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INSIDE: Nordic Skiing B11 Nordic Schedule B8 Cranor Hill B9 Resort Overviews B8-B11 PAGE B12

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2008

WWW.GUNNISONTIMES.COM

Ready, set, smile: Ski season is right around the corner. Crested Butte Mountain Resort fires up its lifts next Wednesday, Nov. 26, while Monarch Mountain is hoping for a couple of good snow cycles to lay down enough of the white stuff to open their notoriously powdery trails. Check out previews of all sorts of downhill and Nordic skiing opportunities throughout the region in today’s ‘Winter Preview.’ Photo courtesy of Scott Smith/Monarch Mountain

We will have winter

CBMR looks to ‘inspire your passion’

As far as the weather outlook, it’s anybody’s guess Bruce ‘Barometer’ Bar tleson Special to the Times

Times Editor Chris Dickey asked me to do a little winter weather prognosticating. Well, I will say this: We will have winter and it might be colder and it might be warmer. We might get a lot of snow and cold like last year, since there is a precedence for harsh winters to come in clusters — as happened in the 1950s and mid-1970s. But, then again, one of the warmest winters in history, 1982-83, was followed by one of the

coldest and snowiest in 1983-84. A fairly severe winter, 1975-76, with 67.5 inches of snow, was directly followed by the infamous “winter of no snow” (10 inches total) in 1976-77. Fall weather is about as good an indicator of the upcoming winter as is Cecil the weather beetle (remember the Beverly Hillbillies?), which I keep in a match box. I’ve been checking on him periodically, and sometimes he’s on his back and sometimes on his feet. So he doesn’t know, either.

After experiencing the resort’s snowiest winter on record last season — with a total of 421 inches of snow and an unprecedented 100 inch base on closing day — Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) has a few changes on tap for the 200809 winter season. Most importantly, CBMR

See Winter on page B8

has committed a higher level of focus on creating an enhanced guest experience. After months of research and development, Crested Butte has a new brand expressed in the tag line, “inspire your passion.” The new brand promise of “inspiring your See CBMR on page B10

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Thursday, November 20, 2008 • WINTER

Gunnison Country Times

PREVIEW • B11

Nordic nation going strong, growing Times Staff Repor t

Yes, even for ski enthusiasts, there is such a thing as too much snow. Such was the case last year for the Gunnison Nordic Club. The persistent, record-setting accumulation made it a little difficult for the club’s cadre of volunteers to keep the trails groomed. “The Gunnison Nordic board is hopeful for a good groomable ski year with a little less snow to be challenged with,” the group reported on its Web site (www. gunnisonnordic.net). The club is completely run by volunteers and raises money for operations through some grants and very affordable memberships ($12 individual, $22 couple and $30 family). Skiing on any of the Gunnison Nordic groomed trails (see below) is free and open to anyone. Groomed Trails Weather permitting, here’s

Ken MacLennan, grooming the W Mtn. Ranch for the um-teenth time last winter.

where Gunnison’s Nordic nation can look forward to going cross country this winter.

•W Mtn Ranch — This trail system begins at the southern boundary of Jorgensen Park. The main artery is the road — W

Mtn. Road — that wraps around the eastern end of the airport runway. From there, the trail system

extends both to the west (on county-owned ranch property) and to the east (on property owned by Dick Bratton, who has kindly allowed grooming and Nordic skiing for the past few winters). This area is great for a quick lunchtime break, or can be extended with multiple loops for a longer outing. •Van Tuyl Ranch — This is a super-scenic ski area, located on the western flanks of town, under the towering Palisades rock formation. Main access is behind the Gunnison Community School or off Slaughterhouse Rd. From there, a network of loops are created on the meadows on land owned by the city. The Gunnison Nordic Club will have double the amount of grooming for classic and skate on the property this winter. •WSC campus — The lower and upper practice fields on campus offer the perfect spot for See Nordic on page B9

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

C sted sstted Butte But ut te te M Moo Average annual snowfall: 250 inches Price: Adult full-day $82 Skiable acres: 1,167 Lifts: 16 Terrain Park: Yes Season: Nov. 26-April 5 Terrain Breakdown: 23 percent beginner, 57 percent intermediate, 20 percent expert Information: skicb.com; 1.800.810.7669 New for 2008-09:

Summit Elevation: 12,162 ft.

