Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rock Creek lives

“I can’t believe how good this is.”

Rock Creek was a small ski area that first appeared in 1947 about 20 miles north of Lyons, Colorado near a “town” called Allenspark. The ski hill included two short rope tows and served a total of 5 runs. 2 beginner, 2 intermediate, and 1 expert.

Like many popular ski areas in Colorado, both resort and backcountry, this area was closely associated with members of the 10th Mountain Division. Member Bill Hottel of Longmont managed the area upon its opening. Some of the best places to ski in the state were made popular by these guys and they really paved the way early bringing European style skiing to Colorado.

Historically this area holds snow well and it was thought by the national forest service that it could sustain a public ski area. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint) the area never became a popular resort and plans to expand the lifts and terrain failed. The area closed in the mid 1950’s.

However for those of us willing to huff it up the mountain this area came alive once again! We had a blast on its runs and found almost unbelievable snow conditions given the streak of warm windy(Chinook) days we’ve had. This mountain is on my favorites list!


Check out the historic photographs and a short write up (which I referenced) at Colorado ski history dot com.