Vail is no longer dreaming of a White Christmas. It is assured of one after more than four feet of snow fell over the last couple of weeks.
Vail went from postponing opening day until the day after Thanksgiving to opening 64 percent of the mountain over this past weekend. That’s more than 3,300 skiable acres out of a possible 5,289.
And forecasters are calling for the snow train to keep on chugging right through the Christmas holiday.
“Monday and Tuesday will be windy with a mix of sun, clouds, and light snow showers. Snow should return to the central and northern mountains on Wednesday into Thursday morning with some powder potential on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning,” reports meteorologist Joel Gratz of Opensnow.com.
“Then a strong storm will bring heavy snow to all mountains from Friday through Saturday, and both days could be powder days (Saturday deeper and fluffier). Sunday through Tuesday, Dec 20 should be drier, then another storm is likely on or around Wednesday, Dec 23, and snow could continue through Christmas.”
Beaver Creek, which also delayed its opening by a couple of days and was forced to cancel its annual World Cup races, has had even more snow than Vail — with 60 plus inches falling since late November. More than 700 of its 1,800-plus acres are open for skiing.
Much more ski terrain at both resorts should come online in the next week of so as the storms just keep lining up and taking aim at Colorado.
But with the good comes the bad, and that means the heavy, wet snow load that fell over the weekend has raised the state’s back-country avalanche danger.