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Let Winter Stay – By Chris Shrope

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Let Winter Stay

So we can get on with it already…

A cliché saying, but it’s true. The snow is here and hopefully to stay.  That’s not to say that the last snowfall did not stick to the slopes.  It did, and Winter Park Resort sounded the alarm to start the snow blowing process.  But it did not stick for long except for some snow in the shadows and what is left from snow blowing.  The preceding week brought on sun and warmer weather, keeping me in this limbo in-between the seasons. The last of Fall’s flare and the beginning of the joyous sparkle of the snow blanketing the peaks, the trees and the sun beat snow from the last dump.  A winter bearing record low temperatures and record high times on the slopes! Hopefully, a monster of an El Niño too!

I hope the snow stays this time. I enjoy the crystal blue sky up against the top of the surrounding mountains.  Looking out on that crisp blue and white contrast in the sky with the sun on my face and with snow under my feet gives a joy, a joy only to which winter owns.  I experienced this joy on my walk this afternoon and I expect this joy again tomorrow as snap into my old trusty rock-skis atop Berthoud Pass.

The snow pack is meager all across the high mountain Rockies except for a few trails at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland and with a few more trails to open at Copper Mountain in the upcoming week.  However, Berthoud holds enough snow for you and your snow sliding device to earn a few turns, have your first fall of the season, and break out into laughter.

Do not bring your new pair of skis or snowboard and I would advise against race skis as well. No one is going out there trying to ski the gnarly lines out there yet anyways so only a couple of hours on the snow will feed your craving for now. Be careful about the path down because an injury this early in the season is No Bueno. Until Winter Park open on Wednesday November 18th, the snow on Berthoud should suffice and it will continue to collect more snow as the weeks roll on.

I am anxious and curious as the winter seems to sink into my perspective. Anxious to get out my downhill skis and tear up the slopes; curious of what El Niño will bring. I’ll be the one knocking on wood, wishing it’s a killer season because after last season the Fraser Valley needs some good snowfall.

As winter approaches it reminds me of all the gear I want, rather need.  Need to be safe on the slopes, need to improve my random lap times, need to replace my raggedy old gear I’ve used. I’m a gear head. Every year I must need new gear even though my bank account could spare the gouge, but every year the gear gets used and my memories are crystal clear and filled with the joy of winter.

Ah the joy of winter.  Let it stay!  So we can get on with it already.

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Chris Shrope holds a double B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies with a specialization in survey development and analysis. He is currently living in Fraser, CO and works at Winter Park Resort during the winter season. As an outdoor enthusiast he enjoys long walks in the woods, mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting, yoga, and all the camping that goes along with the adventure.


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