Lift-Accessed Mountain Biking
Trail Preview - Blue Ribbon
Official Lift Opening for Downhill Mountain Biking
Pass Holder Appreciation Day
Live music by the Still House String Band from 4:00PM-6:00PM at the SlopeSide Inn.
Season Pass Holders Benefits:
-2 for 1 Beers and Soda!
-FREE Garlic Knots with the purchase of a large pizza!
-Drawing will include 4 Powderhorn Gift Cards for $25.00
-Chili’s Gift Card Giveaway
-Raffle off a FREE entry into the Pond Skim
The specials will be going all day and the giveaways will start at 4:00PM!
Powderhorn Tree Skiing
Powderhorn Tree Skiing 101
Four days after the most recent late February storm, in a winter filled with recent storms, a friend and I were skiing Powderkeg.
The coverage was fantastic. Despite the springlike temperatures, the deep base was holding up well, with nary a rock or twig poking through. Part way down, we stopped to catch our breath and laugh together before taking off on more quick mogul turns.
Then we looked in the trees.
One hard left later, and a really good ski day turned into one of the best days of the season.
Trees can do that. They’re magical.
A Special Realm
I grew up skiing Powderhorn, and as a child my forays into the forest tended to be, as they are for most kids, brief jaunts into the trees alongside a groomed run.
Kids love this stuff, partially because with their small bodies and short skis they can enter into realm all their own (where adults fear to bonk their heads) and let their imaginations roam.
As an adult, I still feel this way.
Skiing into the forest, you enter a new world.
On sunny days, it’s a land of diffuse light, dappling the snow in elegant patterns. On cloudy or storm days, the woods are a haven offering better visibility and improved perspective.
But the most magical part of skiing the trees? The snow.
Because fewer people ski the glades, the snow is often softer, deeper and lasts longer.
Tree Skiing 101
If you’re ready to start skiing the trees, here are some tips.
The first, from Kate Belknap of the Powderhorn Ski and Snowboard Center, is don’t look at the trees, or as she explains, “if you look at it, you will hit it.”
Our bodies follow our eyes, so train your eyes on the big, open spaces between the trees.
Next, find a good place to practice.
For beginning tree skiers with intermediate to advanced skills, Kate recommends Showdown Trees, a little slice of trees between Showdown and Powderkeg.
Ski right along the edge, weaving into the trees and back out onto the run, or dive into the middle where you’ll find an open line.
Kate describes these trees as “short, open and not intimidating.” Just be aware of other skiers and riders on the runs, so you don’t cause a collision when you come out of the trees.
Another tip is to stay focused and look ahead.
One of the things people love about glade skiing is that you pick your line and commit. The trees aren’t moving, so you must.
This doesn’t mean you have to ski the trees like slalom gates, but you’ll have more fun, and feel more at ease, if you look for a chain of consecutive white spaces and aim for them.
It’s also important to pick the right place and time for glade skiing.
Powderhorn has done a tremendous job of thinning popular glades and creating new tree skiing opportunities. On the mountain, you’ll find everything from wide open aspen glades to forests of steep, tight firs.
Low-angle, widely space aspen glades are, in my opinion, the most forgiving.
The low-angle of the mountain helps you control your speed, while the wide spacing gives you plenty of options. Also, aspens don’t have myriad pesky branches to snag you as you go by or force your turns wider.
Right now, my favorite glades meeting these criteria are between Powderkeg and Yoo Hoo.
For a combination of fir and aspen, check out Racer’s Trees between Racer’s Edge and Showdown.
Over on the West End, you’ll find harder, steeper terrain with tighter glades, and many options for exploration.
Mad Dog Glade is a steep line through old-growth aspen. The tree canopy there is absolutely gorgeous, just be aware of the creek near the bottom.
Once you’ve chosen your place, you must choose your time.
Early season in the trees can be rough with the snow at low tide. Hidden obstacles such as downed trees, stumps, branches, roots and rocks can grab you before you know it.
Stick to named glades which have had more clearing and summer maintenance until the snow gets deep.
And always be alert as you ski, looking ahead for branches and stumps.
A few years ago, when my kids were racing for Powderhorn Racing Club, a regional final was held here.
The race was on hold because of too much new snow (that’s a good problem to have!) and visitors from across Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico were having the times of their lives in the Powderhorn glades.
“I’ve never been here before,” crowed a coach from Winter Park as he swung into the lift line.
“But I’ll be back, this tree skiing is amazing.”
We feel that way after every Powderhorn day.
While we hope these tips will pique your interest in exploring the resort’s famous glades, another great way to start tree skiing is with a lesson from the Powderhorn Ski and Snowboard Center.
