Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Wintertime!

We finally put together a short video of the first week of the 08-09 season. Check it out here. I'm just this side of terrible at editing video so please forgive the amateurism.

We'll be out with the video camera today to capture all the festivities. Smile for the camera!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Building a Park

The guys closed the terrain park today so they could get lots of work done. One of our wonderful cat drivers, Justin, stuck around after his night shift to help build stuff.

Here's our new rainbow box which we'll be using for tomorrow's rail jam

Then Justin started work on the deck and knuckle for the kicker. Here's what it looked like before he demolished it.

Pushing the snow

The view out my window. It's hard to tell but we were right on the edge of his little platform

After widening the deck, he started adding length

Pushing snow up to the edge

About to go over the edge to shape and groom out the landing. It got pretty steep!

The view out the window as he grooms the knuckle and landing

Next he pushed snow to make the lips. They'll be small for now and then get bigger as we get more snow. A smaller lip with a bonk is being installed on skier's right of the kicker.

Next it was time to set some rails

They're working on putting in the C rail, flat box, urban rail, kicker and bonk. Check it out tomorrow and we'll see you at the New Year's Eve Rail Jam. If it's nice out we'll do registration in the park at 2pm rather than the lodge ($5 to enter, open format).
UPDATE: Bear Claw is now open! Go check it out!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Photo Contest

The Free Press is hosting a Powderhorn photo contest where you could win lift tickets, a LOKI jacket, and a big gift certificate to Board & Buckle. Contest ends soon so you better upload any photos you have! Click here to view the gallery and upload your stuff!

I think this one is my personal favorite so far.

FYI- everything is now open except Cannonball and Bear Claw

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blue Skies

What's that bright thing in the sky? We sure haven't seen that for a couple weeks. Forgot what it was. It's completely clear today! Our first blue bird day of the season. With new snow it's almost the perfect's just freaking cold! The high today is only 10 degrees so bring an extra layer.

We're going to bundle up and get out for some photos today. If you see one of us with a camera, muster some Kodak Courage and ham it up for us!

Friday, December 26, 2008

More Terrain

Patrol just opened Hooligan, Thunder Mtn. Glade and Mudslide! If you aren't up here today, you probably should be tomorrow!

12/26 Friday Feed

I hope you're all recovering nicely from Christmas! Here's the Friday Feed for this week. We covered the weekly and seasonal snow update, New Year's Eve details, and Full Moon skiing/snowshoeing.

Listen here.

And if you've never seen the Torchlight Parade & Fireworks, here's a great video from last year. Kudos whoever you are!

p.s. We can tell it's last year's because it's the year the fireworks got a little close to the crowd :) Watch to the end and you'll see what I'm talking about, plus you can hear some of the reaction in the crowd. What a finale!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blizzard Warning

Ok....I just got a phone call from the mountain with some updates regarding what's coming our way. The Grand Mesa is currently under an Avalanche Watch, Blizzard Warning and Winter Storm Warning.

This storm is expected to bring heavy snow with high winds. If winds get too high with low visibility, we have to shut our lifts down for safety reasons. Roads could also be very bad.

Bottom line is, it could be an epic day BUT if you are coming please be prepared. Check the road conditions, leave early, take your time and have the proper gear in your vehicle. Please call our snow report tomorrow morning at 970-268-5300 as I will give an update on what we know at that time for snowfall, winds, temps and road conditions/closures.

Helpful links:
Powderhorn Forecast (NOAA)
Colorado Road Conditions
Satellite of the storm

Naughty or Nice?

I think we've all been nice since we're about to get the best Christmas gift there is: POWDER! The forecast is calling for 1-2 feet by Friday morning. So tear open those presents and then try out your new gear in fresh snow tomorrow.

We're thankful for a white Christmas this year and to have you as our guest. From the entire Powderhorn staff MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


A foot of snow in the last 24 hours! At least 8 of that fell overnight and is untouched. Our grooming crew made a passes on Bills Run, Tenderfoot and Redeye but left the rest for you to blast through yourself. All beginner terrain is groomed.

Anothe 7-11 inches expected today! We've already had 61" in the month of December, pretty darn good!

The top of the Grand Mesa is CLOSED right now. You can get to Powderhorn right now through Mesa. For road conditions please visit

If you get some great photos of you and your friends, email us!

Have fun!

Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas

I think it's safe to say it'll be a very white christmas. Just like one's I used to know...

