North Face lift opens Thursday

Plus more snow on the way

For the past few weeks, exchanges between the Crested Butte News and Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) have gone something like this:
The News: Standing in line at the Bacc this morning, rumor had it that [fill in terrain here] will [open today/never open this season].
CMBR: All rumors.  [Insert real story here—typically the opposite of the word on the street]. 



Snow rumors are flying faster than the snow itself. Case in point: This week word spread around The News that the North Face might not open this year. (After careful investigation, it’s possible that in an effort to make sense of this year’s piecemeal storms, the rumor started right here in the office…)
So to put that one to bed, here’s the official word from Erica Reiter, CBMR’s public relations and communications manager: “There’s enough snow up there to open the North Face Lift by 9 a.m. on Thursday, [February 16].”
The snow is “a little skinny in spots,” but thanks to nearly 20 inches of snow in the last seven days and some hard work by CBMR’s ski patrol, extreme skiers should get ready for their beacon checks.
To make matters even better, the forecast suggests that Mother Nature might continue to favor Crested Butte and Colorado in the coming weeks. Skies will be mostly dry Thursday through Saturday, but “a new storm should head toward Colorado from the northwest late Sunday into Monday. The European computer model keeps this storm in one piece as it moves across Colorado, which would mean a lot of snow for everyone.”
As the Crested Butte News learned from Opensnow’s Joel Gratz in January, it’s foolhardy to put too much stock in the long-term forecast.
“Ninety-five percent of the time, [long-term forecasts] are not even close. Because they’re out there, people think they must have something for us. But not really,” Gatz said then.
But according to his Valentine’s Day Colorado Daily Snow report, “The weather pattern looks active through next week with more storms coming off the Pacific. It’s impossible to provide any details this far away, but the good news is we’ll have plenty to talk about for at least the next 7-10 days!”
The snow and the opening of the North Face Lift come with plenty of time for winter events like the Al Johnson Memorial Uphill Downhill Race in March, but it has required some adaptability. The Adaptive Sports Center benefit, 7 Hours of the Banana will be celebrated as the 7 Hours of Twister—participants will ride the Twister lift and traverse across to ski the Monument and Twister runs. But that’s not stopping CBMR from making the most of the winter we have.
This weekend, skiers can head from the North Face Lift to Subaru’s Master the Mountain, demo-ing the latest Nordica skis, taking free mini ski and snowboard lessons (prior experience is necessary) and watching avalanche rescue demonstrations. (Subaru will also launch the 2012 Impreza, the most fuel-efficient all wheel drive vehicle in America, at 36 mpg.)
At last, winter is back. Let’s ski.

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