Kate Belknap recommends at least a 2-hour private lesson to get started (or, for more bang for your buck, book a full-day private and never feel rushed). Tell the desk staff that you want to ski trees and they’ll take it from there.
Home Loan Business League Race #3 Results
USASA Southwest Series Slopestyle
Powderhorn Business League
Advice for Getting Little Kids Skiing Early
Advice for Getting Little Kids Skiing Early
By Dusti Reimer, mom of three kids ages six and under
I grew up in Iowa and didn’t learn the proper way to snowboard. It’s not Iowa’s fault. There were plenty of certified instructors where I had my first experience snowboarding. I was 18 years old. I skipped school with my guy friends to go learn the art of snowboarding at Sundown Mountain. My introduction to it was a loaner board, and a friend telling me to weave like a leaf. He then left me alone, on the bunny slope, to figure it out for myself like just like he had.
Needless to say, I couldn’t have been sorer from falling for four straight hours. But, I still loved it! I thought that I was still cool.
That love and desire never resulted in me taking lessons, but just continually trying to get better from friends and watching other people. I’m still not great, but I really do enjoy snowboarding. (I do have plans to do the Powderhorn Learn to Ski program next year, and take three full-day lessons!)
I have smaller children now. One of the things I always promised was that they would learn the proper way to ski and snowboard, and by proper I mean I would pay an instructor to teach them.
I learned a lot with my oldest child. He was kind of my test kid. He has amazing athletic ability and so at the ripe old age of four, I decided to put him in a full-day lesson.
HUGE mistake. There is a reason most resorts do not offer full-day group lessons for four year olds, most start at ages five and up. If you think it’s an inconvenience and part of some scheme for them to make a lot of money on private lessons you’d be wrong. Here’s why:
My son wasn’t ready to be thrown into a full-day lesson. He was four. He was exhausted. I should have remembered my first day. I was exhausted. I was sore. I was cold. He was the same, times ten.
His instructor at Powderhorn was simply amazing, but at the end of the second half of the day, my son was crying and whining so bad that I thought I might have scarred him for life. He told me he never wanted to do it again. Parenting fail.
The only bonus from that first day, I thought, was that he slept all the way home.
Two days later, he asked excitedly when he was going skiing again. I was elated-he didn’t hate it after all!
He’s taken all his lessons at Powderhorn and has formed some great relationships and memories to skiing. He can tell you which of his instructors are his “best friends.”
We just needed to remember that maybe a full-day of skiing for a four year old is a lot more intense than we thought, or remember.
Now he’s six and he loves to ski. The moment it starts to snow he wants to know when we’re going skiing at Powderhorn. My 4 year old daughter does, too!
Here are some helpful tips for parents of young children first starting out:
#1. Make sure they’re ready and interested. Don’t just take them because you want them to learn, give them a chance to see what people are doing and ease them into it. Chances are if you do it, they will want to too!
#2. If they are ages three to five, consider starting with a one hour private lesson. After learning from my son’s experience, we took it slow with my daughter. She did one hour private lessons when she was three, because she was interested. One hour was perfect for her little legs. She eased into the sport of skiing and built up the stamina in her legs and confidence in herself. Within the year, she quickly grew to doing two hour lessons, and now we are up to doing a full-day. She loves the idea she’ll be skiing with big brother any day now. The other bonus is if you find that one hour isn’t enough, Powderhorn can easily do an upgrade lesson, which will save you money.
#3. Keep it fun. Keep it simple. Don’t push them too hard. They’re still little. They still need naps and snacks. If you’re planning on hitting the slopes for an all-day ski event with your first time three or four year old, chances are you’re both going to end up frustrated.
#4. Hire a professional. I know that not having the correct technique and understanding of skiing that I’m not the one who should be teaching my children. (I also won’t be teaching them snowboarding either.) I know that the ski instructors at Powderhorn are amazing. They are equipped to teach children at their level. That’s why my children have advanced as quickly as they have. Great teachers! You can ask at the Ski and Ride Center for someone who might be a great fit for your child’s personality. I never thought gummy bears and train whistles could be so much fun, but according to my children, they are the best. Plus, at the end of the lesson, your child gets to walk away with a glorious report card from ski school. My kids were so proud to show me their report cards and wouldn’t leave until one had been filled out.
Remember, it takes a few lessons to get the hang of things. Skiing and snowboarding are lifetime sports, so whether you start your children off at age three, or age 18, you’re sure to find a family friendly sport you’ll enjoy together for generations.
Home Loan Business League Race Series #2 Results Posted!
Results Race #2