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Yet another great powder day at Beaver Creek

March 31, 2016, 1:24 pm
plunging into Alta Chutes 033116

Getting ready to jump into the Alta Chutes outside of Royal Elk Glade at Beaver Creek (David O. Williams photo).

My goal every ski season is a modest one: I like to spend a month out of every year on skis, so at least 30 days. I hit that mark on Thursday, and also surpassed the 300,000-vertical-foot plateau — giving me an average daily total of 10,000 feet.

If you’re a hardcore ski bum, you sneer at these numbers. In fact, one friend of mine easily just flew by the million-vertical-foot mark, and I know a lot of Vail Valley residents who record upwards of 50, 60, 70 or even more days on skis. That’s great, but I’m into quality over quantity.

Rarely do I venture out if there’s no new snow on the slopes. I have the same “four-or-more-out-the-door” rule I’ve subscribed to my entire four-decade ski career, so basically you can look at my tally of ski days and tell how many powder days there were this past season.

Thursday at Beaver Creek was another incredibly fluffy day, with 8 inches new after 6 the day before, and it continued to snow lightly throughout the day, so it’s still cold and snowing — meaning Friday could be yet another nice powder day (or at least morning). After that, forecasters say things will dry out through the weekend.

“More snow will fall on Thursday, so conditions should stay soft through the day and Friday morning could also offer untracked turns for some mountains,” meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote on Thursday morning. “Friday through Monday will be dry, then the next storm should focus on northern and central Colorado next Tuesday through Wednesday night. Another storm is possible next weekend or early the following week.”

That means the current run of powder days that started in mid-March should continue at least through next week, if not beyond. Beaver Creek closes in a little over a week (on Sunday, April 10), so get out and enjoy it while you can. Otherwise, there’s always Vail, which on Wednesday extended its ski season by a week, pushing closing day back till Sunday, April 17.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning energy, environmental, political, entertainment, outdoor and sports writer based in the Vail Valley. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, LA Weekly,, SKI Magazine, Powder and People Magazine. He also regularly contributes to The Colorado Statesman and Atlantic Media's

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