Colorado’s mountain snowpack is back above average after a series of late-March storms marched through the state and deposited plenty of powder on the high peaks in the northern and central Rocky Mountains. Another storm is set to roll through just in time for the busy Easter weekend.
But all that snow (more than three feet in the Vail Valley since the beginning of last week) means there is moderate to considerable avalanche risk in Colorado’s backcountry, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Anyone venturing into the side or especially backcountry adjacent to ski areas or beyond should be prepared with proper avalanche gear and working knowledge of snow safety.
Wednesday at Beaver Creek, big spring break and pre-Easter crowds quickly tracked up in-bounds runs, sending droves of snow riders out backcountry access gates in Royal Elk Glade, Stone Creek Chutes and other areas. Those crowds will likely be even bigger this weekend after Denver digs out following a massive blizzard hit that area. Forecasters are calling for more snow Thursday night through Saturday night.
“Initially this snow will be focused on the northern mountains which might see a low-to-moderate powder day on Friday, then the snow should continue southward, and most areas from I-70 south to the central and southern mountains should have a powder day on Saturday,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Thursday morning. “After this storm, Sunday and Monday will be dry, then another storm will bring snow from next Tuesday through next Friday (exact timing of the heaviest snow is still uncertain).”
There is a lot of pent-up demand for powder turns after a great early season (December and January) gave way to a mostly dry and sunny month of February and first part of March. Now winter is back with a serious vengeance, and it looks as if very good snow conditions will persist through closing day at Vail and Beaver Creek on Sunday, April 10.
Here’s a press release from Vail Resorts on all the new snow, late-season deals and spring events:
VAIL, Colo. – March 24, 2016 – Vail Mountain has received 16” of fresh powder in the last 48 hours and 29” of new snow in the last week. Open Snow meteorologist, Joel Gratz, forecasts that a series of storms may return to Vail again Thursday and Friday evening with potential for 3-13” of fresh snow heading into the weekend.
More than 5,200 acres of open terrain, new snow, and full lineup of events, combine to provide terrific spring skiing conditions at Vail for the remainder of the season.
Taste of Vail: March 30-April 2
The Taste of Vail is the nation’s premier spring food and wine festival, held at several venues throughout the iconic ski destination. During the annual four-day event, guests are able to “taste the Vail Valley lifestyle,” which showcases Vail’s sophisticated resort village and world-class dining options. For more information visit, www.tasteofvail.com/.
Pink Vail: April 2, 2016
Pink Vail™ is the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer. Enjoy live music, a costume contest, themed deck parties and the Celebration Ski Down on Vail Mountain. All ages and abilities can participate, and skiing is not required. All proceeds benefit patient care and survivorship programming at Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Bust out your pink attire for a good cause. For more information visit, www.pinkvail.com.
Vail Film Festival: April 7-10
The Colorado Film Institute’s mission is to foster independent film through film screenings, panels, workshops, networking events, and educational projects. The Colorado Film Institute stages the Vail Film Festival on an annual basis in Vail, Colorado as the primary outlet for the Institute’s initiatives. For more information visit, www.vailfilmfestival.com.
Spring Back to Vail: April 8-10, 2016
Springtime in the Rockies welcomes warmer temperatures, stellar skiing conditions, grilling out at various on-mountain decks and, of course, awesome events. Spring Back to Vail, the annual spring bash celebrating the close of the winter season, returns to Vail for its thirteenth year. Enjoy a jam-packed day of action including the World Pond Skimming Championships, a free concert by the Chris Robinson Band, sponsor Expo Village, an on-mountain luau, aprés parties, giveaways, and so much more. End the season in style with some serious fun under the sun at Spring Back to Vail. For more information visit, www.vail.com/springback.
Sunshine & Savings: Save up to 50% on Spring Travel
There’s still time to get one more trip in this spring, and there’s still time to save, with the Sunshine & Savings lodging deal. Save up to 50 percent on spring travel. Book online at www.vail.com/lodging.
Be ready in 2016-2017 with the Epic Pass
Skiers can already begin to plan for 2016-2017 – including those serendipitous powder days. The Epic Pass returns for the 2016-2017 season, again leading the industry in value. Available for just $809 for adults, purchasing now locks in savings of up to 35 percent versus individual lift tickets. Purchasing in the spring unlocks Buddy Tickets – providing six friends or family members with discounted single day lift tickets. With just one pass, guests are ready to explore more than 32,000 acres of terrain across 13 world-class resorts in the U.S. and abroad – including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. Each resort delivers a unique experience, iconic institutions, and impeccable service. Please visit EpicPass.com to purchase the Epic Pass or to learn about all Epic Pass options, such as Epic 7-Day, Epic 4-Day and Epic Local passes.