News Roundup 1/4/17 — Western Swing Wednesday

4 January 2017 — We’re going to leave behind the rain and grim faces that dominate south, east, and much of the midwest…go west young man…we find snow, smiles, sunshine, and more snow…first I want to start with a shout out to correspondent Gustave Sexauer, who’s home base is Mt. Crescent ski area in Iowa; Gustave reports: I skied at Cranor Hill in Gunnison Colorado last week. Turns out they are open until 4:30pm (only on days when school is out) so it was possible to leave Crested Butte a little early and still make it for two runs before they closed. $15 tickets. They had spotty cover, but when it’s snowy they said you can ski all the way to the left or right from the top of the lift…Also I was hoping to get to Bear Den Mountain in North Dakota this season, but just found out they are for sale and are not opening this year…thanks for the report Gustave!…big weather winner in California where Homewood Resort reports just shy of three feet in the latest storm; they’re open top-to-bottom but still need a bit more snow to get 100% open. Photo above gives you a good look at what’s going on there this morning…Good news/bad news from Squaw Valley — they’re reporting two-and-a-half feet from the same system BUT conditions are so hazardous right now, they’re closed today until conditions allow. Alpine Meadows next door ain’t even holding out hope, they’re shut down tight for the day…across the lake Heavenly is delaying their opening as well, right now I don’t expect the upper mountain to be open at all today…better shape in the Rockies; Grand Targhee serving up 7″ of fresh and they’re 95% open with all lifts spinning…down in Colorado same numbers at Arapahoe Basin; 7″ fresh and about 95% of the place is open. It’s 100% of the front side, most of Zuma, but no East Wall. Staring at damp rocks and grass here in the east I can’t muster much sympathy for disappointed East Wall Basinites…Snowbird UT on the receiving end of two feet over the past couple days, and they’re staring down another storm that looks like it will do two more feet before the weekend. They’ve got about 3/4 of their total terrain open, but you’ll need chains on the rubber if you want to head up Little Cottonwood Canyon this morning. My suggestion? Grab the 994 bus and ride up. No stress, no problems…Montana’s Whitefish Mountain Resort tallied its busiest day ever last Friday (Dec 30) with 8,601 skiers and snowboarders making turns. Well, I imagine most of them were making turns. A few were probably just crashing. Anyway it beats Whitefish’ previous record of 8144 set on Dec. 28, 2014…back to Utah, pleased to report that two Beaver Mountain employees were found alive and well late last night after getting all turned around during a back country outing in Cache County. They weren’t skiing at the Beav at the time, so don’t get all frightened saying “ooh the Beav is dangerous” in fact just the opposite, I encourage you to ski the Beav it’s one of those out-of-the-way, uncrowded gems with no phony village and other resorty trappings. The man and woman were found in the Peterson Hollow region of Franklin Basin, on the north side of Logan Canyon. Glad they’re safe, and glad the Beav is keeping it real in northern Utah…and finally also Utah we’re pleased (mostly) to report that for the second time in as many weeks, a kid was rescued safely after dangling by his backpack from the quad chair at Sundance. Backpacks get stuck on chairs, and it doesn’t just happen to kids. Gotta keep those things off chairlifts! (Referring to backpacks — I am not opposed to kids on chairlifts)

Photo Above: Homewood Resort California this morning