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Vail and Beaver Creek haven’t even been open a full month and already the majority of both ski resorts are up and running for the season, with more snow in the forecast for the middle of the week as the valley gets ready for the annual free Snow Days shows headlined by Nathaniel Rateliff.
Vail has received 107 inches so far this season for a settled base of 39 inches, while Beaver Creek is just a little behind with 95 inches so far this season and a settled base of 29 inches. Both mountain average more than 300 inches a year.
Vail has 182 of 195 trails open and 24 of 31 lifts, while Beaver Creek has 86 of 150 trails open and 19 of 24 lifts. With the highly successful annual men’s World Cup ski races now in its rearview, Beaver Creek late last week opened both Grouse Mountain and Larkspur Bowl.
More snow in the forecast for the middle of this week and then again toward the end of next week means even more terrain will open ahead of the busy holiday season.
“Monday will be dry, Tuesday will offer showers, then a stronger storm should bring 3-6 inches to many mountains starting Wednesday afternoon and ending on Thursday morning,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Monday morning. “After that, stronger storms may elude us for about one week, then models are converging on a better chance for storms starting on or just after December 21st.”
That means dry skies for Vail Snow Days, featuring Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, and Shakey Graves and The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. The concerts at Vail’s Ford Park are free and open to the public, although there are special VIP packages for sale on the Vail Snow Days website.
The annual free concert series is the unofficial kickoff to ski season, and this year all the early snow will make the event particularly celebratory. The Town of Vail reminds snow riders, however, that Ford Park will be closed to public parking between Dec. 12 and Dec. 17 to accommodate Snow Days concerts.