Vail skiers call first day ‘heavenly’ |

Vail skiers call first day ‘heavenly’

A snowboarder gets one of his early season falls out of the way on Friday. (AP Photo/Vail Daily, Bret Hartman)

VAIL – Locals said Friday’s opening day at Vail Mountain was the best they’ve seen in a while.”It’s the best opening I’ve seen in 20 years,” said longtime local skier Gary Quinn as he stood at Buffalo’s atop Chair 4. “It’s been incredible.” Wes Cunningham of Eagle-Vail said this year was better than 2002’s opening, when about 2,300 acres opened on Vail Mountain. The lift lines were much longer that year, he said.”It’s better than 2002,” he said. “If you got here early enough, the line wasn’t that long. There was mad powder everywhere. It was sick.”

Cunningham said his opening run after the lifts opened at 9 a.m. was fantastic.”The first run was like heaven,” he said.Cory Melanson was still catching his breath riding up Chair 11 after his first run, which included a cliff drop in Northwoods Bowl.”Deep pow-pow,” he reported. “It’s a beautiful opening day.”

Annie Fischer was also riding Northwoods Bowl early in the day.”We’re doing cliff drops on opening day,” she said. “It’s amazing.”The conditions were more than pretty good for opening day, she said.”Pretty good is an understatement,” she said.

Vail opened 1,015 acres of terrain, with 11 lifts servicing 72 trails. The mountain has gotten 48 inches of snow over the last week.Vail Mountain plans to open more terrain Wednesday. The lifts opening then will be Game Creek Express (Chair 7), Minnie’s Lift (Chair 9), Gopher Hill Lift (Chair 12), Cascade Village Lift (Chair 20) and two beginner surface lifts at Golden Peak. Season pass restrictions have been lifted for Friday and Nov. 26. Restrictions will remain in place for Beaver Creek over the Thanksgiving holiday.Beaver Creek is scheduled to open Wednesday.

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