Moving to Denver in early April - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-06-2013   #1
Athens, Georgia
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Moving to Denver in early April

Howdy folks,

After a brief stay in the "deep south" I'm returning to "The West", starting a new job in Denver in early April.

Couple of questions: which nearby ski areas will still be open through mid-to-late April??? How's the snow?

When do the rivers start getting good for whitewater trips? I have 2 catarafts-12-ft for day trips and play-boating, 16-ft for multi-day trips.

Might also be looking for one or 2 more folks/parties to join us on a Middle Fork Salmon trip in June (June 11 put-in); will probably be 6 or 7 days on the river; contact me if interested, tell me about yourself, boating experiences, party preferences, cooking skills, etc. We are a small, relaxed, "live-and-let-live" kind of group.


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Old 03-06-2013   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Loveland and A basin stay open post April 15 depending on snow. Most resorts close mid April.

Boating and skiing overlap in April. Runs like westwater are good in April. Western desert rivers come in first. Snow is pretty bad this year. Weak runoff to be expected.
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Old 03-06-2013   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 491
Both A-basin and Loveland compete to see who can stay open the longest. In a good snow year you can ski into June even July. Unfortunatly this is not a good snow year, mid April might be the best we can hope for.
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Old 03-06-2013   #4
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Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 207
I would agree that Abasin and Loveland compete to open first, but not for closing days. Loveland almost always closes the first/second week of May. Never seen them open in June. Obviously closing dates are going to be dictated by the snowpack at the ski area, but they both have the ability to make snow so natural snowpack is somewhat irrelevant. Ever since an in-bounds avalanche at Abasin killed a guy back in 2005 they seem to close earlier, but are usually open until the beginning of June.
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Old 03-06-2013   #5
Athens, Georgia
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
CO "Spring skiing"

Thanks. You guys mentioned 2 areas, how far from Denver?

Also, your thoughts on the upcoming water season in CO. Some good runs near Denver?

It will all be new to me-great stuff.
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Old 03-06-2013   #6
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,766
It is 55 miles from downtown Denver to Loveland Ski Area Loveland Ski Area :: Colorado Ski Snowboarding Resort, Skiing Season Pass, Ski School, a little farther (over a pass) to A-Basin. That drive "should" only take you an hour.... however, if you time it wrong during ski season it can take much, much longer.

The snow this season has been poor, to put it kindly.... but it is improving, and this is the time of year when we can get BIG dumps. The snowpack has been gaining on the average for the last couple weeks and there are at least a couple more storms in the pipeline. If we have a wet spring it could continue to snow off and on into late April/early May.

As far as good runs for a cataraft near Denver.... that's a little tougher. For class II-III your probably looking at the Upper Colorado near Kremling or the Arkansas near Buena Vista and Salida. Clear Creek and the South Platte are the closest rivers to you, but they aren't particularly cataraft friendly..... sure CC gets commercially rafted, but it's narrow and tight.
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Old 03-08-2013   #7
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,385
North Platte at the CO/WY border is a reasonable trip- and a lot less pressured than the Upper C and Arkansas runs. Loveland generally runs thru the first Sunday in May- and A Basin
shoots for the first weekend in June.
April skiing can be, and often is, the best skiing
of the year.
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Old 03-08-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 68
Loveland has to close in May because of elk calving, or something like that. If you plan on getting a pass next season both LL and A Basin sell next year's pass at the end of the season and allow you to ski the remainder of the season with it. You will also be able to find good deals on leftover LL 4-packs at the end of the season on Craigslist; people will be dumping them cheap, particularly on a bad snow year. LL's 4 packs are nice because they're actual lift passes, other areas' 4-packs are like season passes with photos and are not transferable (not sure about the Basin).
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Old 03-15-2013   #9
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 48
Denver area and other regional boating

The lower sections (downstream of Idaho Springs) of Clear Creek usually hit runnable levels in late April or early May. It has everything from class III to class V. Waterton Canyon (class III) on the South Platte is usually boatable by now. Bailey Canyon on the North Fork South Platte usually has water coming through the tunnel some time in May but it depends on the amount of water available on this side of the divide. It has been rumored that Royal Gorge on the Arkansas is sufficently clear of ice to be runnable. The Parkdale section was boatable 2 weeks ago. Pine Creek and Numbers are usually boatable in early April.
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