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On-mountain improvements could include expanded terrain off the Headwall Lift into the Teocalli Bowl area into what is known as Teo-2 and Teo-2.5, adding additional expert terrain to the mix. Added new and expanded features in the DC Terrain Park and the addition of a completely new intermediate terrain park. The former location of the Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Shop will be transformed into Spellbound Pizza. Fresh pizza, beverages and snacks will be available in the lower level of the Treasury Center to eat on the run or to sit and enjoy.

Base area Elevation Base: 9,375 ft.

Crested Butte

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B10 • WINTER PREVIEW • Thursday, November 20, 2008

CBMR

continued from page B12 passion for adventure” and its implications will be seen resort-wide. Beginning with a new marketing and advertising campaign, the brand will also be reflected in other areas of the resort from signage to employee uniforms, even in the architectural design of future real estate development. “Establishing a new brand message and promise by defining what makes Crested Butte different from other mountain destinations is only the beginning,” said Ethan Mueller, Director of Operations. “Providing higher levels of guest service and standards that match our brand promise is our focus.” The Treasury Center building in the base area has been redesigned to improve a number of guest services. The Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Rental Shop is in a new slope-side location in the Treasury Building. The rental shop and a new retail store include top of the line rental skis and snowboards along with an expanded retail selection. The former location of the Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Shop has been transformed into Spellbound Pizza. Fresh

Gunnison Country Times

pizza, beverages and snacks will be available in the lower level of the Treasury Center to eat on the run or to sit and enjoy. The Outpost Building in the base area has been re-designed and opened as a day lodge for guests. Tables and comfortable seating will allow guests to have more inside space for a break or just to warm up. Elevation Hotel & Spa has completed a $25 million remodel which includes all 260 luxury rooms, 11,000-squarefoot spa and fitness center, slope side sundeck and fire pit and completely new Atmosphere Restaurant & Bar. Snow Igloos, Crested Butte’s new addition to the mountain experience will sprout up around the resort for après ski cocktails or even adventure play areas for the kids. The solid snow structures will be at Camp CB and mid mountain outside the Ice Bar Restaurant. On-mountain improvements could include expanded terrain off the Headwall Lift into the Teocalli Bowl area — known as Teo-2 and Teo-2.5 adding — additional expert terrain to the mix. CBMR’s commitment to providing world class terrain park and pipe facilities continues with the addition of new and expanded features in the DC Terrain Park and the

Crested Butte

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Skiers hike back up the hill during a rail competition last winter. Times file photo

addition of a completely new intermediate terrain park. The Kids’ World ski school is seeing a completely new concept, Camp CB, and significant physical transformation in the facilities. The current building has been taken down to the studs and completely redesigned with the kids in mind. T h i s y e a r ’s i m p ro v e m e n t s a n d enhancements build upon Crested Butte

Mountain Resort’s continued investments in base area and on-mountain improvements over the past four years. New snowmaking, grooming and lift system expansion and improvements along with the completion of the Lodge at Mountaineer Square and Mountaineer Conference Center last season are just part of a $200 million resort-wide capital improvement plan.

Monarch Mountain

nnaarch Moouunti narch nttia

Average annual snowfall: 350 inches Price: Adult full-day $54 Skiable acres: 800 Lifts: 1 quad, 4 doubles Terrain park: Yes Season: Nov. 26-April 12 Terrain breakdown: 14 percent beginner, 28 percent intermediate, 27 percent advanced, 31 percent expert Information: skimonarch. com; 1.888.996.7669 New for 2008-09: This ski season visitors will find a newly remodeled Ski School/Rental Center, a new reservation system, expanded Will Call Center, a new kids terrain park, new and improved signage around the mountain, and an additional 200 acres for you snowcat lovers. Season passes are now available and other areas included on the pass are Loveland, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Silverton, Purgatory, Angel Fire, Pajarito, and Alta.