We could get up to 22 inches by Christmas Eve! Now that's a good present. Check out the forecast. It's a little windy today. The kind of wind where you might expect to see a girl and her little black dog fly by.

Random picture of the day:

UPDATE: 1:30PM Lower Sweet Misery (to tower 10) and Second Thoughts now open! 3" more since this morning but heavy winds are not allowing it to build on the base stake.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pow Pow Pow

The forecast for the night last night said "1-3 inches possible". If by 1-3 they meant SIX then they were right! It's going to be a great day with more snow expected and all lifts now open.

Conrgats to Alyssa who has won first tracks today. It'll be good!

Please be careful coming up, roads will be a little slick. But remember, bad roads = good skiing & riding.

UPDATE: 9:30AM Upper Sweet Misery and Hooker are now open!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Feed

I just wrassled (yes wrassled) with my computer for an hour to figure out how to do this again! Here's the first podcast of the season- the DEALS edition.

(You have to turn your volume up pretty high, I'll try to get that fixed by next week).

Click here

UPDATE: 2:15PM West End will open tomorrow morning with Tenderfoot, Redeye and Snowcloud. More terrain on that end could open throughout the day tomorrow. It all depends on what the wind does (it's very gusty today).

Photo Gallery

Well I had high hopes of getting a small web video put together today....but it turns out my computer doesn't have the right connector thingy (that's the technical term) for the video camera. We got some good stuff yesterday on Racer's Edge. So instead, here's some pictures from the last week.

We'll be taking pictures and video as much as possible all season long. Here is the link to our photo & video gallery.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

West End

It's getting close! We're looking to have as much on the West End open as possible by this weekend. Ski Patrol is working hard each day right now to prep it. Keep in mind, when the West End opens, tickets will be at full price.

For those that like to keep track, we've had 35" since we opened. Let's hope it doesn't stop! I'm going to try and get out tomorrow morning and get some video done so we can post it on the web. That way you can see what the slopes are looking like for the weekend. If Ski Patrol will put up with me, maybe I can get a ride up the West End and gets some shots over there!

UPDATE: Junction Park is now open with the flat rail and a double kink rail.
UPDATE: 3:45PM 5 inches of new snow has fallen TODAY! There's still sporadic wind gusts and that's expected through the night. Listen to Magic 93.1 in the 7:00 hour tomorrow morning...I'll be giving away FIRST TRACKS for Saturday!! The winner will get to load the lift right behind ski patrol and enjoy the fluffy goodness about 15 minutes before we release the crowd! Disclaimer (aka don't be a sore loser)- this will not delay the time we normally load public. Watch for more chances to win throughout the season!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What the ??

Here's our Photo of the Day (click to enlarge)

Looks like just about anybody can get a staff pass around here.

UPDATE: 10:00am- Two small rails are now open on EZ. Upper Maverick is now open. Looks like lots more runs will be opening tomorrow morning!
UPDATE: 12:45pm- Lower Bill's Run has been opened! And it's dumping right now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bus Service

Big news! Bus service is back! Check out the entry on the homepage at for all the details. Let us know if you have questions!

Answer Desk

For today's post, I'd just like to answer a few questions that have come in.

What are ticket prices going to be the next few days?
Lift tickets will remain at $30 until we open the West End lift.

When are some rails going to be put in?
The terrain park crew is waiting for more snow before it's safe to set rails. Up to another foot of snow is expected in the next 36 hours. I'll keep you posted on terrain park developments.

Will Powderhorn be laying off employees?
We have absolutely no plans to lay off any employees. We're doing well right now considering the economic situation. Our pre-season sales were up about 3% over last year which was a record. Snow is a must though!

When will you update on terrain openings?
As soon as more terrain is opened, Ski Patrol calls me and I post it on the snow report. I'll also update the blog each time until all runs are open.

How does the snow reporting work?
Ahhh the most important part of the day! Our groomers and snowmakers get done between 4 and 5am. They leave us a voicemail with all the details on new snowfall, base, and what was groomed. There are two snow reporters and we rotate days. We roll out of bed and pick up the message . We change our website, Colorado Ski Country website, and record the message for the snow line. Which, by the way, is 970-268-5300. If it's snowing throughout the day, we'll post updates as we get them from Ski Patrol.

Have another question? Something random you just want to know? Drop it in the comment section and we'll reply!

UPDATE: 11:30am Dude is now open

Another question came in...

