Editor’s update on Monday, Nov. 5: A-Basin received 10 inches overnight for a two-day total of 15 new, and Loveland saw a foot new overnight for a two-day total of 23 inches of new snow! But Vail and Beaver Creek — both not open for another 11 and 16 days respectively — got nailed with 15 and 11 inches overnight Sunday into Monday. And it was still snowing lightly as of 8 a.m.
Vail opens in just 12 days and conditions are already guaranteed to be so much better than the last two seasons, when warm and sunny weather lingered through November. It’s been bordering on full-on winter in the Vail Valley for the past week after a solid shot of snow in mid-October.
Vail picked up nearly a foot of new snow with a couple of separate storms late last week, and forecasters are calling for another 5 to 10 inches Sunday night into Monday. Opening day is set for Friday, Nov. 16, at Vail, and Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Beaver Creek.
There are currently only three ski areas open in Colorado – Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Wolf Creek – but two more – Breckenridge and Keystone – join the fray on Friday, Nov. 9. Breck picked up 18 inches from the last storm cycle, and Loveland saw nearly a foot of fresh Saturday.
Copper Mountain and Eldora join in the action the same day Vail opens on Friday, Nov. 16, and forecasters are calling for more winter weather later this week and early next week.
“Looking ahead, expect snow to restart for the northern and central mountains on Sunday midday and continue through Monday morning with 5-10 inches of accumulation,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Sunday morning. “Then most of the rest of the week will be dry with weaker storms possible on Thursday and next Sunday.”
Along with all the recent snow, colder temps have moved in to help snowmaking crews at most Colorado resorts. At Vail and Beaver Creek, that means a solid jump on covering lower-mountain intermediate runs for upcoming opening days.
That’s especially important for Beaver Creek, where crews have been hard at work on the legendary Birds of Prey World Cup ski-racing course. Officials say they could hold the race next week if they had to, but of course they don’t until the best male alpine skiers in the world descend for downhill training starting on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The first actual race day is Friday, Nov. 30, with the super-G, followed by the downhill on Saturday, Dec. 1, and the giant slalom on Sunday, Dec. 2. Check out the Vail Valley Foundation website for all the event details.
While it’s not an Olympic season, there’s still plenty to get fired up about, including local favorite River Radamus in Sunday’s GS and maybe one of the final Birds of Prey appearances for all-time GS great Ted Ligety.
Then in mid-December don’t miss a really strong Vail Snow Days lineup with Denver’s own Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. The entire season-kickoff celebration runs Dec. 13-16, with all sorts of parties and free-music events.