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Summit Elevation: 11,952 ft. Montrose

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Base area Elevation Base: 10,790 ft.

SKIMONARCH.COM


Thursday, November 20, 2008 • WINTER

Gunnison Country Times

Nordic

continued from page B11 a quick ski workout. •Jorgensen Park — The park is another spot for a quick couple of laps. It, along with the campus area, offers the perfect spot to introduce kids to the sport; i.e., they’re flat, convenient and fun. •Hartman Rocks — Gunnison’s creme de la creme of Nordic skiing. Think mountain biking, only on skis. Dozens of kilometers of super scenic trails offer something for everyone. Main access is offered at the traditional base area, off of Gold Basin Rd. just south of town, or via the McCabe’s Lane entrance west of town. •Mill Creek — For those looking for a longer, more scenic, mini-backcountry getaway, this popular spot is hard to beat. It’s located about 15 miles north of Gunnison, up the Ohio Creek Road. The trails here aren’t groomed nearly as often as the others in the Nordic club’s line-up. But the

dense aspen and spruce forests, framed by the sheer rock formations of the Mill Creek drainage, offer inspiring views. On tap this year •Currently, the Gunnison Nordic Club board is working on the “Ski Room” at Jorgensen Complex. This will be open to the public for self-serve ski waxing, plus provide a place to change, store your stuff and then go ski in Jorgensen or at the W Mtn Ranch. •The Gunnison Nordic Club is now taking requests for ski clinics; skate, classic, neverevers. Based on input they’ll schedule clinics. •50-plus ski clinic, taught by the master, Ken MacLennan. C o n t a c t h i m d i re c t l y a t 641.0488 if interested. •Kenny Mac Ski Fest will be held Saturday, Jan. 24. Racing for all ages and tour from McCabe’s to base area. Goodie bags and bon fire on tap. •Other possible activities include: Adults in training and weekly ski tours, based on interest.

A foot and change kicks Cranor into action Times Staff Repor t

Sixteen inches. That’s about all it takes — in terms of snowfall — for Gunnison’s everpopular Cranor Hill Ski Area to open. “If we get a good eight inch dump, then we can pack the snow down real good and hope for about eight more,” explained Gunnison Parks and Recreation Director Dan Ampietro. Last winter was an epic one at Cranor. A string of early-season snow storms had the crew cranking up the trusty rope-tow on Dec. 21 for opening day. Cranor remained the place for local youngsters, families and more — there was even a Cranor Cup uphill/ downhill marathon — smiling until mid-March. The price at Cranor is always right. Day passes last year ranged from $4 to $6 for kids, and $6 to $8 for adults. The best deal in town was a family pass, at $60 for the first family member and $5 for each additional member. Cranor Hill is located just northeast of the City of Gunnison, on County Rd. 10.

Laid back lift lines might be an understatement at Cranor. Times file photos

Wolf Creek Ski Area Average annual snowfall: 465 inches Price: Adult full-day$52 Skiable acres: 1,600 Lifts: 7 Terrain Park: No Season: Early November to early April Terrain Breakdown: 20 percent beginner, 35 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced, 20 percent expert Information: wolfcreekski.com

PREVIEW • B9

New for 2008-09: For the third consecutive year, Wolf Creek continues to purchase 100 percent of its power usage from a green wind power supplier for both winter and summer operations. Wolf Creek has protected its USFS special use permit by providing the public with an environmentally friendly and well maintained mountain offering quality services at affordable prices.

Crested Butte

With rising fuel prices and increasing environmental concerns, Wolf Creek is introducing a new and free car pool service online. This is a pilot program designed to match up skiers and boarders coming from Anywhere, USA, to the powdery slopes of Wolf Creek. “Share the ride, Share the fun!”

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Summit Elevation: 11,904 ft.

Base Elevation: 10,300 ft.

