Saturday - June 15th, 2024

What can we help you find?

Open Menu

Boulder Snorkel Skiing: What, Why, and Where?

Boulder‘s own ski area, Eldora, certainly qualifies as a hidden gem ski area. It’s right in our back yard, just west of “downtown” Nederland. The skiing is impressive, especially considering that the slopes are right in our back yard.

Deep Powder Skiing Essential Gear: The Snorkel

Did I say snorkel skiing? While generally a figure of speech, it refers to skiing in powder so deep that you have to use a skin diver’s snorkel. The snorkel get the diver air by to be able to breath over the top of the blast of champagne powder snow that your skiing is kicking up. In deep powder it all happens in glorious slow motion. It works the same as it does for the scuba diver near the surface. Breathing air, just above the surface of the water, goes through the snorkel to the diver. It’s referred to a going “snorkeling.” Same with the mostly imaginary “snorkel skiing.”

How Much Snow Is TOO Much Snow? When It Is Too Deep For The Chair Lifts To Operate.

Now imagine an additional snorkel starting at the top of the first snorkel, extending breathing by another feet or so over your head. THEN add a third snorkel requirement and the result is a “three snorkel warning” for Eldora skiers. That is precisely what Eldora did for this most recent snow dump.

The snow from our most recent storm stacked up four FEET of snow at the ski area, and FIVE FEET of snow immediately South of Eldora in Gilpin County. The snow was so deep that Eldora Ski Area had to CLOSE! “No skiing today! We have TOO MUCH SNOW!” If only I could remember where I left the helicopter!

Not interested in lift lines? Heli-skiing eliminates the entire chair lift. A helicopter drops your ski party with their avalanche beacons directly at the top of the mountain. This is adventure skiing at its best!

Our latest snow dump  presented a phrase I’d not previously heard. Eldora issued a “THREE SNORKEL WARNING.” That means that the powder was so deep that breathing above the snow requires a snorkel.  Now add a couple more feet of snow to that, and you need the extension of the extra two feet. So when Eldora issues the “three snorkel skiing” warning, it is only half in jest, I suspect that the snow was so deep that the the chair lift was no longer above the snow, but buried by it.


Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Moderation in Moderation!

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
Boulder Colorado Air Quality

A Day on Boulder Creek

Featured Boulder Song

Community Partners