Saturday, June 24, 2017

Snow tubing at Keystone Resort on a sunny June afternoon

#Keystone #Colorado
Summit Daily News Photo

Summit Daily News Link


On June 20, temperatures at Keystone Resort tipped close to the 80-degree mark for the first time this summer, which is nothing short of balmy in the Colorado High Country.
In other words, conditions were perfect for summer snow tubing at 11,640 feet.
"Keystone offers no shortage of summer fun to be had, and what's more Colorado than guests being able to slide down snow despite the calendar being set on summer," said Cody Stake, manager at Adventure Point, the summer and winter activities hub at the top of the River Run Gondola. As Stake says, Keystone is packed with summer diversions — scenic lift rides, mountaintop yoga, the Keystone Bike Park — but summer tubing is one of the strangest, and by far one of the most enticing. Keystone is home to the only snow tubing operation in Colorado after the ski season ends, with lanes open for tubers of all ages from now until at least mid-July. Some seasons, when Mother Nature cooperates with cool temperatures, the tubing lanes are open as late as August.
"(Snow tubing) continues to be another fun way for guests of all ages to experience the mountains," Stake said. "It's quite the rush to be sitting atop snow in shorts and a t-shirt, with nothing but mountaintop views surrounding you, while your friends back home have the air conditioning cranked up to full blast."
SUMMER ON SNOW
Snow tubing in summer is a one-of-a-kind experience, to be sure, but how exactly does it work? As seen from U.S. Highway 6, Keystone's slopes are usually the first in Summit County to appear completely dried out, and there certainly isn't anywhere anxious skiers and snowboarders can hike to for mid-summer turns, like they often do on July 4 at Fourth of July bowl (aka Peak 10) looming over Breckenridge.
Simply stated, Keystone isn't as snow-free as it seems. The upper reaches at nearly 12,000 feet hold snow long after summer begins, Stake said, and crews begin farming snow for the tubing hill as soon as the lifts stop spinning in April.
"Once Keystone closes for the winter, we begin condensing our eight winter tubing lanes into two summer lanes, piling the snow as high as we can to create an experience that will last into the summer," Stake said. "Our two summer snow tubing lanes are 500 feet long. That's a lot of tubing."
The tubing hill didn't open until June 9 this season — nearly a full two months after closing day — but that only meant the rest of Keystone truly felt like summer by the time it was ready for tubers. Shorts, t-shirts and tank tops are more than acceptable for summer tubing, Stake said, but he recommends anyone who signs up for an afternoon of tubing bring layers, just in case. The only things required are close-toed shoes and a sense of adventure.
But what does a taste of winter in the heat of summer cost? As winter lift ticket prices inch closer and closer to small fortunes — a single-day adult ticket at Keystone this past season was more than $100 — summer tubing has remained relatively affordable. The price is $33 per person, which includes a lift pass to the top of the mountain and one hour of tubing. Groups of up to four people in daisy-chained tubes can cruise the lanes and Stake makes special arrangements for large groups, such as birthday parties, family reunions and church groups.
"Come and enjoy some of the last remnants of snow at Keystone," Stake said, "Before it's too late!"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gov. John Hickenlooper takes a spin in visit to possible link in Alma-to-Aspen trail loop

