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Rolling out the white ribbon for Day 1 of ski season at Keystone

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October 16, 2019, 10:48 am
Rennick Williams was more than ready. Go Buffs!

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.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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