge on the trail, not visible to uphill skiers. The uphill…

Village at Wolf Creek Blocked Again

A federal court has once again blocked a land exchange key for the development of The Village at Wolf Creek. The Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, a three-decade project pursued by Texas billionaire B.J. “Red” McCombs, is seeking the construction of more than 1,700 units that could house about 8,000 people near the Wolf Creek Ski Area. This week, Judge Richard P. Matsch denied a request from lawyers representing the proposed development to reconsider a decision he issued in May. The judge found that the agency tried to circumvent its obligation by relying on a law that requires it provide access to…

Smith Ski Helmets Recalled

A good ski helmet is essential when enjoying the slopes, but even when you purchase a high-end name brand you might not be protected. Smith has voluntarily issued a recall for all 2016 and 2017 Smith Quantum ski and snowboard helmets. They were sold in in sizes S, M, L and XL in matte black/charcoal, matte white/charcoal, matte Fire (red) /charcoal, matte Klein Blue (blue), matte olive green, matte Reactor (bright green) /black and matte Thunder gray (gray) color combinations. Consumers should look for Smith Quantum printed on a label inside the helmet along with the manufacturing dates. The buckle…

Continued Conglomeration of Major Ski Resorts

A joint 7/31/17 press release from KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Co. announced the completion of the acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings and Mammoth Resorts. A new company has been formed, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which now owns 12 mountain resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California; Steamboat Ski & Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario; Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec; Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia. The Crown family also owns the Aspen…

Fatal Colorado Lift Accident

An lift accident involving two youngsters and one female adult occurred at Ski Granby Ranch this morning. Around 9:30AM, the three guests fell from a chair on the Quickdraw Express lift. Local reports identify the family as visiting from Texas, the three victims included a 40-year-old mother and daughters aged 9 and 12 years old. The Granby Police Department issued a press release confirming that the mother had died as a result of the fall. One of the children was transported by Flight for Life to Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. The other child remains at Middle Park Medical Center…


Ski Rage Results in Lawsuit

Last Valentine’s Day, a 12-year-old fell while skiing at Mountain Creek, a small ski resort in New Jersey. The youngster slid into Samuel Caruthers and his child. Caruthers, an anesthesiologist, responded in a fit of “ski rage”. The prosecutor's office stated that the doctor repeatedly punched the boy in the face and poked him in the chest with the pointed end of a ski pole. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the boy visibly injured. Samuel Caruthers was then indicted by a Sussex County grand jury in May on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a…

Return of the Ski Train

State officials and Winter Park staff recently announced that weekend passenger train service between Denver’s Union Station and Winter Park Ski Resort will begin Jan. 7, 2017.  The ski train was launched by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1940 to serve the newly opened Winter Park ski area. From 1940 until 2009, it offered skiers from the front range the opportunity to skip the infamous clog of traffic on I-70. With the addition of the train line from DIA to Union Station, the new ski train will also allow out-of-state skiers to avoid driving altogether. The ski train…

Extreme Skier Dies in Chilean Avalanche

Swedish professional skier Matilda Rapport was in Farellones, Chile last week when she was caught in a winter storm and then buried in an avalanche. On July 14 she was filming for a new videogame by Ubisoft, Steep. Sponsored by Red Bull, the 30-year-old was recently married. Red Bull issued a statement that Rapport was hospitalized but eventually succumbed to the result of oxygen deprivation. A sad reminder that even the professionals cannot predict the dangers of extreme skiing.