#Colorado
Summit Daily News Photo

Summit Daily News Link


Governor John Hickenlooper doesn't have a lot of spare time for bike rides, but on Thursday he got the chance to cruise down several miles of the Summit County recreation path from Copper Mountain to Frisco.
"This is really the first time I've ridden more than a mile this year," he said, adding that it's not a very long trip from the Governor's Mansion to the state capital.
The ride came after a presentation from the county open space and trails department, which was showing off a planned extension of the path that would link Summit and Lake counties over Fremont Pass, allowing cyclists to skip the treacherous stretch of Highway 91 dubbed "The Narrows."
That project is one of 16 chosen by the governor's office last year for its Colorado the Beautiful initiative, which identified the state's most pressing trail gaps in the hopes that the added spotlight might help local governments gin up funding to get them built.
“I appreciate that public-private mix and I love the notion that we’re getting counties working with each other.”John HickenlooperColorado governor
"The state's role here isn't top-down," said Ken Gart, the governor's bike czar and the man who spearheaded the program. "It's to facilitate and help find opportunities to get local groups involved."
Last year, the county unsuccessfully courted a $2 million grant for the project from state lottery funds. Nonetheless, said open space and trails director Brian Lorch, the designation from the governor's office was key to a $4 million federal grant the county secured for the project in February.
"I just want to thank everyone who was involved in getting us on that list," he said. "It was huge for getting access to the grant — being able to say the governor is behind this."
Although the county has secured partial funding for the trail, it still has another hurdle to clear; the route runs through lynx habitat, and there are also concerns about bringing people to one of the last patches of untouched land in the county.
If the project gets the final green light, however, it would fill a key link in the still-fabled Alma-to-Aspen loop, an enormous trail network that would include roughly half of Colorado's 14ers.
"We're trying to get from here to Leadville, to Aspen, to Glenwood, to Vail and back," assistant county manager Thad Noll said. "That kind of a loop will become a mecca for summer tourism."
Officials hope to begin work on the first 3-mile stretch in 2020. The full path would follow a long-abandoned railroad grade, cross Highway 91 via a new overpass and end just south of Leadville after a brief stretch through private land owned by the Climax Molybdenum Mine.
"I appreciate that public-private mix and I love the notion that we're getting counties working with each other," Hicknelooper said. "I think the real willingness and commitment to make these bike trails all over the state a reality is going to be a big deal."
Hickenlooper said that polling done by his office shows that good bike infrastructure is a major draw for the young people coming to Colorado in droves, who in turn contribute to Colorado's strong economy.
"We're at, what, 2.3 percent unemployment?" he said. "That's a good place for a state to be, and part of it is we've become this destination, and bikes are a huge part of it."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A sneak peek at the $9 million Silverthorne Performing Arts Center

#Silverthorne #Colorado
Summit Daily News Photo

Summit Daily News Link


People have been driving by the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center for months, watching as the new $9 million facility took shape and wondering what's inside. However, with "Sister Act" set to debut there Friday night and a daylong grand-opening celebration planned for Saturday, that wait is almost over.
Ahead of this weekend's festivities, town officials and representatives of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company gave members of the media a sneak peek of the new performing arts center, built in a public-private partnership between the town and the local theater group.
For its part, the Lake Dillon Theatre Company put up $2.7 million toward the total while town residents footed the remaining $6.3 million.
LDTC executive director Joshua Blanchard said the money came from a $3.8 million fundraising campaign, of which the theater company has already raised $3.2 million.
For their investment, the company gets regular use of the new center, including office space, while taxpayers get a brand new public facility that's four years in the making and widely seen as a catalyst for further downtown development.
That's because even as they prepare to take their scissors to a ribbon on Saturday, Silverthorne officials like town manager Ryan Hyland have their attention fixed on a much bigger mission, bringing a "main street" feel to the Blue River Parkway, north of Intestate 70, through Silverthorne.
"We really wanted to design an iconic landmark for our downtown, which we think we've accomplished," Hyland said. "We also needed to create a world-class facility for our main tenant, if you will, our main partner — the Lake Dillon Theatre Company — and I think we accomplished that as well."
Most notably, the new performing arts center features three unique performance spaces, not counting a small, weatherproof stage built of wood and concrete just outside the front entrance.
Just inside the main lobby is the biggest of the three indoor performance spaces — The Flex, as they've named it — and it can be adjusted to fit any one of five different configurations, seating up to 150 depending on the stage setup.
The Flex comes with false floors ready for all sorts of different theatrics, a vaulted two-story ceiling, multiple projectors, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, a balcony along the back wall and a tech booth neatly removed from view.
Also included is a heating and cooling system, which did not exist at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company's old facility. Additionally, the entire building was designed to muffle noise from the highway and from other performance areas by using thick walls and things like hallways as natural sound barriers.
The second-largest performance area — The Studio — is comparable in size to the theater company's old stage, and it can seat up to 68 theatergoers at any given time.
The smallest of the trio, The Lab, is undeniably the most intimate, and it might be the most intriguing too. That's because the comparatively small room, which closely resembles a dance studio, has one wall covered in mirrors and another with a large garage-style door that pushes up on the opposite side of the building from the highway to reveal a view of the Blue River, fully integrating the stage with the outdoors for any would-be indoor-outdoor performances.
The center also contains a workshop area with table saws, other construction tools and a loading dock that, when necessary, will allow theater workers to take stage construction and set design outside.
The green room, a behind-the-scenes area for actors and actresses to change into wardrobe, among other things, features a fair amount of space with multiple dressing and restrooms.
An orchestra pit is located in a separate room apart from the performance areas, but it remains wired into the main stages, allowing musicians to follow the production.
Altogether, the Lake Dillon Theatre Company sponsors about 150 days of programming each year, with up to four different programs on a single day, Blanchard said. They have a regular staff of 10 full-time employees, and Blanchard said that as many as 70 people can be working out of the building at any given time.
More important than having a new performing arts center, however, might be what it can do to transform downtown Silverthorne, both as a gathering place and as a symbol of downtown.
"We see this as a community-gathering space, and that's really what this was about, is place-making for Silverthorne," Hyland said. "… We want that traditional downtown feel."
Even "before a shovel was in the ground," he explained, the new performing arts center was sparking newfound confidence in nearby developments, giving people the faith they needed to move forward with, for example, things like the Fourth Street Crossing, a roughly $70 million mixed-use development across the street, or the construction of the Angry James Brewery on Adams Avenue, which broke ground in fall 2015 and is expected to open this year less than two blocks away from the performing arts center.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Breck Bike Week is back with poker rides, pond crossings, Mayor’s Lunch Loop and more June 21-25

