My calves hurt this morning – a pathetic example of my lack of conditioning after my first day on alpine skis in a little over four months. Day 1 of the 2019-20 ski season was a typical white-ribbon affair Tuesday on Keystone’s 3.5-mile Schoolmarm run.
As I wrote last week, Keystone’s return to the first-to-open fray is a welcome development because its enhanced snowmaking system and lengthy early-season run does a good job of distributing shaky fall snow riders on a wider, longer white ribbon. And its now the only early-season option on the Epic Pass after Arapahoe Basin bailed in favor of Ikon last spring.
Still, for early- and late-season inbounds skiing (a somewhat limited menu anyway), I like the Epic Pass Breckenridge-Keystone combo. My last day of last season was mid-May at Breck with about seven inches of new snow on Whale’s Tail while nearby A-Basin (I heard) was overrun because of its direct lift access from the Beach (parking lot).
It’s just good to have options – and the more resorts the better. Loveland Ski Area looks like it will be next to open.
“Another good night of snowmaking,” Loveland Ski Area posted on its website Tuesday. “We are hoping for some more cool nights this week to allow us to continue making snow. There could be a system rolling into Loveland later this week. We’ll keep an eye on the forecast and hope it drops some fresh snow on the mountain. Loveland hopes to open in the next week or two. Last year Loveland opened on Oct. 20.”
Yeah, about later in the week. Looks like a couple of systems could be rolling through.
“Wednesday should be sunny, Thursday will bring more clouds, then on Thursday night and Friday, we’ll see high-elevation snow with accumulations of 1-5 inches,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Wednesday morning. “Following a dry day on Saturday, a stronger and colder storm will bring snow from Saturday night through Monday midday with totals possibly greater than 6 inches.”
After Loveland joins the fray, Copper Mountain and Breck will be next up on Friday, Nov. 8, and then it’s Vail’s turn on Friday, Nov. 15, followed by Beaver Creek on Wednesday, Nov. 27.