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New year kicking off with lots of fresh powder at Vail, Beaver Creek

January 4, 2017, 9:55 am
vail ski patrol

Vail Ski Patrol getting the mountain ready for the next storm (Vail Facebook page).

It seems to happen every ski season in the Vail Valley.  We get big December snow and the holiday crowds descend en mass. Then the snow gods dry things up for the tourists who generally prefer sunny skies to deep powder. And then right after the crowds thin out in the New Year, the snows starts falling again with a purpose.

As a longtime local and year-round resident, all I can say is, “Thank you, snow gods,” because it’s happening again with a major winter storm hammering Colorado this week.

“Snow will pile up for most mountains from Wednesday morning through midday Thursday and should extend through Thursday night in the southern mountains,” meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Wednesday morning. “The best powder day should be on Thursday for most areas with Friday morning pow in the southern mountains. Total accumulations should be in the 15-25 inch range. Whoohoo!”

Well said.

Even during the relatively dry spell over the holidays, temps stayed cold enough that the local ski mountains held up very well. Now it looks like the snow machine will just keep churning in January.

Things dry out a bit for the weekend before the next round of snow heads in for the start of next week, with still more snow in the forecast toward the middle of the month.

“Friday should dry out for most of the state (powder in the morning in the southern mountains) and then I think Saturday should also be dry,” Gratz wrote. “The next storm cycle could bring snow on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, with another storm cycle late next week or next weekend (roughly January 12-15).”

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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, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington),, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), (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 (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 and

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