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily


Summit Daily News Link

The sky is clear, the weather is wonderful and the singletrack is finally dry. Now's time for the bike lovers to come out and play.
Breckenridge's annual celebration of all things on pedals and two (or fewer) wheels, Breck Bike Week, rolls through town June 21-25 with all-new activities, including women-only clinics, guys and gals combo clinics, family poker ride, a new adult big-wheel race, and brewery and distillery rides across town.
The party kicks off today (June 21) with Bike to Work Day and continues all week in downtown Breck with bike-in movie night, the Funkadelic Pond Crossing and more, according to a release from the Breckenridge Tourism Office. Also open this week is the Breck Connect gondola, providing free access to Peak 8 base area and beginner biking lessons through Breckenridge Resort.
Here's a quick roundup of not-to-miss Breck Bike Week events. For the complete roster, including times and locations, see BreckBikeWeek.com.
Bike-in movie | Wednesday, June 21: Come to town at dusk for a free screening of "Breaking Away," part of BreckCreate's LateNite @ the District. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the outdoor event.
Breckenridge Distillery bike tour | Thursday, June 22: Stop by Ridden in Breckenridge for a tour of town on a carbon fiber fat bike. Casually roll through town to the Blue River Rec Path and finish at the Breckenridge Distillery for sprit sipping and patio relaxing.
Skils clinics | Thursday to Sunday, June 22-25: Join Yeti Beti for beginner and intermediate women's skills clinics. New this year are beginner and intermediate guys and gals' combo clinics with Colorado Adventure Guides. These free mountain bike events fill up fast, so sign up now by emailing Cat (cambrose@vailresorts.com) to reserve a spot for Yeti Beti and Abe (abe@coloradoadventureguides.com) to sign up for combo clinics.
Firecracker 50 pre-ride | Friday, June 23: Are you planning on conquering Breckenridge's classic Firecracker 50 mountain bike race this Independence Day? Breck Bike Guides can help. No matter if you are training or just want to tour one of the summers best race loops, meet at Breck Bike Guides in downtown Breck for a course preview.
Funkadelic Pond Crossing | Saturday, June 24: Formerly held during the USA Pro Challenge, this favorite local "race" challenges townies, unicycles and anyone with a great costume to a ride across the dredge pond on a narrow, unstable rail bridge in downtown Breckenridge.
Adult Big-Wheel Race | Saturday, June 24: Grab your favorite goofy costume, hop on a provided big wheel (yes, the same plastic bikes from when you were a kid) and race around the dredge pond in downtown Breck. It's a must-see intermission during the Funkadelic Pond Crossing, with for prizes first, second, third and best costume.
Bikes + Beers + Bands | Sunday, June 25: Breck Bike Guides and Rocky Mountain Underground team up for this brand-new, summer-long series, which kicks off during Breck Bike Week. For $15 per person, get a full-day skills clinic at the Breckenridge Pump Track and two post-ride beers at RMU's new backyard beer garden. All proceeds benefit Summit County Search and Rescue.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pet Scene: Adoptable animals for June 20

#Summit County #Colorado
Michael Yearout Photography


Summit Daily News Link


Pets available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter:


