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Ready for Fall?

Winter is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more ready. Unfortunately we first need to make it through the season of fall: inconveniently placed smack in between summer and winter.

But, Candide Thorox, the king of snow-less skiing, may have a solution for your autumn-antsies.

If you’ve ever looked at a pile of leaves and thought “I could ski that” - this video is for you.

 

Clean Cars in Colorado

DENVER - Last week the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted unanimously to  adopt Low Emission Vehicle Standards for the state. Snowriders International is excited to see the state of Colorado leading on emission standards regulation in the absence of national action. Read out statement below:

"Here in Colorado, most of us rely on our personal cars to get us out to the slopes in the winter, or in the summer to the pitch, the river or the hiking trail.  And the emission from our weekend adventures have a real impact on our communities and environment. Exhaust from idling cars in winter traffic jams degrades air quality in mountain towns, and releases climate change causing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"At Snowriders we believe that a trip to the mountains shouldn’t harm the beautiful natural places we are there to enjoy; and that our transportation shouldn’t threaten the future of Colorado’s snowy winters by contributing to climate change. Clean car standards, like the Low Emission Vehicle Standard announced last week by AQCC are an essential step to making this vision a reality.  More efficient cars on the road means cleaner and more responsible transportation choices for us all and they will allow more Coloradans to enjoy our mountains with a lighter environment impact.

"With the Trump administration backing off of clean car regulations nationally, we are thrilled to see Colorado leading the way in this essential and common sense step so that we can be responsible stewards of Colorado’s incredible natural beauty for generations to come."

Colorado Ski Deals for Kids!

Ski days become a little more complicated when you have kids in tow.

With each additional child there is more gear to pack, more bodies to bundle into the car, and more pricey lift passes to purchase. And growing children frequently means dealing with rentals and ski lessons, all of which can get very expensive very quickly.

  Visit Estonia  via  Flickr ,  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Visit Estonia via FlickrCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

That being said, there are few things better in life than sharing a love of skiing and riding with your kids. Colorado understands why people live and play here. They know we want to share the incredible mountains and plentiful snow with the next generation, and they want to make it easy!

With a little pre-planning, you can capitalize on the amazing ski and snowboard deals available to kids in this state, and get them on the slopes for free this season!

Did you know that kids in kindergarten through 5th grade can get 4 free days of skiing or boarding at each of the following four resorts: Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail?

That's a pretty monstrous deal. And it's available right now, for a limited time, through Vail's Epic School Kids Colorado Pack program.

All you need to do is to register at any front range Epic Mountain Gear location (except for the Frisco storefront). Bring your child and a form of ID for them (report card, student ID, birth certificate or passport). Once you are registered, you can pick up your free passes at the resort ticket window on your first ski day.

There's more too. Each child is eligible for a FREE first-timer lesson as well as free rentals for the lesson.

For fifth and sixth graders, Colorado Ski Country has an even better deal!

Registration is now open on the Colorado Ski Country website for their 2018/19 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. The fifth grade ski passport gives registered students 3 free days at each of Colorado's 22 premier ski areas.  That's 66 days of free skiing!! For 6th graders, this same deal is available for just $105!

Have more tips for skiing with kids on a budget? Let us know in the comments.

6 Ski and Snowboard Mountains that are Almost More Fun in the Summer

The resorts that we ski and snowboard at in the winter don't disappear once the snow stops falling, and many of them are taking advantage of their infrastructure to transform themselves into outdoor playgrounds in the summer months.  With plentiful lodging, quality dining and stunning mountain views, these resorts have a lot to offer a vacationer in the summer. Many offer kids programs, and activities for all ages and interest.

Check out our list of six ski and snowboard resorts that are worth a visit in the summer!

Skiing in July... in Vermont?

 
 

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center has been storing snow since the winter as part of an experimental "snow farming" project working to see if snow can be stored from one season to another.  Many, around the world, are hoping to use this technique in the future to help build early-season bases, and alleviate some of their dependance on natural snowfall as climate change makes weather more variable.  Several major events from the Iditarod to the Hahnenkamm World Cup ski races in Austria, now depending on the technique.

It will be really interesting to see the capabilities of snow storage technology and its impact on the future of winter sports as the technology develops, but for now, it's fun to watch people fool around in a pile of snow in the middle of summer!

Sand Skiing in Peru!

 
 

It's been so hot at our headquarters in Denver over the last couple weeks that it's difficult to believe it will ever snow again.

