A-Basin (snow)gunning to go | AspenTimes.com

A-Basin (snow)gunning to go

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy Arapahoe BasinArapahoe Basin will open one run with an 18-inch base on Wednesday.

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Arapahoe Basin will open Wednesday, making the Colorado ski resort the first in the country to open for the season for the second straight year.

Last season, though, Coloradans were already skiing by now. In 2007, A-Basin opened Oct. 10, its earliest opening ever.

Loveland Ski Area, meanwhile, intends to open “within the week,” said a spokesperson there. Its website reports snowmaking is in full swing: “There’s is so much snow at the top of Chair 1, we had to bring the snowcat up there to groom it. As the snowmaking continues to make progress downhill, we get closer and closer to an opening day announcement.”

As is typical for the bragging-rights opening at A-Basin, skiers and boarders will find intermediate skiing on just one run, High Noon, served by the Exhibition lift, plus some open features in the resort’s High Divide Terrain Park.

A-Basin officials reported an 18-inch base.

For Aspen loyalists jonesing to hit their home slopes after spying that dusting of snow extending all the way down to the base of Aspen Mountain on Sunday morning, the countdown to opening day stood at 46 days, as of Monday.

If recent history is any indication, the slopes of Aspen Mountain will undoubtedly go from brown to white to brown a number of times before its anticipated, traditional Thanksgiving Day opening, but late fall weather is hardly a dependable indicator of the winter to come.

Last winter opened with some promising October snows, followed by a balmy November that left Colorado resorts opening anemic amounts of terrain, if they were able to crank up their lifts at all, for their scheduled debuts.

Snowmass opened on Thanksgiving Day 2007 with about seven acres of terrain and 200 vertical feet of lift-served skiing. Aspen Mountain opened the following day with about 50 acres under the Ajax Express lift.

It was an inauspicious start to an exceptional season, in which eight Colorado resorts ” including Snowmass ” set snowfall records.

As it stands currently, both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open this season on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27), followed by Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk on Dec. 13.

Sunlight Mountain Resort outside of Glenwood Springs has pegged Dec. 5 as its opening day.

Elsewhere around the state, scheduled ski area openings include:

Beaver Creek ” Nov. 26

Breckenridge ” Nov. 7

Crested Butte ” Nov. 26

Copper Mountain ” Nov. 14

Durango Mountain Resort ” Nov. 27

Keystone ” Nov. 7

Powderhorn ” Dec. 12

Silverton Mountain ” Nov. 29

Steamboat ” Nov. 26

Telluride ” Nov. 27

Vail ” Nov. 21

Winter Park ” Nov. 19

Wolf Creek ” Nov. 7

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