Snow continues to fall consistently in the mountains, though it didn’t turn out to be the “heavy” amounts forecast. We hear (or read) “heavy” here and imagine feet, rather than inches, of snow, but it was not to be.
Still, this steady snowfall is opening more terrain and making the Thanksgiving week ski area openings something for which to be thankful. And the snow is forecast to continue all the way up to Thanksgiving Day, with snow likely through Wednesday night. You’ll see amazing early-season conditions this week, and you’ll have a lot more terrain from which to choose.
For instance, Beaver Creek opens tomorrow with what the resort reports is more terrain than usual this time of year: 558 acres of terrain on the main mountain, including Rose Bowl, as well as Bachelor Gulch.
On the main mountain, Gold Dust, Latigo, Centennial, Willy’s Face, Double Diamond, lower Buckboard and 1876 will be open as well, as all terrain accessed from Cinch Express Lift (#8) except Centennial/Spruce Face and Zoom Room.
Rose Bowl terrain includes the trails C Prime, Stone Creek Meadows, Ripsaw, Cataract and Spider. Sawbuck trail in Bachelor Gulch will be accessible by riding the Strawberry Park Express Lift (#12) and skiing across Primrose trail from Beaver Creek Village. The Bachelor Gulch Express Lift (#16) will also open for the season and for now the terrain will ski like a bowl and skiers will need to return to Beaver Creek Village via shuttle.
New this winter at Beaver Creek is the Centennial Express Lift, now a combination lift, with alternating 10-person gondola cabins and six-passenger chairs, increasing uphill capacity by 35 percent. Commemorative pins celebrating the new lift will be handed out on opening day while supplies last and a public ribbon cutting ceremony will take place when the lift opens at 9 a.m.
Opening day at Beaver Creek will also feature hot cocoa and morning Cookie Time as well as the traditional Beaver Creek Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition that begins at 2 p.m.
Over at Winter Park Resort, the big news late yesterday was that Mary Jane will open on Friday with a ceremonial first chair on the Super Gauge Express at 8:30 a.m. There will be 147 acres open, including Mary Jane Trail, Drunken Frenchman, and Lower Arrowhead Loop, among others. In addition to the Super Gauge, the Pony Express, Iron Horse, Hi-Lonesome Express, and Galloping Goose lifts will all be in operation.
The new Lunch Rock Restaurant will be available for restroom breaks, but the restaurant will not be open for food service until early December.
Winter Park Resort will also open 137 acres of new terrain tomorrow in the Winter Park Territory, including top-to-bottom skiing from The Lodge at Sunspot on Cranmer, as well as White Rabbit, and March Hare, among others. Available lifts will include the Zephyr, Olympia, Eskimo, and Looking Glass.
The Terrain Park Territory will also be open Wednesday with sections of Re-Railer Terrain Park available for terrain-park maneuvers and whatnot.
As always, stay tuned here for the latest snow report, road conditions and forecast. Here’s the current snow and terrain report with the 24-, 48- and 72-hour totals in that order…
Arapahoe Basin: 4”, 7”, 11” (5 lifts, 7 trails, 1 terrain park, 100% beginner terrain open, 60% intermediate open, 20” base)
Aspen Mountain: 2”, 3”, 7” (2 lifts, 19 trails, 21% beginner/intermediate terrain open, 2% advanced/expert open, 155 acres, 17” base)
Breckenridge: 6”, 13”, 21” (16 lifts, 42 trails, 2 terrain parks, 704 acres, 24% open)
Copper Mountain: 5”, 8”, 15” (7 lifts, 34 trails, 1 terrain park, 370 acres, 28” base)
Eldora: 1″, 6”, 10” (8 lifts, 100% beginner terrain open, 60% intermediate, 10% advanced, 34” base)
Keystone: 2”, 4”, 9” (37% beginner terrain open, 68% intermediate, 21% expert, 16% hike-to terrain)
Loveland: 5”, 10”, 17” (3 lifts, 5 trails, 17% beginner terrain open, 8% intermediate, 107 acres, 25” base)
Vail: 8”, 16”, 22” (10 lifts, 45 trails, 1314 acres, 27” base)
Winter Park: 2″, 6”, 13 1/2” (7 lifts, 12 trails, 1 terrain park, 70 acres, 22” base)
Wolf Creek: 0″, 0”, 3” (6 lifts, 50% open, 800 acres, 27” base)