Jesper Tjäder and Emma Dahlström with GoPro have one idea on how to get your turns - and even hit kickers and rails - without waiting for the white fluffy stuff. Watch these skiers hike up and then shred the Cerro Blanco dune in Peru!

Undoubtedly rad, but all I can think about is the SAND IN THEIR BOOTS!!

The Catamount Trail: Vermont's 300-Mile Nordic Ski Trail

Did you know that if you strap on a pair of cross-country skis just east of the Deerfield River at Vermont’s southern boarder and head north, you can ski on uninterrupted trail until you arrive at the Canadian boarder 300-miles north?

The Catamount Trail, which began in 1984 as the thesis project of Steve Bushey, Paul Jarris and Ben Rose when they were students at the University of Vermont, is now the longest uninterrupted cross-country skiing trail in North America. Its 300-miles of trail, between Vermont’s southern to northern boarders, were painstakingly pieced together by the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) over 20 years. The trail connects vast wilderness areas to old timber roads; it crosses farmland and protected forests, and caters to skiers of a variety of levels.


The trail is a vast cooperative effort, passing through both public and private land, and demanding hours of volunteer labor to maintain; it reflects a state-wide dedication to a no-frills outdoor culture and the preservation of the state's long history of winter sports.


Unlike many aspects of the winter sports world, especially those associated with Nordic skiing’s brasher alpine cousin, the Catamount Trail is explicitly designed to be accessible and inexpensive, where skiers are drawn by the state’s stunning natural beauty rather than by high speed trams, luxury accommodations, or glitzy off-slope shopping. The trail is the result of a rugged culture that is increasingly absent from a skiing world dominated by corporate giants Vail and Alterra.

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But in Vermont — and it’s eastern neighbor New Hampshire — you can still find trail systems maintained by passionate volunteers, mountains where the owner personally greets their customers each morning and, occasionally, lodge beers for less than $5. It is a land that respects rigorous exercise and bone chilling winds, where winter sports are part of a time-honored way of life.

Ben Rose, one of the Catamount Trail’s founders, and the Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club, describes the project’s unique vision: It’s a “very intimate way to see the landscape. Like hiking the Long Trail, skiing the Catamount Trail is a way to see Vermont from its heart.”

Although few people actually ski the whole trail — as it’s always not easy to camp along the route in winter — few people have actually skied the whole trail, each winter it’s estimated to support over 8,000 skier days.

 Photo by  Simon Matzinger  on  Unsplash

On their website the CTA states that their goal “is to create a future in which Vermont is home to a world-class network of locally-supported winter back-country trails and terrain accessible to outdoor travelers of all abilities and means.” As winter recreation is becoming increasingly corporate across the US, organizations like the CTA will play an increasingly important role in ensuring that winter sports like cross country skiing and snowshoeing remain accessible and inexpensive as they have been for centuries.

A lonely stretch along the Catamount Trail is about as far as you could get spiritually from, say, Aspen’s glamorous Little Nell’s bar, but for many, the former encapsulated the soul of winter sports in a way the latter new can.

This Kickstarter Wants to Save you from Flimsy Ice Scrapers

The makers of the Tusk claim it's the ultimate survival shovel, with four tools in one: a shovel, a steal digging spade, an extra-wide scraper, and a squeegee.  It's built for those freezing morning when it's dumped two feet of snow and you just want to get to the mountain. It's designed to save its users from ever having to handle one of those double-sided scraper-brushes -  that are never quite long enough, or break just at the wrong moment - again.

They've got several different packages and color option, and they promise delivery to their backers by this coming winter.

There's only two days left in this kickstarter so check it out by Friday (6/29) if you're interested in backing the project!

Grass Skis! - a short climate change film by Carbondale students

"Colorado, a beautiful place of wonder and enchantment... and now you can enjoy the warm winters with GRASS SKIS!" 

This short film was created by Carbondale students as a part of the Lens on Climate Change (LOCC) program.  LOCC is a project run by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), that helps Colorado middle and high school students tell the stories of climate changes' impacts on their lives and communities through film.

The students who made this film chose to illustrate the very real threat that climate change poses to the future of skiing and snowboarding - an essential part of their Colorado mountain town lifestyle. They begin with a spoof advertisement for "Grass Skis" - no snow, no problem, just strap on some grass skis this winter!

Then some local experts share some pretty alarming data on climate change in Colorado: "The climate science that looks at this particular region will tell you that in 100 years the climate of Aspen will resemble the climate of Amarillo, TX" - Matthew Hamilton, Sustainability Director for Aspen Ski Co.

We hope that grass skis will not have to become a reality... and that butter won't be replacing ski wax any time soon!