Contact the Summit County Animal Shelter at 970-668-3230.
CATS
FRAPPI, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair, orange and white, neutered male
SOPHIE, 11 years, Domestic Shorthair, calico, spayed female
PIP, 7 years, Domestic Longhair, tortie, spayed female
ARIEL, 4 years, Domestic Shorthair, dil calico, spayed female
SAMMY, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair, gray and white, spayed female
FELIX, 2 years, American Shorthair, bl bicolor, neutered male
TORREY, 12 years, Domestic Shorthair, black, neutered male
ANA, 1 year, Domestic Shorthair, black, spayed female
SYNDEE, 1 year 1 month, Domestic Shorthair, lynx point, spayed female
RILEY, 2 months, Domestic Shorthair, white and black, neutered male
REMI, 2 months, Siamese, seal point, unaltered male
RAINEY, 2 months, Domestic Shorthair, white and black, spayed female
ROXY, 2 months, Domestic Shorthair, white and black, spayed female
PARFAIT, 10 years, Domestic Shorthair, calico, spayed female
NESSA, 9 months, Domestic Shorthair, tab calico, spayed female
PROMISE, 11 months, Domestic Shorthair, black and white, spayed female
CALLIE, 2 years, Domestic Shorthair, orange and tortie, spayed female
VALKYRIE, 4 years, Domestic Longhair, gray, spayed female
MITTENS, 2 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black and white, spayed female
SNOWFLAKE, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, neutered male
GRINGO, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, neutered male
CATFISH, 4 years, Domestic Shorthair, black, spayed female
LIZARD, 4 years, Domestic Shorthair, black, spayed female
SQUIRT, 8 years, Domestic Longhair mix, black, spayed female
PANTHER, 9 months, Domestic Shorthair, black and white, neutered male
DOGS
DOLLY, 2 years, Australian Cattle Dog mix, tan and white, spayed female
TANK, 3 years, German Shepherd Dog and Akita mix, blonde, neutered male
SADIE, 1 year 5 months, Fox Terrier – Smooth and Australian Cattle Dog mix, white and tricolor, spayed female
ARTHUR, 4 years, Boxer, tan and tricolor, neutered male
WILLIE, 2 years, Labrador Retriever and Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, chocolate, neutered male
CEASAR, 1 year, Bullmastiff mix, tan and black, neutered male
ELSA, 4 months, Border Collie mix, black and white, spayed female
OLIVER, 4 months, Pit Bull Terrier mix, white and tan, neutered male
OTTO, 1 year 1 month, Basset Hound and German Shepherd Dog mix, black, neutered male
PUMPERNICKEL, 8 months, Border Collie mix, black and tricolor, spayed female
JACK, 4 years, Cairn Terrier mix, tan, neutered male

Monday, June 19, 2017

Keystone Bike Guide: Snake River Rec Path

#Keystone #Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily

Summit Daily News Link


Take our word for it: You don't have to dodge cars and semis on U.S. Highway 6 to get from Keystone to Lake Dillon and back again. There's a recpath for that.
Found on the banks of the stunning Snake River, the Snake River Rec Path (aka Keystone recpath) from Keystone to Summit Cove is one of several routes in the sprawling Summit County Rec Path System. The entire system stretches nearly 50 miles across the county, connecting Keystone, Breck, Frisco, Copper, Dillon and Silverthorne on wide paved trails with stunning scenery, from the crest of Swan Mountain overlooking Lake Dillon to the summit of Vail Pass west of Copper Mountain.
The Snake River Rec Path runs 4 miles one way, linking the east end of Keystone Resort to a long, fingerlike bay on the east end of the lake. From there, it connects with a tough (but short) climb southwest to Swan Mountain, or a meandering cruise on the lakeshore northwest to Dillon.
The short-and-sweet path is one of the mellowest sections in the entire system, with hardly any vertical gain. This makes for a picturesque bypass of the noisy and bustling highway, which stays mostly hidden by trees and homes to the north.
HIGHLIGHTS
Along with the namesake river, the Snake River Rec Path passes by quiet neighborhoods, quaint meadows and The River Course at Keystone golf club. On the east end, you'll find dozens of restaurants and eateries at River Run Village, The Lodge at Keystone and elsewhere in the resort hub. On the west end are several secluded benches and tables to rest your legs or stop for a picnic lunch with the family.
For mountain bikers, the recpath is a relaxing connector for several singletrack systems, including Keystone Aqueduct to Soda Creek Trail and Horseshoe Gulch, or the well-named "Tour de Trash" ride on Tenderfoot Mountain.
PARKING
The Snake River Rec Path begins at River Run Village in Keystone, with free parking at the Montezuma Lot throughout the year and the Hunki Dori Lot from June to September.
From Interstate 70, take Exit 205 for Dillon/Silverthorne and drive east on U.S. Highway 6 past Dillon for about 6 miles. Look for signs leading to Montezuma Lot. For Hunki Dori Lot, pass by the Montezuma Lot to the stop sign on Montezuma Road. Turn right and take your next right onto Hunki Dori Court. The lot is next to the base of the River Run Gondola.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ski Country USA reports strong season results