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Weather

continued from page B12 In some years, it started snowing big early — as in the fall of 1983. But then look at last year, when it stayed warm and dry until Dec. 7. Then all hell broke loose. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 43 years in the Gunnison Valley, it’s that you can’t predict the weather based on past records or what the current season is doing. However, if you want to get a “professional” opinion, you might check out the National Weather Service on-line winter forecast site at http://www.cpc. ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead02/off02_ temp.gif. There, they show that western Colorado is supposed to have a “normal” winter. (Alaska and the upper Midwest will be warmer than usual, or so it says). Keep in mind that last year they were predicting for us a warm and dry winter well into December.

Gunnison Country Times

Crested Butte Nordic Center 2008-09 Event Calendar NOVEMBER 22 Opening day 28-30 CB Nordic 8th annual Thanksgiving training camp 29 Silent auction dinner

DECEMBER 4 Learn to skate ski for free 6 CB Nordic citizens race: The Mountain Store 10K classic race 12 Full moon ski and snowshoe tour — desser t @ yur t 13 CB Nordic citizens Race: The Mountain Store 10K skate race 20 CB Nordic citizens race: The Mountain Store 15K skiathalon

JANUARY 1 Learn to skate ski for free 10 CB Nordic citizens race: The Mountain Store 20K classic 10 Full moon ski and snowshoe tour — desser t @ yur t 17 CB Nordic citizens race: The

Mountain Store 20K skate 31 23rd annual Alley Loop Nordic marathon

FEBRUARY 5 Learn to skate ski for free 9 full moon ski and snowshoe tour — desser t @ yur t 13 CBNC volunteer appreciation par ty 14 The 50k classic

MARCH 5 Learn to skate skiCrested for Butte free 7 CB Nordic super tour: Gothic to Washington Gulch 10 Full moon ski and Montrose Gunnison snowshoe tour — desser t @ yur t 21 CB-Gunnison Junior Nordic team progressive bonfire dinner 28 Elk Mountains Grand Traverse

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Can’t wait Casey Falter of Crested Butte just can’t wait. Last weekend he was doing some pre-season visioning exercises while waiting for his new boots, which he just purchased from Gene Taylor’s, to mold perfectly to his feet. Photo by Erich Walter

APRIL 2 Staff par ty 5 CBNC closing day

Silverton Mountain Durango Mountain Resort Crested Butte

Crested Butte

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Average annual snowfall: Montrose 400 inches Price: $49 (unguided), $99-$129 (guided) Skiable acres: 1,819 Lifts: 1 Terrain Park: No Season: Unguided Nov. 29-Jan. 11 and April 3-April 19. Guided-only skiing Jan. 15-March 29. Terrain Breakdown: 100 percent expert Information: silvertonmountian.com, or 1.970.387.5706 What you should know: Silverton Mountain is a unique mountain Summit experience. There is Elevation: 13,487’ one chairlift that takes Peak of Chair visitors into a high Elevation: 12,300’ Base Montrose alpine environment, Elevation: 10,400’ surrounded by amazing ski lines in every direction. The terrain is entirely for the advanced and expert skier and those who enjoy adventure.

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Crested Butte

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Average annual snowfall: 260 inches Price: Adult full-day $60 Skiable acres: 1,200 Lifts: 9 Terrain Park: Yes Season: Nov. 27-April 5 Terrain Breakdown: 23 percent beginner, 51 percent intermediate, 26 percent advanced/expert

Durann D

sted Butte

B8 • WINTER PREVIEW • Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buy 2 nights of January lodging at a participating Durango Mountain Resort property and 2 days of lift tickets and receive the 3rd day and night FREE.

Call 800-525-0892 or visit www.durangomountainresort.com Package valid for the entire month of January 2009. Package must be booked on or before 12/15/08. Subject to availability, package applies to certain unit types.

Information: durangomountainresort.com, 1.800.525.0892 New for 2008-09:

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Some previously existing buildings are gone, and in their place new buildings are taking shape. It’s part of Durango’s 20-year $100 million Master Plan.

Summit Elevation: 10,822 ft.

Base Elevation: 8,793 ft.

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Gunnison County

Winter Preview  

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