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Travel Time to Ski Snodgrass is For the Birds!
These sentiments are reprinted with the permission of Kiki and Gary Dotzler. (10/05/09)
 
Did you know that it would take 45 minutes, one-way, and 4 lift rides, to get to the top of Snodgrass from the base area? Here´s what your trip would involve:

1) Red Lady Lift, then ski to Painter Boy (via Houston, yeehaw!)
2) Painter Boy Lift, then ski to bottom of Gold Link (too steep for beginners!)
3) Gondola from Gold Link to 1/2 way up Snodgrass Mt. (first remove your skis/board)
4) Ski a very short run to one more lift to the top of Snodgrass (cold yet?)

Here´s some things you´ll probably consider before you make that commitment to riding lots of lifts and wasting lots of time:

* Forget about it if you are a beginner. Gold Link is not the type of terrain you are comfortable skiing, it´s pretty steep. (CBMR has stated that lower level skiers would have to be bussed to Snodgrass! That sounds fun!)
* Forget it if you're a snowboarder. Lots of flats involved. Heck, on the west side of Snodgrass is a 1/2 mile runout that snowboarders will avoid like the plague.
* Forget it if you're hunting for intermediate terrain. Of the 200+ acres of proposed skiing on Snodgrass, less than 50 acres would be sought-after intermediate.
* Forget it if you're searching for sick terrain. The vertical drop is only 1500 ft. The west side of Snodgrass might be equivalent to doing laps on Twister (definitely not for "intermediates" btw). Not bad, but would you give away 1.5 hours of your day riding lifts just to get there, when you could be riding better and more terrain elsewhere for less time commitment?
* Based on CBMR´s own numbers, showing Snodgrass as having 43% black runs and 37% intermediate runs, it´s almost as if the proposed skiing on Snodgrass is best suited for experts, not intermediates. And f you´re an expert, you would´t ski the little molehill that is Snodgrass Mountain because you know the "goods" lie elsewhere.
* Maybe it´s a powder day. You´ll have to wonder if the terrain on Snodgrass is even open yet. You know how long it can take to open stuff, right? Are you gonna make the travel commitment of 45 minutes, one-way, knowing that lots of it might not yet be open and miss all the pow elsewhere?
* Recall that to get to East River Lift, you have to ride only one lift (Silver Queen) and then you get to ski one of the longest runs the mountain has to offer as a warm up. Compare that to the option of riding 4 lifts and wasting 45 minutes of your precious time just getting to Snodgrass.

All this begs the question; So who would actually ski Snodgrass if opened?

If you are scratching your head and feeling that expansion onto Snodgrass Mountain is not such a good idea, your input is needed. Please write a letter to the Forest Service supervisor, Charles Richmond at 2250 Hwy 50, Delta, CO 81416, or email him at csrichmond@fs.fed.us. There´s also a lot of good info at FriendsofSnodgrass.org.
 

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