“Warmest AND The Driest I’ve Ever Seen It”
Ask the locals and they’ll tell you, “this is the warmest AND the driest I’ve ever seen it.” Folks have seen warm and lots of snow. Folks have seen cold and less snow. But this warm and this dry in a winter feels odd around CB.
The good news is that system wide, conditions are still good to very good but truth be told, there are a few isolated spots of fair conditions which reflects the unusual weather. For example, groomers have temporarily ceased grooming Mordor, the system’s most sensitive trail. Tell a mountain biker in the summer sitting on their bike at the Tony’s-Upper Upper junction that they’re standing on a what is a ski trail in the winter and disbelief is the reaction. That’s the same reason that the cat drivers have decided to lay off Mordor for now.
It’s still CB though so if you hit the GB Loop on the West Side and step off the trail you’ll sink into your waist or deeper. And Ruthie’s is virtually refrigerated on a north facing aspect that tends to protect its snow, keeping it new and less transformed.
The jet stream cannot be everywhere at once and that’s why the Eastern U.S. is getting hammered and, at the same time, Durango Nordic Ski Area has had to close temporarily. The Upper Gunnison Valley is pretty special though and even on a tricky winter like this one, the skiing is good.
A couple storms tracked north and missed CB but, starting Saturday the 21st of February, it looks like snow is returning off and on for several days (it’s snowing right now). March is often great skiing with lots of snow, more daylight, and moderate temperatures.
For ski prep, find a violet and/or red glide paraffin that you like. Swix 7 is a nice violet. Swix 8 or Vauhti Pink or Holmenkol Matrix Red are all great reds. The Holmenkol is an HF range paraffin. Swix and Vauhti can be bought CH, LF, or HF–pick your poison.
Kick waxing in the spring is a tome unto itself. We’ll leave that topic alone for now.
If the conditions are spring like, maybe the best piece of advice is to time your visit like Goldilocks, not to warm during the day, not too cold in the early mornings, but just right sometime in the mid-morning. Come late March and April, no amount of grooming can overcome Mother Nature’s temperature cycles so find the sweet spot in your timing and enjoy the skiing.