How do you decide when certain terrain is ready to open?
I called up Bill Bruchak, our Ski Patrol Director for an answer to this. He said they are take each run on a case-by-case basis. They think about things like- snow depths, what's under that snow, forecast, density of the snow, how many people we expect on that run, how will it hold up, and most importantly the safety factor. Next time you ski a ski patroller, give them a big hug because they do a lot of work to get a run open. Most runs get ski packed which means they spend hours just side-stepping in their skis to build a base on the run. This helps it ski well all season long.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The call came in at 3am, we're going for it! So far the storm has dumped 10" on top and 6" at the lodge. Our settled base is 24". See snow report here.

Lift tickets will only be $30 today for adults, seniors and youth. All others are normal price (since it's cheaper).

PLEASE be careful driving up to the resort today. Roads are slick!

We do not recommend taking lessons today as beginner area is limited.

More terrain could open throughout the day as ski patrol assesses the coverage.

The high today is only 17 and more snow is expected, plan accordingly!

All mountain services are available, so make time to check out the new Trader Cafe or the new menu at the Wildewood Restaurant.

We're literally waking our employees up and calling them in. It's fair to say it will be a crazy day so please have patience! We have plenty of new employees that are about to get trail by fire!

See you on the slopes!

UPDATE: 12:30pm Equalizer is now open top to bottom. Snowing lightly off-and-on.
UPDATE: 1:30pm Looky Looky and Lower Maverick now open.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Watch Out for Mary Poppins

The winds are changing and coming out of the southwest. That's usually a good thing as storms from the south historically have hit hard at Powderhorn.

Wind gusts up to 55 mph are expected today. When it's this windy, it feels like all our snow is going to end up on people's doorsteps in Mesa. But thankfully the track-packing we did this week will help hold what we have.

There's no new snow yet, but the storm is supposed to get going around 11am today. Accumulations aren't high today since it's going to be so windy. But they're still saying 8-12" tonight.

Here's the infrared so you can see the storm.

I wish that thing up in Montana was ours!

I feel like a weather girl....all I need now is one of those clicky things that change the screen.

UPDATE: 4:30pm
No snow accumulation yet but the forecasted accumulation has increased! We're looking at 10-16 inches overnight and another 8" possibly tomorrow. yay!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Info

Everywhere I go right now, people are talking about the weather and skiing. Everyone is ready to go! We are too. But what's more important is that we open with good, safe conditions. So we aren't going to push it just to be open.

Forecast says 2-4" tomorrow and another 8-12" Saturday night! No matter what, that's good news.

To answer a couple questions:

If we open Sunday, we do not recommend booking any first timer lessons. It's unclear at this time how much beginner terrain will be open.

Employees should contact their manager regarding Sunday. The best thing to do is plan to work that day, but check your email or the website first thing Sunday morning for the news.

Regardless of what happens, I'll post an update very early Sunday morning (as soon as I hear from the mtn crew). I'll let you know what call we make, how much snow we've had so far, and any other info that may be helpful.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A picture tour of conditions today...
(click to enlarge)

With snowmaking

Without snowmaking

Upper mountain

Base Area

New Trader Cafe
Christmas tree going up

BIG Update

Ok here's the latest-

I talked with our CEO and with the storm looking favorable, we will try to open Sunday. BUT we won't be able to make the call until early Sunday morning. We're talking middle of the night here.

My plan is to wait for the phone call from our mountain manager (which could come as early as 2am) then start hitting the website and media. Either way, I'll post on the site what we're doing. If we're opening, we'll have a full snow report online and at the snow phone 970-268-5300.

It's all caffeine and snow dances from here on out!

Storm Tracking

Watching the forecast is almost an obsession right now. The coming storm is being built up a lot and we certainly hope it materializes. It's too early in the forecast to see accumulation predictions, but hopefully it's going to be a dumper.

Temperatures are still very low this morning so we're still making snow around the base area.

If this storm is as big as they say, things are going to get very interesting around here this weekend. I'll be in contact with the mountain crew each morning and will continue to post updates. As soon as we make the decision about opening, I'll hit the web, TV stations, newspapers and radio. If you're in our text message club, you'll get an alert sent straight to your phone. If you want to sign up for that (it's free) go here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Webcam Fans

Just FYI...the power went out in the whole area this morning which shut down the webcam obviously. As soon as the servers are back up, the camera will be updating again.

Looking Good

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Everything is blanketed in that beautiful white right now. We had a good snowmaking night last night as temperatures were in the teens. Our high today and tomorrow will be in the upper 30s but the sun is low enough that it's not causing any melting.

