And then there were five: Keystone, Copper open for the season, joining A-Basin, Loveland, Wolf Creek
After tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 5), Colorado will have a total of five ski areas up and running for the 2010-11 ski season – the majority of them within an hour drive of Vail.
But even though there's a fairly healthy swath of snow on Vail's Golden Peak – due to a couple feet of natural snow over the last two or three weeks and cold nights perfect for snowmaking – that run is being hogged by the U.S. Ski Team, in town training for the next World Cup races Nov. 13-14 in Levi, Finland. Vail doesn't open for another two weeks, kicking off the season Friday, Nov. 19.
This Friday, Copper Mountain -- just over Vail Pass to the east on Interstate 70 – and Keystone -- a Vail Resorts' ski area farther south of Copper in Summit County – crank up their lifts. They join nearby Arapahoe Basin and Loveland, as well as Wolf Creek in southern Colorado. The following weekend, Vail Resorts' other big Summit County ski area, Breckenridge, opens on Friday, Nov. 12.
Daytime temperatures have been balmy of late, in the 50s on the valley floors and pushing 60 in down-valley locations. Those conditions are expected to prevail throughout the weekend, meaning Friday's openings will be a bit spring-like. And there's been little natural precipitation since a big storm dropped a foot or more in some locations early last week.
Keystone will open with top to bottom skiing and riding and an early season terrain park with 25 features. The resort is touting its new EpicMix mobile application for smart phones, allowing snow riders to “digitally capture and share their mountain experience” at all the Vail Resorts' mountains. Check it out at www.epicmix.com, and hit Keystone for an EpicMix Pioneer Pin that will only be available Friday. Go to www.keystoneresort.com for general info.
Copper Mountain kicks off the season Friday with Lift Off, its 6th annual opening weekend festival, with live music by Lyrics Born and MURS. All weekend, there will be the latest 2011 ski and snowboard movies, equipment demos, après specials, giveaways and more. Go to www.CopperColorado.com for more info.
Arapahoe Basin's Norway Lift opens Friday, running from mid-mountain to the summit and serving two upper mountain intermediate runs – Dercum's Gulch and Lenawee Face -- to give the Basin top to bottom skiing and two chairlifts in operation. Go to www.araphaoebasin.com for more info.
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