#Colorado

Summit Daily News Link


Colorado Ski Country USA announced during its 54th annual meeting skier visits at its 22-member ski areas totaled 7.3 million during the 2016-17 season. It is estimated that after final numbers are tallied, the 2016-17 season will be the state's second-best season on record. This year's season total was up 6 percent over the five-year average, marking the fourth consecutive year that skier visits at Colorado Ski Country USA resorts have outperformed the five-year average.
"This season had a little bit of everything," Colorado Ski Country USA president and CEO Melanie Mills said. "A warm fall kept skiers away from the High Country early in the season, but deep snow totals in December and January attracted record numbers of guests during the busy holiday period.
"These are very strong numbers, especially considering the warm start to the season," Mills added. "Colorado's consistently great snow conditions are a draw for in-state, out-of-state and international guests. … We're looking forward to another strong season in 2017-18."
Vail Resorts is not a member of the statewide group, so its skier numbers aren't included in the Colorado Ski Country USA total. Vail Resorts doesn't report skier numbers for individual resorts. The company's most recent earnings report showed 11.6 million skier visits collectively at all of its resorts around the world.
For more information, go to ColoradoSki.com.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Breckenridge Sunday Market returns in new venue

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily


Summit Daily News Link

The Breckenridge Sunday Market returns this weekend just in time for Father's Day, with an expanded venue that organizers say will make this year's market better than ever.
"Two incredible event spaces that hug Maggie Pond at the base of Peak Nine are coming together as one venue," Carrie Benefiel, director of event sponsor Rocky Mountain Events, said of the Main Street Station and The Village at Breckenridge, which will play host to the market.
In addition to a free fly-fishing casting demo next to Maggie Pond for Father's Day, there will be the regular live music, yoga, stand-up paddleboard rentals, chair massages, a nearby winery, restaurants and even an escape room.
Meanwhile, vendors will be selling fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses, sweets, organic bath and body products, pet supplies, handmade clothing and artisan crafts.
"We are glad to give small-business rock stars the chance to showcase their items and connect with consumers while stimulating the local economy," Benefiel added. "But, it's so much more than that. We want the market to be a Sunday destination where friends and family gather to support a healthy community. With the larger footprint, we now have a stronger platform to offer more activities like cooking demonstrations, a wellness series, educational resources, nonprofit activation, sponsorships and booth spaces."
The American Veteran's Radio will be broadcasting live in Main Street Station while local musician Steve Plummer entertains The Village this Sunday. Also, the Mountain Top Children's Museum will be on-site with children's activities.
For a complete music lineup, go to RockyMtnEvents.com. The market goes 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Sept. 10, but will take a brief hiatus July 2 during the 34th annual Breckenridge July Art Festival.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Beaver 9, Breckenridge Golf Club’s bragging hole

