Ski Touring News Digest — New Uphilling Possible in Colorado, at Eldora?


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 4, 2016      

I got a reminder from Backcountry Access that they’re doing a survey to use at the ISSW avalanche study conference. Please participate, the avalanche study community is always lacking in data about people, as it’s a lot harder to gether than snowpit profiles.

Eldora ski area, near Boulder, Colorado.

Eldora ski area, near Boulder, Colorado.

According to sources, Eldora ski area outside the town of Boulder, Colorado will allow uphill skiing this winter. This is a big deal, as in the past Eldora has been adamant about allowing NO uphilling, and Boulder is packed with uphill junkies. Word is the resort will have several different uphill routes, perhaps one for opening hours, and one defined for when the area is closed. While they don’t have a summit restaurant, I was told they’ll be experimenting with keeping the base area restaurant open into evenings if it seems popular for the after-hours skiers. This came about because the area is under new ownership, and the parent corporation owns other areas that have managed to incorporate uphill skiing. It’s said that parking might be the crux, perhaps carpooling and bus service could be the solution.

Eldora has been attempting to expand, as a result they’ve been heavily attacked by NIMBYs. It’ll be interesting watch how that goes, allowing uphilling will probably help with favorable public opinion. More here.

Along those lines, it appears skimo is going to be an Olympic sport!. This report says the finalization of the The International Ski Mountaineering Federation’s (ISMF) proposal is a rubber stamp, and other reports say this past Saturdy the IOC granted full recognition to the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (which had received provisional recognition in 2014).

Ski mountaineering competition in the Olympics is extra exciting because the skimo community in many countries is quite small — including in the U.S. — so the chances of your friend the human lung being an Olympian are pretty good. Along with more uphill areas, continued gear improvements and the explosion in uphill skiing popularity, skimo becoming part of the Olympics completes a convergence that’s going to make the ski industry really perk up and take notice. Just imagine Eldora, as mentioned above, if they’d continued to ban uphilling and thus possibly banned some of our Olympic athletes. Eldora’s timing is good, to say the least.

Oh la la. I was wondering about the Chillan volcano in Chile, during my ski trip there a few years ago locals told me it does rumble now and then. Sure enough, Nevados Chillan blew out during a ski day. Amusing, scary, and I don’t know what else — all in one. Check it out here.

What is Neveplast you ask? I’ll not say more so as not to taint the pristine wildness of WildSnow.com, but you can check it out here. I heard on the street that the substance was first used for plastic surgery, specifically, lip plumping. But that could just be misinformation spread by spam shills. While the stuff has been around for a while, news is that Nevaplast is becoming more common on ski slopes due to the unreliability of shoulder season snow coverage due to climate change. More, we’re seeing reports of areas offering “year around” skiing. I suspect that snapping into a pair of planks and “skiing” on plastic when it’s 100 degree F outside has to be weird, but I’d love to give it a try. And how about skimo training? One has to assume you could skin climb up the stuff. More here.

Global warming can have some grisly results, and I’m not talking about Greenland ice sliding into the ocean. As the glaciers in the Alps melt down, they’re solving some mysteries, revealing long lost human remains. Advice is to not touch, report, and “take the object with (you) should there be an immediate threat to it or if it is unlikely the location can be found again. I.e., Is that a tibia in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Interesting.

Still under a heat spell here in central Colorado, and yes it’s been a hot summer nearly everywhere. If that brings us a warmer winter and thus more snow and a denser snowpack, good for Colorado skiing. But wow, it’s been scorching here. Our house is super-insulated so we just cool it off at night then shutter up for the day, but we’re blessed by being in a climate that does cool off at night. Some places are not so lucky.



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Comments

19 Responses to “Ski Touring News Digest — New Uphilling Possible in Colorado, at Eldora?”

  1. Jeremy C August 4th, 2016 10:00 am

    Hey Lou,
    Just found out my Dreamtime Wailer’s will come with a new coating called Juice Permanent, that is supposed to negate the need for waxing forever. Had I come across this product anywhere else I would have probably discounted it as just another internet silly season sensation. But since DPS are factory applying it, maybe there is something in it. Have you heard anything?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 August 4th, 2016 10:44 am

    Consumer test program will be key, report back soon! We’ll do the same. Lou

  3. Jack August 4th, 2016 12:41 pm

    I’m all for allowing uphilling where it works, but Eldora is really too small and tight –and often crowded–for this to be a smart decision during operating hours.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 August 4th, 2016 1:35 pm

    Jack, can’t they do a route that’s at the edge of a run, or even weaves through the trees a bit? Seems like it shouldn’t be too hard with a bit of creativity and willingness. I don’t recall ever having skied there, remember doing some mountain biking in the area quite some time ago.

    Also, before opening and after closing could work, eh?

    Lou

  5. Bryan August 4th, 2016 3:35 pm

    Jack – look at all the NOPE! Let it happen! It will be great.

  6. Dirk August 5th, 2016 8:13 am

    Plenty of room at Eldora. The far southeast side up the ridge line hugs the boundary and hardly anyone would even know. Heck I’d end up buying a season pass so my family could ride the lifts while I get a workout in. Now there’s some $$$ for Eldora they didn’t count on from an old guy in spandex.

  7. Hacksaw August 5th, 2016 8:40 am

    When I click on the BCA survey it says I already took it, and I don’t remember taking it.

  8. Charlie Hagedorn August 5th, 2016 8:42 am

    @Hacksaw: Yep, it looks like there’s an issue with their survey. Opening up the link in incognito mode also gets the same error.

  9. Lou Dawson 2 August 5th, 2016 8:55 am

    I completed the BCA survey yesterday, but it had a couple of questions that didn’t supply an answer that reflected my own stats/experiences, and it ended with a request for my name and email address, which of course BCA already has, but I wasn’t interested in giving to Survey Monkey to sell or whatever, so I put in a fake one. While I applaud BCA for trying, this reminds me of another survey we just got in the mail from our local town Environmental Board, that had poorly constructed questions and answers that my wife and I could not answer accurately. Frustrating, since you’re giving time out of your life to these things. Lou

  10. Jim P. August 5th, 2016 9:36 am

    Speaking of the rising popularity of skimo, up here in the Great Potato State Brundage and the McCall Winter Sports Club will be hosting the state’s first skimo races on December 16 and 17, 2017. The Northwest Passage will feature two events, a Friday evening sprint and a Saturday morning individual race, both sanctioned by the USSMA and the first qualifiers of the season for the selection of the US worlds team. Us McCall folks look forward to hosting this great event! For dress code suggestions, google Spencer Tracy’s 1940 movie The Northwest Passage, filmed here.

  11. Jim Milstein August 6th, 2016 4:17 pm

    I used to ski at Eldora in the nineties and frequently uphilled there. It was not an issue then for either the management or the skiers.

    Eldora has changed hands several times. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not. I worked as a feller and a sawyer cutting trails there in the late sixties when it was owned by Tel Ertl. That was not such a good time. Just before opening day the entire hill crew quit.

  12. stephen August 8th, 2016 5:23 am

    That neveplast stuff could actually be useful here in Oz. It’s interesting there are nordic versions(!). I wonder how much a short loop would cost, and how long it might last; maybe I could do intervals in my yard.

    So Lou if skimo becomes an Olympic thing, do you think gear prices will increase astronomically, or not???

    Also, a question (sorry if this is not the best place). What to do for new toepieces to fit old Manaslu skis with the plastic inserts? Would it be okay to use the new 4 bolt type and just drill new holes???

  13. Rick Checkland August 10th, 2016 1:13 pm

    Last spring I had occasion to take bindings off of several pair of skis. I noticed that the screw holes in the skis had a raised ring around the hole approx 1/16 to 1/8 in in height. Some decades ago I mounted binding for a local ski shop for several years. Our feeling was that these bumps showed a definite disruption of the skis core. Instead of just forcing the screw in, we tapped the hole with a tap matched to the screw thread. No raised ridge and less disruption to the skis core.
    Anyone know of any testing or any other comments ?

  14. Lou Dawson 2 August 10th, 2016 1:36 pm

    Hi Rick, we do have quite a bit of discussion about that issue. For example I used our search function for the word “volcano” and came up with the following, where I’ll leave a comment about screw sizes etc. Lou

    https://www.wildsnow.com/18694/how-to-remove-ski-volcanoe-bubbles/

  15. stephen pavone September 15th, 2016 8:55 am

    Update to the Eldora story… Uphill access will not be allowed after hours. Honestly who wants to skin that place during hours? It is precisely the after hours that would be most popular.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_30362813/eldora-allow-uphill-skiing-this-season-boulder-county

  16. Lou Dawson 2 September 15th, 2016 9:31 am

    Wow! Huge bummer, ridiculous. You’re exactly correct, uphilling after the lifts closed, in the evening and at night, is the holy of holies. Amazing that Eldora doesn’t get that. Or perhaps they do and they just don’t care? Gad, they could just charge a bit more for their uphilling and be done with it. Will be interesting to watch.

    Nice to see they’re charging money for uphilling. Really, why not, so long as it’s not ridiculous amounts? On the other hand, I’d offer that the trend to sell uphilling passes is troublesome in that Colorado resorts tend to be very expensive and cater to the 1% — but then, isn’t Boulder the 1% (smile).

    In the end, you guys in Boulder should just go start your own resort on public land. I’ll bet with your legal, intellectual and financial power you could get it done.

    Lou

  17. stephen pavone September 15th, 2016 10:10 am

    Yes, I emailed them this morning saying as much. It is as if they did no research as to when people may want to uphill. I am fine buying a season uphill pass that is priced reasonably, and I’d even watch some mountain safety video or whatever to appease the lawyers. But to just ban after hours and all hours sat and sun, Eldora is really just locking out all that see uphilling beyond a novelty.

  18. Lou Dawson 2 September 15th, 2016 10:14 am

    Don’t you guys have some old hippy activists from the 1960s still kicking around Pearl Street? Get them to help organize a protest. Get 50 skiers to show up at Eldora some night and start uphilling. Invite the news media. Chain yourself to a ski lift! Camp on top! Sledge up a keg for a kegger! Come on, what happened to the land of the social progressives? Too busy paying for Boulder real estate (smile) ?

  19. Lou Dawson 2 September 15th, 2016 10:17 am

    In all seriousness, Stephen, you bring up a good point about taking uphilling beyond a novelty. I’ll say it here so it’s on the record. If Eldora locks out after-hours skinning they’ve created a self fulfilling prophecy, as they’ve drastically cut back the numbers of people doing it and thus can base shutting it down on those smaller numbers. Torques me off, actually. And I had such high hopes. Lou





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