The NOAA forecast is calling for HEAVY SNOW on Sunday!! We're counting on that storm to bring us to where we need to be to open. Looks very favorable right now.

Other news:

Going to Walmart or the mall right now can make an otherwise normal person completely lose it. So we've got some easy ideas for you if you've got a snowrider on your list.

Powderhorn Gift Cards are available here. These are good for any good or service at the mountain.

The Buddy, Burger, and Beverage deal is now available. Click here for a great gift for couples.

And the Alpine Trader has hats, stickers and more items coming to their online store.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Get Conditioned

Powered by Powderhorn, Gold's Gym is offering a new class specifically geared toward getting you in shape for skiing and snowboarding.

Fridays (beginning this week)
Grand Junction location only

Each time you attend the class, your name will be entered to win one of several Plus Cards! I'm checking it out this week...and if I can move my legs afterwards I'll keep at it.

Nailed Us

Maybe all we needed to do was delay the opening for it to start snowing. This little storm nailed us and brought more than expected. In the last 24 hours we received 12" on top, 5" at the base. We were also able to make snow. One more storm and we'll be looking pretty good. The storm coming in this weekend is being talked up pretty big...if it goes as planned, that should do it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Opening Postponed

The word is in: we will not be opening this Thursday as planned due to low snow levels. Instead of setting another date, we will be evaluating day-by-day and will open as soon as conditions warrant. We're glued to the forecasts right now and are ready to make snow at every opportunity. We just need Mother Nature to kick in!

Check back here and on the website for daily updates. Let's hope it comes soon!

Sorry, forgot to mention the webcam is now live again!

UPDATE: 1:30pm
Snowing lightly but steady!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Winter Kickoff Party

Stop by Gene Taylor's tomorrow for the Winter Kickoff Party!


Get your season pass photo, buy a Plus Card or lift ticket, grab some free stuff from Mtn Dew, and shop for some new stuff!

Then look for us in the Parade of Lights, 5pm tomorrow night. We'll have our King or Queen of the Mounatin riding with us. We've also put together a small army of snowriders to hand out candy and coupons.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's A Sign

We've figured out why it hasn't snowed much yet. You know the house on highway 65 with the sign next to the old barn? Well the sign still says "Think Fall". I don't know who lives there but if you're reading this could you please change the sign? We all get a kick out of the signs you put up. And the "Think Snow" sign is a tradition...we need it!


We will be making a decision on Monday regarding our opening day. Check back here on the blog or the website Monday afternoon for the update. I'll also be letting all the media know what we decide. Snow is possible Sunday/Monday so we'll see what happens!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

King's Crown

This Saturday we will crown our first King (or Queen) of the Mountain. You'll get to see the winner in the Parade of Lights. We made the crown yesterday in Powderhorn style using old rental shop ski poles.

We still need to add some jewels to the fur but I think it's looking pretty good. You know you want to win! Listen to Magic 93.1 or the Vault 92.3 for your chance to qualify.

Go Suby

Just what can a Subaru do? Apparently they can even hit terrain parks. Check out this video from the DC Mtn. Lab. Fast forward to the 3 minute mark if you want to see a snowboarder and a Subaru hit a jump at the same time!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Opening Day???

We're starting to get questions on whether or not we'll open on time. It's still too early to tell. We need an 18" packed base to open and it's not there yet. But there's another little storm coming in tonight and who knows about next week.

The plan is still for December 11th and we'll revise that if we need to next week. Stay tuned to the blog for updates. Otherwise, pray for snow!

All Hail the King

We're looking for a King or Queen of the Mountain this year. Have what it takes? Well all you have to do is listen to Magic 93.1 in the mornings, be the 9th caller or 19th texter to get qualified. They're qualifying every day this week.

The winner receives 2 Plus Cards, a nights stay at the Inn at Wildewood, and gear from Gene Taylors! We'll call the winner Friday afternoon. Then you and your family/friends can ride in our sleigh as the King or Queen of the Mountain this Saturday at the Parade of Lights.

Make sure to stop by Gene Taylors this Saturday from 10am-2pm for our Winter Kickoff Party! Get your season pass photo, buy lift tickets or plus cards, get some free stuff, and have your equipment tuned up.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Caught yet another beautiful sunset at the mountain today...

Snow Update

It's good to see the white stuff again! We received 5 inches at the base from this storm. More on top. We've also been able to make more snow since the temperatures dropped. Looks like we could see more snow tomorrow night. We need at least an 18 inch packed base for cross your fingers! Only 11 days to go!