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily

Summit Daily News Link


There's something slightly intimidating about a Jack Nicklaus course in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Breckenridge Golf Club is home to 27 holes on three courses, including two designed by the golf legend to complement narrow valley corridors and stunning vistas of the nearby Tenmile Range.
Nicklaus has his name on more than a few of Colorado's most prestigious High Country courses — the Summit Course at Cordillera in Edwards is another prime example of his alpine expertise — but ask head PGA pro Erroll Miller and he'll tell you Breckenridge is special, particularly the Beaver Course.
Built in 1987, the Beaver is one of the club's two original nines, finished just two years after the Bear Course. The Beaver is easily the narrowest course at Breckenridge, filled with tight, straight fairways lined on both sides by marshy wetlands. Add plenty of bunkers, relatively small greens and, of course, beaver ponds, and it can be an unforgiving nine for golfers without pinpoint accuracy.
But once the mechanics are dialed in, Miller says the course is a hidden gem. And one of the finest examples comes at the very end with Hole 9, itself a hidden gem.
BEAVER HOLE 9
PAR 3 | 195 YARDS (MEN), 120 YARDS (WOMEN)
Why does Erroll love the often-overlooked Hole 9? Two words: bragging rights.
"On any par 3, there's always the opportunity for the hole-in-one," says Erroll, who's been club pro since Bear opened in 1985. "That's one thing I like about it. If you have the pin hunted and the shot in your bag, go for it. Then you have something to brag about for the rest of your life."
Beaver Hole 9 is made for glory shots, or at least glory attempts. The green is large and slightly downhill from the tee box, with hardly any blind spots on the approach.
But an otherwise simple approach is complicated by hazards, including a beaver pond in the front and two bunkers lining the green. Miller terms it an "island green" in the mountains — lay it short and you're in the water, play it long and you're in the sand, with very little room for error.
And that's not all: Given the hole's location — it sits high over the surrounding valley with gorgeous views of north Tenmile Range — wind is a constant enemy. When playing from the back tees, it can swirl and gust, similar to playing at Augusta National in Georgia.
Yet with the right touch, a hole-in-one is always an option and a birdie is more than manageable. Just be ready to pay up if you can't quite find the middle of the green.
"It's a nine hole that can be a money hole when there are wagers on the line," Miller says. "You don't just want to throw it away. Play smart, and when there are wagers on the line, play to the middle."
Pro tip: Be careful with club selection. Common knowledge says to club down for an elevation drop, but don't forget the unpredictable wind. Miller throws grass in the air three or four times before his shot to gauge the wind direction and speed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Swan River restoration in Breckenridge works toward natural course

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Summit Daily News Photo

Summit Daily News Link


Under the watchful eye of Breckenridge's Tenmile Range, the recently rerouted Swan River continues to flow this spring, smoothing out rough patches and getting used to its new path.
More than a year ago, Summit County's Open Space & Trails Department with the town of Breckenridge — in addition to a multitude of other partners — initiated the renovation project south of Muggins Gulch Road ahead of Rock Island Road to rid the area of some of its centuries-old mining past. In search of gold, dredge boats destroyed the stretch of water that funnels into the Blue River. Further upstream mounds of rock for as far as the eye can see are what remain.
At a cost of $2.4 million, the first 1-mile phase of the concept wrapped up last fall in the hopes of restoring forestland and riparian areas, as well as recreating wildlife habitat and a self-sustaining trout fishery. Three other mile-long stream segments are left to be addressed over perhaps the next decade, but this summer the focus is on revegetation of the finished section and allowing the river to discover a bit of its own course.
"Right now we want to let nature find its way," said Jason Lederer, resource specialist with Summit's Open Space & Trails Department. "We will eventually identify a trail alignment probably next year and reintroduce public access, but we want to make sure the site gets established first so it's not so fragile."
Based on best practices and the natural channels of other regional waterways, the stream was reimagined with meandering curves that transitioned a half-mile portion of the Swan into a full mile. Now running according to its assisted corridor, edges are being eroded as surface water meets side-sloping groundwater and the river makes some of its own decisions about how to flow.
To even get to that point, however, it first took removing tens of thousands of cubic yards of rock from the site — a process that had its critics among nearby residents due to added noise and construction congestion on Tiger Road — and then carving the new passage into the earth. A contractor will do the same this fall on the next-most southern stretch when it trucks away 25,000 more cubic yards of gravel while also roughing in another stream depression for future construction.
The completed tract acts as a prototype for what's to come on that piece of public open space in the next handful of years. Further south past Rock Island Road, two more segments of river located on private land are the target through U.S. Forest Service-assisted easements. Before that can happen, though, upwards of 200,000 total cubic yards of historic crags, must be transported out over the next four years and swapped for more functional soil to ultimately let grasses, willows and a mix of trees grow.
Due to logistical necessity, the project is working its way backwards, starting with the last segment first rather than having begun on those privately held properties and heading toward where the river terminates.
"Ideally we'd be building them in alignment up the stream," said Lederer. "And ideally we would have started at the top and worked downstream, but we didn't have the ability to do that because it's private and there's a lot of rock up there."
All said and done, the venture comes with an estimated price tag of approximately $10 million and may not be fully achieved until 2028. County officials say the chance to act as a model to the rest of the state for how mining's legacy and physical scars can be reclaimed and refashioned into a prized public site is worth the wait, and can't come soon enough.
"If we could do it today, we'd do it," said Lederer. "But we kind of have to phase it based on where there's funding and where there's access. So this isn't the end. We're sort of at the end of the beginning, and there's a lot of work to be done. We're just getting started out here."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Annual Leadville Race Series launches with trail marathon, “heavy half” on June 17

#Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily

Summit Daily News Link


The Leadville Race Series is back, whether or not Mother Nature is ready for it.
This Saturday, the Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half kick off the famed ultra-endurance event season at 10,200 feet in Leadville, according to a release from series organizers Life Time.
But first, there's about 7 feet of snow spread across several miles of high-alpine terrain to clear. Due to substantial late-spring snowfall in the Rocky Mountains — remember when Summit County saw more than 2 feet in mid-May? — the Leadville Race Series crew has been prepping the course and working to clear snow drifts from the course, which takes runners to the summit of Mosquito Pass at 13,185 feet.
"With the May storms this year, we've received a considerable amount of late-season snow in Leadville," said Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville Race Series. "Our team has been working hard shoveling and clearing the snow away for our participants to give them the great race experience Leadville is known for."
MARATHON AND 'HEAVY HALF'
The Leadville Trail Marathon and 15.5-mile Heavy Half Marathon kick off the Colorado portion of the Leadville Race Series. The marathon is a qualifier for the prestigious Leadville Trail 100 (held this year on Aug. 19), but the courses also offer a perfect introduction for those looking to attempt other ultra-endurance events like the Silver Rush 50 on July 9. The marathon is the first event in the famed Leadman/Leadwoman competition, during which athletes participate in five Leadville Race Series events throughout the summer to be crowned overall ultra-endurance champion (not to mention king and queen of the masochists.)
The marathon and heavy half share similar courses, beginning with a run through the historic mining district of Leadville before climbing to 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass. The challenging, 3-mile pass ascent includes rocky terrain and switchbacks. Once at the summit, athletes are rewarded with breathtaking views of Turquoise Lake and the Mosquito and Sawatch mountain ranges, including Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado at 14,439 feet. The remainder of both courses is split between old mining roads and double-track trails.
Both races begin on Saturday at 8 a.m. in downtown Leadville. To register and find more info, see at LeadvilleRaceSeries.com.
If running 26.2 miles above 10,000 feet isn't your cup of tea, stay in touch with the run series, mountain bike series and trail 100, dubbed "the Race Across the Sky," on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Frisco BBQ Challenge seeking volunteers

#Frisco #Colorado


Summit Daily News Link

The town of Frisco and the High Country Conservation Center are looking for volunteers to help make the upcoming Frisco BBQ Challenge is a zero waste event.
Last year, volunteers staffing waste stations were able to help divert 76 percent of the event's waste away from the landfill. According to a news release, 13.1 tons of food were composted, 0.4 tons of glass were recycled and 1 ton of recycled plastic saved the equivalent of 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of gasoline.
Each year, 160 volunteers put in roughly 1,700 hours to help divert waste, and this year the town is asking for more people to commit to working 3-and-a-half hour shifts on June 16 and 17. Participants will receive 10 "hogbacks" — the currency of the BBQ Challenge — and a t-shirt.
The 24th annual Colorado BBQ Challenge kicks off in Frisco on Thursday, June 15 with members of The Motet playing a Tribute to Herbie Hancock concert, and the barbecue competition and tasting begins on June 16 and 17.
The event will also feature chef demos, a whiskey tour, a firefighter cook off, kids' activities, pig races, street performers and the Bacon Burner 6K run. Attendees may purchase Hogbacks, Frisco's barbecue currency, to pay for food and drinks and use them at participating retail stores and restaurants along Main Street throughout the event and weekend.
Those interested in volunteering can sign up at HighCountryConservationcCnter.org or by calling 970-668-5703.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summit Film Society to host second screening Tuesday

