Snowmagedon continues! In the last couple of weeks the local resorts have reported up the 48inches of accumulation for just a couple days and the totals keep mounting. On my own back patio at the top of Red Dirt Hill, it was another foot every other day. The joke every morning is, what shall I do today? Ah, shovel more snow! Thank God for a plow on our four wheeler and a decent snow blower…
The powder keeps coming – the Gods are smiling on us! But there is danger is so much abundance. The powder is deep, and to get off a packed trail into that powder has DISASTER written all over it. Sure some people can handle it and seek it out every day. But many people aren’t capable of maintaining their balance when they get into that kind of situation. They fall over or pitch forward and are immediately in trouble because they can’t get up. Imagine being out in the solitude of the back country with no one around in the late afternoon and falling over into a tree well, upside down, unable to wright yourself. Or just getting buried in the deep powder! Or worse yet, starting an avalanche that gobbles up you, your dog, and maybe your friends.
The reports are piling in from all over the state, with two people killed in an avalanche this week while on motorized snowbikes. Last week in almost blizzard conditions, a 78 year-old skied off the track into deep powder at Snow Mountain Ranch in a populated area but, skiing alone, her disappearance in the deep snow was not noticed by other skiers even though she was less than half a football field away and left a big track.
Search and Rescue Greg Foley wants to remind everyone that the basic rules for safety are the same whether at a downhill resort, a Nordic resort, or skiing in the back country.
- Travel with a partner
- Tell a responsible party where you are going and when you will return
- Stick with the travel plan
- Bring your (charged up) phone and/or other notification devise
- Dress for the weather, including extra layer
- And I will add – always have extra food and water in the back country
Think through where you plan to go, the conditions you will be in, and who you plan to be with. With this much abundance of a good thing, those thoughts can mean the difference in whether or not you come home to friends and family that love you.
Ranch2Ranch Nordic Trek Rescheduled to February 29
All our prayers for snow were answered in one week. We did our best to make it happen Feb 8 but with about 4ft of new snow and furious winds, avalanches closing the Pass and accidents closing Hwy 70, we didn’t want to tempt people to try to get here. Besides that, Mother Nature had destroyed our Ranch2Ranch Trail leaving broken and buried machinery in her wake. With help from both Snow Mountain Ranch and Granby Ranch, the Ranch2Ranch Trek 2020 has been rescheduled for Feb 29.
Help make this event a success. Come on out and help support our youth Nordic programs county-wide. Lots of hard work has gone into this but how do you cancel completely the most fun Trek in Grand County with what will now be probably the most beautiful snow we have ever had! Register at www.grandnordic.org. If you were signed up for the event previously and can’t make it, either request a refund by email or donate your entry fee to our youth programs. Or just go ski the trail… the pink directional signs are still out there!
Upcoming Events — Latigo Loppet & Snow Mountain Stampede
Latigo Ranch is hosting the Latigo Loppet XC Ski Race on Sunday March 1 with start time 10am. The 15K and 30 K race course can also be skied as an un-timed tour. Even the kids have a fun un-timed course! The $30.00 entry fee includes the race and home-cooked lunch at Latigo Ranch. Registration is open starting at 830am.
The 36th Annual Snow Mountain Stampede is a two-day event with March 14 featuring a Freestyle 10K, 25K and 50K race starting at 9am. March 15 features Classic 10k, 25K and 50k races with the first race stating at 9am. A 25K tour will start each day with the 25k timed race for those wanting to see just how far 25K really is. There is also a Free 2K Kids Fun Race both days starting at 845am for kids 15 and under. Athletes that compete in both 25K races will receive a 50K belt buckle and athletes that compete in both 50K races will receive a Ranch Boss 100K belt buckle. For more information or to register, go to https://snowmountainranch.org/nordic-center-events-calendar/