Two years ago Loveland Basin was just a place with a lot of snow and a couple of rope tows snuggled up against the east side of the Continental Divide.
Today, with over $500,000 spent in developing chair lifts, rope tows and 11 runs, it offers a weekend haven to ski enthusiasts in the Denver area. After piling the wife and kids into the family car, the ski fan heads out U.S. 6, and 57 miles later pulls into the parking lot at Loveland. Loveland has two double chair lifts, the newest of which opened last week. With a capacity of 800 an hour, this new lift brings skiers 5,700 feet up one side of the basin in a real Alpine snowfield. At an altitude of 12,000 feet there are no trees, just soft and gentle slopes where novices can tumble around without running into anything. Further down the slopes experts find powder skiing in the deep ravine among the trees. The older chair lift on the opposite side of the basin is used by those who want steep, tough and tricky runs on a par with the hair-raising stretches of Strawpile or Elevator Shaft at Aspen. Roy Parker, the area manager, can sometimes be persuaded to go along; and when not too busy teaching snow bunnies, Ski School Head Jack McTargnahan is good company too.
At day's end it is a 12-mile drive to Georgetown for a family dinner of smorgasbord or fried chicken at the Alpine Inn. Then, with the kids tucked away, parents and young people hike off to the Red Ram, a new night spot in town which features a rathskeller and Austrian food specialties.
SKIING ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Be sure to check resorts for latest condition changes
UP—inches of snow on upper slopes and trails LO—inches of snow on lower slopes and trails CR—crowd last Saturday SN—inches of snow last week
Loveland Basin, Colo.: Skiing very good on packed snow, with powder on expert trails, for families and crowds of young racers. Women favoring tangerine and moss-green Bogner stretch pants. UP 18, LO 18, SN 0, CR 750.
Arapahoe Basin, Colo.: All lifts operating. Good hard-packed surface. Ski school teaching Schaeffler shortswing technique, and pupils learning fast. Air Force Academy has contracted for 500 lessons for cadets. UP 20-40, LO 20.
Aspen, Colo.: Skiing excellent on packed snow. All trails open. Schaeffler training Denver U. team here for Aspen Invitational Intercollegiate race, Dec. 21-22. UP 40, LO 14.
Alta, Utah: Mambo and Main Street runs best, all trails open and packed. Experts hitting back slopes where powder waist-deep. Booked solid. UP 48, LO 42, SN 0, CR 1,000.
Brighton, Utah: Excellent skiing on Mt. Millicent and Majestic. Miller safety binding more popular than ever. UP 42, LO 36, CR 2,800.
Sun Valley, Idaho: Reservations tight after Dec. 20 opening. UP 14, LO 10, SN 6.
Santa Fe, N. Mex.: Ski school program doubled with juniors learning new Austrian technique. UP 36, LO 24, CR 300.
White Pass, Wash.: Skiing good along chair-lift line and Pomalift on main hill, experts' Midway Cutoff and Roller Coaster trails. UP 36, LO 17, SN 4, CR 300.
Stevens Pass, Wash.: Light new snow made skiing good. Duofold powder-blue long underwear under stretch pants popular with girls. UP 50, LO 40, SN 10, CR 300.
Paradise, Wash.: Great skiing on Alta Vista slope. Experts climbing to Anvil Rock for 1½ mile rock-dodging downhill run. UP 56, SN 24.
Mount Hood, Ore.: Skiing excellent on all slopes. Crowd on hand for Lucia Swedish Festival of lights at Timberline. UP 41, CR 900.
Squaw Valley, Calif.: All facilities operating. North Bowl cover 30 to 36 with snow falling heavily over weekend throughout Sierras. Reservations booked solid through Jan. 4, CR 150.
Mammoth Mt., Calif.: Good skiing on back trails and in timber with 18 inches of powder.
Mt. Norquay, Alta.: Heavy snow in week, all slopes skiable. Saturday night dances at Norquay Lodge starting Dec. 21. UP 12, CR 500.
Boyne Mt., Mich.: Machine-made snow base helped by last week's storm. Slopes serviced by new chair lift best. UP 30, LO 18, SN 10.
Brule Mt., Mich.: Area greatly improved by dusting of new snow. Pierre Chavin from Mont Tremblant new head of ski school.
Rib Mt., Wis.: Three-to five-inch packed base with light snow cover, skiing poor to good.
Snow Ridge, N.Y.: Good, packed powder skiing brought out big weekend crowd. Quilted parkas hot equipment item. UP 10, CR 850.
Big Bromley, Vt.: Fair to good skiing on entire mountain. Neil Robinson and Hans Palmer head large ski school, on new slope next to Lord's Prayer. Women sporting blue, beige and red stretchies. UP 8, LO 3, SN 10, CR 1,500.
Bousquet's, Mass.: Machine-made snow to build up natural base during week. CR 500.
Stowe, Vt.: Toll Road good. Tyro and Standard fair. UP 12, LO 8, SN 14, CR 500.
Sugarloaf, Me.: Skiing good to excellent for best conditions in territory, with lower T bar running. UP 3, LO 6, CR 100.
Lac Beauport, P.Q.: Ten inches of powder on hard base, all tows working. UP 18, CR 1,500.
MANAGER ROY PARKER SKIMS OFF PACKED RUN INTO POWDER ON LOVELAND SLOPE