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Keystone 3/30/2017


Active member
Nov 7, 2012
CS, Colorado
Conditions: Firm/ice, corn snow

We did not have a lot of time to ski due to earlier commitments but decided to get a half day in at Keystone. We figure it would allow things to soften up a little by the afternoon. Even though they got a few inches the night before that packed out quickly. When we arrived, it was hailing. Almost styrofoam like and accumulated about an inch on the slope. This hail would prove to be sticky stuff. In addition, the lifts were on hold due to snow lightening - that was a first. So what do you do to kill time? Have a IPA! Within fifteen minutes the lifts were spinning again.

Our goal was to ski a couple runs on the front side which we did and then make the trek to the Outback. The runs down Paymaster and Wild Irishmen were skiing really strange. The couple inches plus the inch or so of hail made things really sticky and created a speed up slow down effect. It felt really weird. after those runs, we started down Mozart and there was a noticeable difference since that run is south facing. In fact, it was rather icy. Considering the snow we have gotten in the mountains it was not expected. The run out section got glazed over making it pretty slick. In any case, we went up Santiago and attempted our trek to Outback but when we got to the top is was so windy that it was not fun since the ice was pelting out faces. So we bailed on that idea and worked our way back to the front side.

When we got to the front side the temps warmed up and the sun came out as well. The trails were now skiing much better. We skied a few runs before heading in for a quick beer break. Now on our final set of runs we headed up Peru Lift and skied Paymaster and the trails now were a heavy corn snow at this point but skied well. We headed to the village side and as we arrived we noticed the lifts stopped again - more lightening hold. As a result, we took the shuttle back to Mountain Top Lodge side and then called it a day at 3:30 - ironically the lifts started spinning again as we took our gear off.

It was a very strange weather day with different conditions at each peak, not to mention, differing snow conditions as well and snow lightning. I will admit this was one of our worst days of skiing since being in Colorado and a disappointment considering 7 miles up the road at A Basin the conditions were great according to our friends. We chose Keystone primarily due to the fact that they will be closing soon - bad move. It was interesting that the place was not very busy considering it was school vacation week in Denver and Colorado Springs as well as other denser population areas.

Talking to the bartender we learned a little. Many resorts in Colorado have south facing slopes due to their size it is almost impossible not to. Keystone, has south facing slopes that connect each peak and as a result they melt faster. Keeping that in mind, they are extending the skiing for a week, but only on the front side with one lift and possibly Peru as well if they have enough traffic. Breckenridge does something similar, Peak 9 (connecting trails are south facing) will close after next weekend as well as Peak 6 (south facing). Vail's back bowls are south facing so they will be closing much of that and some of the front side operations.






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