Even the Grinch left home alone in the White House, stewing because Santa didn’t leave a border wall under his tree, wasn’t able to put a damper on the festive holiday season in the Vail Valley, where all we want for Christmas is snow, snow and more snow.
In my last post, I noted that several more inches of fresh fluff were in the forecast, and once again the Snow Gods delivered with a low-level powder day on Christmas Eve and another storm heading into valley Wednesday night. I also riffed on what celebs were in town for the holidays.
Actress Kate Bosworth will reportedly ring in the New Year here in the Vail Valley, and another actor (and comedian) to keep an eye out for locally is the great Eddie Murphy, who apparently is a somewhat frequent visitor. I’ll keep my ears open for any other celebs in town this season and pass along any deets.
They’ll likely have some more soft snow to ride on Thursday as forecasters call for a few more inches overnight Wednesday, followed by very cold temps into the weekend and then another storm on New Year’s Eve. Be sure to go to the Colorado Daily Snow for in-depth forecasting.
Thus far this season, Vail has received more than 10 feet of snow (131 inches) and Beaver Creek is approaching the 10-foot mark with 112 inches. That puts us a little above average at both resorts and well ahead of the abysmal snow levels at this stage of the past two ski seasons.
There haven’t been any truly monster dumps so far this season – no two- to three-foot poundings of powder over one or two days. But we’ve had lots of little five- and six-inch storms rolling through every few days, and that’s kept the mountains soft and very skiable.
All of it adds up to a ski season that’s remarkably ahead of where we were at this time last year, with the Back Bowls still closed and snow riders ranging far and wide to find something resembling a typical Vail snow year. For instance, I headed all the way up to Whistler for the holidays last season.
No need this season – and that’s been a blessing – but climate change is a consideration these days, and Vail is hedging its bets by moving forward with increased snowmaking. Under a new plan, Vail will up its snowmaking capacity 52 percent to 686 skiable acres, or more than the entire skiable surface of Aspen Mountain (676).
On the topic of Whistler and climate change, Allen Best’s recap of a battle between the Canadian resort town and its neighboring fossil-fuel-producing companies is worth a read on his Mountain Town News site. Seems oil and gas producers don’t like to be scolded when the tourism industry should be shouldering its fair share of carbon-spewing blame.
Which brings us full circle to the Individual 1 in the West Wing who’s doing his best to Scrooge us all this holiday season. My 12-year-old, who loves to ski and still believes a little bit in Santa (no thanks to the orange Grinch), asked the jolly elf for some concrete climate-change solutions for Christmas. He knows better than to ask the climate-change-denier-in-chief.