Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Keystone Ski Resort start snowmaking, race to open
FRISCO — It’s unseasonably warm down-valley with 70 degree October days, but up at Keystone Ski Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area temperatures dropped low enough early Wednesday to start cranking out snow. So, winter is coming after all, and the race to open is in full swing.
At A-Basin, the wet bulb temperature dropped to 25 degrees, according to Al’s Blog, which is written by A-Basin CEO Alan Henceroth. Humidity also was low, which makes for prime snowmaking conditions, he said. Henceroth also wrote that A-Basin hopes for a “productive snowmaking weekend.” Forecasts show A-Basin summit temperatures as low as 17 degrees over the weekend. The resort began testing its snow guns Sept. 22, but Wednesday marked the official start of snowmaking.
Just down Loveland Pass, Keystone also was able to get some snow flying. Keystone’s snow guns started up in earnest on the High Noon run early Wednesday. Keystone’s summit temperatures are expected to be as low as 21 degrees over the weekend and 19 degrees Monday night.
Loveland Ski Area previously designated Sept. 29 as its snowmaking start date, but this exact day wasn’t in the cards for the ski area.
“Temperatures didn’t cooperate this year, so we’re starting later,” Loveland spokesperson John Sellers said. “We had some cold temperatures last night and started testing.”
Sellers said that after testing the snow guns Tuesday night, they plan to fire them back up Wednesday night as the temperatures are forecast to be as low as 35 degrees at the base Thursday morning.
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The pass will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. east of Aspen from mile marker 59 to marker 62 to all vehicles, bicyclists and hikers.