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Special to the Summit Daily

Summit Daily News Link


The second installment of the Breckenridge Film Festival's Summit Film Society, a new initiative from the organization, will occur Tuesday and feature "Sing Street," a film that goes back to 1980s Dublin, Ireland, as seen through the eyes of a lovestruck 14-year-old boy.
The film, from acclaimed writer-director John Carney, follows the boy as he meets a girl, Raphina. She is unimpressed with him, and so he starts a band called Sing Street to win her affections.
Music is the central part of this heart-warming film, according to a news release, and the soundtrack not only features hits from Duran Duran, Joe Jackson, The Cure, Official Motorhead, Hall & Oats, The Jam and more, but also a new track by Adam Levine and eight previously unheard songs by the Sing Street band.
The Summit Film Society is Breckenridge Film Festival's newest initiative to bring unique and independent films to Summit County through monthly screenings.
"The very first Summit Film Society kicked off with a bang in mud season," said Janice Miller, Breck Film Fest executive director, of the May 9 event. "We had a nearly sold-out crowd for 'The Eagle Huntress,' which proved to be a fabulous, inspiring film for a broad audience."
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. A full bar, nonalcoholic beverages and snacks are available until 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10. For more information, go to BreckFilmFest.com/sfs. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Riverwalk Center Box Office at 970-547-3100.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area closes out Colorado ski season this weekend

#Arapahoe Basin #Colorado
Summit Daily News

Summit Daily News Link


The die-hards came out in force this weekend at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, as they celebrated the end of Colorado's downhill ski season with a couple more runs, made possible by the last lifts still operating in the state.
Many Colorado ski resorts closed in April. A few mountains hung on through May. Then there's A-Basin, which finishes out its 70th anniversary season this afternoon, when its lifts go silent until likely sometime come mid-October next year.
And what a fantastic year it's been, said A-Basin marketing and communications manager Adrienne Saia Isaac, adding that with A-Basin's high altitude and more than 370 inches of snow total — about 20 inches above average — they were able to hang on longer than any other mountain in the state.
"It's kind of what we're known for," she said of A-Basin, adding that its closing is "a cool time of year" in which so many people come out in costumes with big smiles on their faces.
"That's one of the best things about it, right?" Isaac asked before talking about why she likes it so much. "I love the vibe at A-Basin. It's super laid back, it's always super fun, our guests are here to ski, ride and play in the mountains — that's what we love."
Jim Margolis of Dillon loves it too, and he has been hitting A-Basin's slopes since 1979. With an Epic Pass in hand, Margolis said he likes to get on Keystone's slopes early in the season because "they have good snowmaking."
Once the snow gets good, he often goes to Vail and Beaver Creek. Then in the spring, he enjoys getting some runs in at Breckenridge before finishing up at A-Basin in late April, May and June.
For Margolis, A-Basin is the mountain that makes him feel most at home.
"I like the high elevation and they stay open into June," he said, adding that there's a good variety of terrain, he has a lot of friends up here, and it doesn't feel nearly as crowded as some of the other Colorado ski resorts.
Once A-Basin's lifts stop running, Margolis said, "It's hiking and mountain climbing season" for him.
Not quite the skier and rider that Margolis is, Dave Nichols admitted he's still working on achieving full die-hard status, but he undeniably dressed the part Saturday.
Looking for something for his "kiddo" one day at Target, Nichols passed by a patriotic "onesie," made out of fabric modeled after the American flag. It was too good to pass up, and he wore it Saturday with pride.
"I was like, 'That is some spring skiing right there,'" Nichols said of his purchase before explaining why taking runs late in the season is so appealing.
"This is a fun time of year, where you have the mix of people in the parking lot with bikes on top of their car, but they're up here catching a few runs before they go ride," he said. "For me, this is what I can do in the in-between, because in April and May, you can't really go camping. It's just too muddy, so now you got a little window with something to do until everything dries out and you can get back into the mountains and not get too dirty."
Nichols planed to ski one more day, before he too shifts into more summerlike activities.
Two of the more-recognizable costume-clad skiers Saturday had to be Matt Wheeler and Mac Little. They both carry season passes to A-Basin and Keystone, and They came Saturday dressed up in full-body suits as the Cookie Monster and Elmo, complete with oversized heads and all.
"We're good at this," Wheeler said after he had just come off one the runs. "This is our thing."
The pair's last day was Saturday, as they said they likely won't be back today because they "go so hard." Still, they loved what this year had to offer.
"I feel like this season was so on par, because we were so scared in October and November, right? Everyone was so scared," Wheeler said. "Then (the snow) just hit hard, and we had a great core season. I think the fever that went on at A-Basin is perfect."
And he plans to come back again next year just as hard.
"This is my spot, dude," Wheeler said. "I'm never going anywhere else. I mean I go other places, but this is 'The Spot.' You can't beat A-Basin."