This winter’s “arctic vortex,” an extreme, record-breaking climate event dragging the country’s temperatures far below freezing, is of particular interest to one of Colorado’s most lucrative industries: the skiing and snowboarding community.
According to Loveland Ski Area Events and Promotions Coordinator Duncan Maxwell, the bitter cold has caused slight dips in attendance, but the resort’s patronage embraces the historic chill. They are not only expecting it, but are also prepared for it.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about the arctic vortex on the news and I don’t understand what all the hubbub is about,” Maxwell said. “I live at an elevation of 10,000 feet. It’s always cold up here.”
In fact, Maxwell said overall business this year is an improvement over last year’s, since the snowfall for the 2012-2013 season was below average and 2013-2014 has seen less premature melting.
According to Josh Subramanyan, a sophomore in political science and a snowboarder for eight years, bundling up for the freeze did limit what he was able to do during the arctic vortex, and the experience made it difficult to even get up to the slopes.
“For the most part, however, it is always great to have the snowfall that we did,” Subramanyan said, “and I will always brave the cold if we have some good powder.”
Subramanyan said he is optimistic about the upcoming months of snow in the still unfinished season, and he is going to go to the mountains as often as he can.
According to Cory Wake, an undeclared sophomore at Colorado College who has skied since he was 3 years old and snowboarded since he was 12, the weather pattern affected the air temperature more than the snow levels.
“I was definitely deterred from going up a few times this year because of how bitter cold it was,” Wake said.
Whether the weather has been a holiday miracle or a climate disaster is debatable, especially for those who go out into it recreationally, but the differences are undeniable for those who have skied and snowboarded for years.
As for every other winter athletics enthusiast, specifically in Colorado, now is the time to enjoy these conditions, because they are quick to change, and the changes are apt to be intense.
Collegian Entertainment Staff Writer Hunter Goddard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.