Ear to the ground

“I never miss an opportunity to dress up like a woman.”

– A Durango business owner on his favorite feature of Halloween

Phil in the spotlight

Phil has finally had his day.Mountain Bike magazine recently tripped to the Four Corners to profile a mountain bike mecca. Surprisingly, the staffers passed up Durango and Moab before landing in Cortez.

“Cortez, the closest city to the Four Corners, is where mountains meet the desert,” author Rob Story writes. “Where Whitey meets Native Americans and Latinos. Where an Indian casino shares tourist traffic with Mesa Verde National Park. Legendary racer John Tomac has lived in Cortez since 1996 and has developed an accepting view of the area’s eclectic culture.”

The article goes on to explain the real fat tire draw of Cortez – the Phil’s World trails system. The 29-mile network located east of the burg has been steadily stacking new loops ontothe course over the last decade. “Cortezhardly justified a road trip from the rest of us, though, until the development of Phil’s.”

Unlike many trails systems, Phil’s World was “built by and for mountain bikers.” And like many in Durango already know, the system is totally unique and keeps riders coming back for more. “The pitches are short, but outrageously enjoyable, dipping into and out of arroyos, launching skinny teens and middle-aged lard-asses alike into the high-desert air … the trails at Phil’s World actually induce giggles,” Story writes.

The article adds that Cortez has defied the odds and actually become “Colorado’s hot new must-ride destination.” However, unlike most fat tire havens, Cortez has retained its Walmart luster. “Still, Cortez doesn’t feel like mountain bike capitals such as Durango or Crested Butte. Cortez remains weird,” Story notes.

‘Tis the season

The bullwheel fired to life last Sunday as Colorado officially opened for the 2010-11 ski season. Loveland Ski Area outgunned (as in snowmaking) Arapahoe Basin and became the first resort in the nation to open for the season. A-Basin opened the following day.

Snowmaking combined with last week’s dump allowed Loveland to open a mile-long strip of manmade and one lift. Another few inches of fresh fell Sunday and the crowds responded in kind to reports of “packed powder” conditions.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is still waiting on a little help from Mother Nature. The ski area is reporting a midway base of 14 inches and will fire up the lifts “once more snow flies.” Durango Mountain Resort is once again hoping on Thanksgiving Day. However, DMR and the jet stream don’t always see eye-to-eye in the early season, and delays have been common. Silverton Mountain has Opening Day set for Dec. 4.




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