The pre-Thanksgiving storm that teased parts of the SW and hammered others has come and gone. In the end Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado received a storm total of 42″ of snow bringing the season total up to 105″. Wolf Creek is nestled in the perfect corner on Wolf Creek Pass allowing it to suck the moisture out of every passing storm cloud and lot’s of clouds pass this family owned gem! Well manicured tree lines await the powder chaser. The only problem; no lift lines. This means the only rest you get is on the chair or the short but worth while bootpack. “Problem” might be a gross exaggeration as who likes waiting in line anyway? The moral here, bring friends as it’s somewhat difficult to find people to exchange post face shot high fives with; problems I’m willing to take head on anytime.
The weekend was spent touring in the Telluride area waiting to see what the system brought and Admittedly we were a little behind the curve on the storm. I thought that we would see more accumulation in our neck of the woods. When this proved not to be true we decided to pack the truck and head out. Arriving at Wolf Creek on Monday we were met with strong winds. This left much of the snow up high wind effected but the snow lower in the trees remained soft and willing.
While the wind made short work of transporting snow off the high peaks, Kelli Gleason was able to find some snow of her own down low in the trees. Sometimes you’ve got to stay high, sometimes you’ve got to stay low.
We were greeted with minimal winds on our second day and ample sunshine. The amount of traffic on the hill was even less than the previous day, almost proving it challenging to find myself enjoying the art of chairlift conversation with strangers. Don’t get me wrong I love talking with my friends, but in a place steaming with character like Wolf Creek it’s ripe for conversations with randoms. The fact is every interaction that we had on and off the mountain with locals was beyond inviting. Must be the copious amounts of snow and limited people on the hill that keep the spirits high, I know we didn’t mind.
We headed for the Waterfall area off our first chair and found plenty of areas undisturbed by others. Wolf Creek seems to have more hidden areas of snow than people and the short but sweet lines off the waterfall led to lap after lap of smiles. We decided with the lack of winds it was time to take the Alberta chair up and check out the Knife Ridge. Seeing this was my first visit to Wolf Creek I wanted to make sure to explore as much as possible with the limited time available.
The top of the Alberta chair puts you at a short hike to the Knife Edge Ridge. This ridge accesses a short steep face and also some well sheltered trees. The mountain has installed a staircase to assist in the access. Views from the stairs and ridge are worth the short stroll alone, add in the sheltered and shaded pow and well, you get the idea.
While wonderful skiing is what we are after, people and attitude are what keep us coming back. Wolf Creek is saturated in warm welcoming people and a vibe that makes you feel right at home. This was present not only in those making turns on the hill but those working the lifts, the ticket window and in the lodge (on a side note try the root beer float, epic). This sort of attitude or more realistically lack of attitude is what will have us coming back for more. It’s practically impossible not to smile with great snow and a great vibe.
It’s no wonder everyone is so happy, with copious snow, fun trees and owners who take their dog skiing for a lunch break….they have it pretty dialed at Wolf Creek.
Until next time, may your turns be soft and deep. Be sure to check out Wolf Creek during the next weather system, I’m sure it won’t disappoint.