Vail announced on Thursday it will be opening portions of the Back Bowls on Friday, Dec. 13, just in time for a major weekend snowstorm.
Light snow was falling throughout the day on Thursday. Much heavier snow is in the forecast as Vail gears up for the free Vail Snow Days concerts this weekend.
“It’s a complex forecast but the outcome is actually pretty straightforward – most mountains will see 10-20+ accumulations from Thursday through Sunday and we’ll have multiple powder days back-to-back,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote on Thursday.
“Friday will be the first powder day with 5-10+ inches favoring the northern mountains. Saturday will be the second powder day with 5-10+ inches favoring the northern and central mountains,” Gratz added. “And Sunday should be a third powder day with 5-10+ inches favoring the central and southern mountains (I have lower confidence in the details of Sunday’s powder). This is going to be a great storm cycle that should help to open a lot of terrain.”
Here’s the press release from Vail Resorts on the Back Bowls opening:
The snow has started to fall in the Colorado mountains, and with 11 inches in the last week and much more on the way, Vail Mountain is excited to announce the opening of its legendary Back Bowls, starting tomorrow, Dec. 13.
“We are thrilled to kick off the opening of our signature Back Bowls terrain at Vail, with Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls,” said Vail Vice President and COO Beth Howard. “We have had a strong start to the season, and are excited to build on the momentum as we head into the weekend and the holidays.”
Beginning on Friday, Dec. 13, skiers and riders at Vail will have access to more than 2,500 acres of terrain—the most in Colorado– including trails accessed by High Noon Express Lift (#5) and Sun Up Express Lift (#9) in Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls. Vail will also be opening top-to-bottom skiing on signature trails like Blue Ox, Highline, Prima and Riva Ridge, the longest run at Vail Mountain.
These terrain expansions will also kick off an exciting Vail Snow Days weekend, a four-day festival that begins tonight with a Pray for Snow Bonfire and features two nights of free concerts on Friday and Saturday with headliners Modest Mouse and The Head and the Heart. For more details, visit vail.com/snowdays.
In addition to the opening of Vail’s Back Bowls, more terrain and snow is expected this weekend across Colorado, including at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Keystone.
Starting Saturday, Beaver Creek will open Strawberry Park Express Lift (#12), and ski access will be available between Bachelor Gulch and main mountain via Primrose. Additionally, the Beaver Creek Nordic Center is scheduled to open on Saturday, Dec. 14 with cross country and snowshoe trails available in McCoy Park, accessible from Strawberry Park Express Lift (#12). Beaver Creek Resort will offer more than 750 acres of terrain this weekend.
Beginning Friday, Breckenridge will open Peak 10 for the season, offering approximately 850 acres of terrain across four peaks. Breck has received more than a foot of snow in the last week with more in the forecast heading into the weekend.
At Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) the Silver Queen Lift just opened this week and the resort will open the Painter Boy lift on Friday. This weekend CBMR will offer more than 300 acres of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain for skiers and riders. The resort has seen 15 inches of snow in the last week, with more on the way.
The infamous Kidtopia snowfort at Keystone opens Saturday. This year’s fort includes slides, towers and a kid’s portal, and can be visited by anyone with a valid lift ticket or scenic pass. Additionally, the trails Mozart, Starfire and Frenchman are scheduled to open this weekend, which brings Keystone’s terrain offering up to more than 750 acres.