Ear to the ground

"I managed to find a studden snow tire and a pair of shorts that read 'Boy Patrol.'"

-Local woman commenting on her best scores during last Saturday’s Animas River clean-up

Mom and pop take up skiing

Options for area skiers will expand this winter, but only very slightly. In a move pointing to a resurgence in mom-and-pop ski areas, a man is reopening a small ski area in Westcliffe, Colo., on the wet side of the San Luis Valley.

Terry Cook is erecting a single chairlift at the Aspen Country Mountain Park. Cook purchased the fixed grip Yan double chairlift (identical to the lift at Silverton Mountain) and a snowcat from Idaho’s Bogus Basin Ski Area. Although people have voiced concerns about steady supplies of snow in the San Luis Valley, Cook claims the location of his ski area received 342 inches last year. In true mom-and-pop fashion, he plans to charge $22 for lift tickets, just like in the old days. Cook hopes to draw the bulk of his customers in the form of families from Pueblo, which is located an hour’s drive to the east.

Cook and two employees have been cutting runs and hope to have eight or nine in place for the first year of operation. Plans are to have the ski area up and running by Dec. 3.

A ski area featuring a single rope tow operated at the site for at least 20 years, but patrons lost interest in 1990 when the small ski area, Mountain Cliff, opened nearby. That ski area has since closed.


New trails seek identities


The Bondad Bail-Out? The New Mexico Overlook? Local residents have an opportunity to leave a more lasting mark on a small piece of La Plata County. Durango Nature Studies is currently hosting a trail naming contest for three new trails that were created by Trails 2000 at the Durango Nature Center this spring. Community members are invited to visit the Nature Center in Bondad on the morning of any Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday through the end of October and hike the trails, and then dream up and submit suggestions for new trail names. 

A committee of DNS staff, board members and volunteers will vote on the entries, and three lucky winners will receive eternal glory as well as an ice cream cake.

For more information or to obtain an official entry form, contact Durango Nature Studies at 382-9244 or info@durangonaturestudies.org.


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows