The Thanksgiving weekend ushered the Headwaters of the Colorado region into winter with a couple of waves of welcome snow. The upper valley floors are finally white for what is hoped to be the remainder of the winter. The latest snow came with enough moisture and moderate winds to provide a good base for future accumulations.
Cold has continued to maintain freshness, especially away from urban areas and with slight elevation. With the bulk of the snow falling on Saturday, many of the holiday guests had moved on before the trails have gotten heavily trafficked. If traveling beyond the inner loops of trails, expect to break your own trail for a while, as the trails during this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally see relatively lighter visitation.
Prior to recent storms, the trail base in popular areas had been widely packed, providing excellent support for the fluff above. Rocks are becoming fewer, but it is good to remember that it is still November in the Rocky Mountains, and if you like your best ski bases to remain smooth, it is best to stay on the rock skis a bit longer. Conversely, if you remain on relatively flat road grades that you know are free of irregularities, the risk of gouging your P-tex bases is lowering.
Predictions suggest we will have the chance of snow in the forecast for the coming week. The cloud cover can keep average temperatures warmer. Though the skies and forecast seem pregnant with possibility, we are not expected to see any significant accumulations. That is the nature and strength of our valley though – we often get small but frequent layering that keep conditions fresh, build up in the long run and can exceed predictions.