What’s it lookin’ like in the mountains? This seems to be the question I’ve started getting again in phone and text messages, in emails. Of course, everybody wants to know if there’s snow up here in Vail, Colorado. If it’s currently snowing. What the road conditions are. And—most importantly—want to ski? The gist of my response right now is: yes, people, it’s snowing. But there’s barely any snow cover. So it’s best to go climbing for a few more weeks, and then I’ll be psyched to ski knee-deep powder with you—in January. I know that’s not a hard-core skier’s response, and you know I love to ski. In fact, I’m planning on getting back on skis this weekend for a hut trip. To be honest, though, skiing isn’t really all that fun when there’s only one lift open, and the mountain is more covered in ice than snow. I’ve been spoiled by this place, you know. I’ll wait for the good stuff to fall and then ski off the mountain within a five-minute walk of my apartment. But there has to be a good base first.
In answer to your question. Right now, out my front door, it looks like this:
Actually, I took this photo a few days ago, but you get the point. It’s snowing. However, you can still see grass sticking through it all. I live just off the West Vail exit from I-70, so the hill in the distance isn’t anything near the scope of Vail mountain, but imagine that the mountain’s not much better, okay?
A few hours later, there was more coverage, and you can see that a few inches have accumulated on my porch. This is a start. It needs to snow like this every day for a few weeks before the conditions are really good. Last night, temps were down to 6˚F on my drive home from work, so the good news is that the ground is freezing, and whatever falls will now start to stick. So call me in a few weeks if you want to go ski. And in the meantime, let the shoveling begin…