Arapahoe Basin Ski Area has seen its first “real” snow of the season with rain storms producing snow showers in areas above 10,000 feet throughout the morning on Friday, Sept. 15. The snow comes after A-Basin and Summit County’s other ski areas saw a dusting of snow on Monday, Sept. 11. The first real snowstorm of the season points to the promise of more snow on the way and the beginning of snowmaking season at A-Basin.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names put a period on the dispute between two tribal groups on the new name for Colorado’s Mount Evans, selecting Mount Blue Sky on Friday. The vote was 15-1, with three abstentions. Last November, Colorado’s Geographic Naming Advisory Board unanimously recommended approving the change to Mount Blue Sky, a name supported by the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. The recommendation went to Gov. Jared Polis, who forwarded it to the federal naming board.
But a request from a tribal government for a “government-to-government consultation” regarding the renaming abruptly halted the federal board’s vote in March. The vote has been held up for the past six months because of objections from the Northern Cheyenne of Lame Deer, Montana, the only original Colorado tribe, which is vehemently against the Mount Blue Sky name. The phrase “blue sky” is part of the sacred Tribal Arrow Ceremony and, thus, the Northern Cheyenne believe it would be “sacrilegious” for it to be spoken in common language, the tribe argued. Northern Cheyenne tribal leaders have, instead, long advocated to rename Colorado’s most famous peak to “Mount Cheyenne-Arapaho.”
“This renaming was the result of a thoughtful process, led by local communities and Tribes, and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed,” added U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. “As we work to address the wrongs done to the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes, and to Native people across the country, this is a strong first step.”
“Mount Soule” was the first name change submission, intended to honor Capt. Silas Soule, the whistleblower whose missives to Washington D.C. resulted in a federal investigation of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre, where 230 peaceful Cheyenne women, children and elders were slaughtered by Colorado troops under the command of Col. John Chivington.