News from the snow
Loveland Ski Area USA
In the late 1930's a group of adventurous skiers headed along the Continental Divide towards what is now known as Loveland and became the first to enjoy some of Colorado's world famous powder snow. Al Bennett, Loveland's original owner, is said to have built the first lift from spare parts and sheer tenacity. The current owner, Chet Upham, brought his passion for skiing and engineering expertise to Loveland when he became a partner in the Loveland Ski Tow Company in 1956. In the late 1960's Loveland was one of the first ski areas in Colorado with an extensive snow-making system, highlighting one of the many technological improvements which he implemented during his association with the resort. Traditionally, Loveland is one of the first ski areas to open each year and one of the last to close with the season running from mid-October to mid-May enjoying an annual average snowfall of 10m/33ft. A local favourite for decades, Loveland is really 2 areas with one ticket serving both: Loveland Valley and Loveland Basin which are connected by a chairlift and both have their own base area facilities. The resort has a reputation for great snow, reasonable prices and friendly staff, there's room for everyone, and the attitude is relaxed - the Loveland state of mind. The 10th largest resort in Colorado and one of the highest in the world, Loveland installed the northern hemisphere's highest quad chair for the 1998/99 season and in the process overtook Arapahoe Basin as having the highest lift in North America (6th in the world). Situated on the Continental Divide which runs along the crest of the Rockies from British Columbia, through the United States and continues into Mexico and Central America, Loveland's 1,365 acres of varied terrain, split between the Basin and Valley areas have kept the faithful coming back for over 60 years. Loveland ski area is situated in North Central Colorado 56 miles west of Denver, the Mile High City and state capital, while the City of Loveland (Sweetheart City) is 45 miles to its north. The City was named after W A H Loveland, a retired Army general and ex-railroad president so this is probably where the ski area's name originated. Loveland has become a popular Valentine's Day destination with dozens of couples tying the knot en masse at the top of the mountain. Couples are required to be either skiers or boarders so they can get back down the mountain afterwards! Nearest accommodation is in Georgetown 19km/12 miles or Silverthorne 19km/12 miles both historic mining towns dating back to the late 1800's when mining camps boomed in Colorado after the discovery of gold and silver in the area. Some of the towns are still inhabited but many have become ghost towns.
The tenth largest resort in Colorado and one of the highest in the world. A bigger mountain than Aspen with more snow than Steamboat. Loveland installed the world's highest quad chair, and probably the world's highest chair for the '98 - '99 season and in the process overtook A Basin as having the highest lift in North America (6th in the world).
The former northern hemisphere's highest quad chairlift, No 9, was installed here for the 1998/99 season and lifts skiers and riders to a height of 12,700 ft, accessing steep and challenging runs at Primer Bowl, Castle Rock and Jelly Roll. With an annual average snowfall of 10m/33 ft Loveland has a plentiful supply of snow which usually lasts from mid-October to mid-May. Due to the high elevation Loveland's powder snow stays light longer and there always seems to be untracked powder around. This is one of the few resorts to offer skiers and riders a snow guarantee so if you're not satisfied with the conditions you may return your lift ticket by 10am and receive a full refund.
17% of the terrain is just for beginners and they have their own area at Loveland Valley which has wide, gentle terrain where both adults and children can learn away from the more advanced enthusiasts. 42% of the terrain is for intermediates so advancing novices and cruisers are spoilt for choice. Skiers looking for more aggressive terrain will enjoy Loveland Basin where steeps, bumps and glades team up with open bowls. For experts only the steepest run in the area is the Avalance Bowl served by Chair No 1.
Loveland Ski School have a range of programmes to suit all skier abilities from Level 1 who have never skied before up to Level 9 who can make strong, linked parallel turns on black runs in a variety of conditions. Designed and taught by women, the "Women in Motion" series has been a great success. These 3-day on-mountain clinics emphasise techniques and developments in womens' skiing. Geared towards women of all ages and abilities, workshops include lunch, instruction and video analysis.
Telemark ski clinics are very popular and Loveland regularly host the "3 Pin Grin" which includes an extreme skiing contest, group free skiing, equipment demos and apres ski party in the Rathskellar Bar. The day usually takes on a festival atmosphere poviding fun and a challenge to telemarkers of all abilities. The extreme telemarking event was last year held on the black diamond mogul run, the Cats Meow, and contestants scored points on turn quality, terrain choice, speed, air and overall performance as they negotiated bumps, gates and a small "kicker" jump as well as an uphill finish. Prizes were awarded for the fastest time as well as best fall and fewest turns!
The childrens' ski school centre is in the Valley and ski lessons are available to children from 4 up to 12 years. The Ski and Snowboard School run Beginner Snowboard Camps for children aged 7 to 14, youths 15-20 and adults. Their Mini-Rider Snowboard Programme includes a full day lesson, lift ticket, rental and lunch for children from 7-14, and is designed to meet the needs of young beginners and deepen their love of the sport.
More dining options available in Georgetown 19km/12 miles and Silverthorne 19km/12 miles.
Loveland Ski and Snowboard School run Beginner Snowboard Camps designed for newcomers who want more than just a lesson. Their professional riders are on hand to support beginners and offer tips with Camps for children aged 7-14, youths 15-20 and adults. Their Mini-Rider Snowboard Programme includes a full day lesson, lift ticket, rental and lunch for children from 7-14. This programme is designed to meet the needs of young beginners and deepen their love of the sport.