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Well that was fun.
Vail and Beaver Creek got hammered with more than 2 feet of snow Friday through Sunday, and I got out all three days.
Vail was the big winner with 28 inches total (10, 9 and 9) and Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls opening Friday morning. Hopefully, China, Tea Cup, Mongolia and Blue Sky won’t be too far behind with the holidays a little over a week away.
Vail on Monday was more than 50% open, with 17 of 31 lifts running and more than 2,700 skiable acres, and Beaver Creek on Monday was nearly 50% open with 8 of 23 lifts running and more than 800 skiable acres.
Conditions were just stupid good at both mountains, and if you missed out on all the fun, there will probably be some leftovers in the trees until midweek. After that it could be a little while until the next storm around Christmastime.
“Our four-day storm cycle offered one more big push on Sunday and Sunday night with 7-28 inches of snow falling in the southern mountains,” meteorologist Joel Gratz of Opensnow.com reported Monday. “Storm totals were 7-42 inches across all mountains and our snowpack is now well above average. This week’s weather will be mostly dry, then coming up we’ll have a good chance for one or multiple storms during Christmas week.”
The last two seasons have seen some truly epic December snow conditions in the Vail Valley – pre massive holiday crowds – but the snow has been a little surprising after a few slow-starting seasons before that.
Colorado is currently well above average for snowpack, albeit it with some serious avalanche risk in the backcountry, but it’s still early season and the ski resorts are slowly rolling out terrain.
Vail skis very differently without all of its bowls open, cycling snow riders between lifts 5 and 9 instead of spreading them across all 5,200 acres, so it will be great when more ropes drop in the coming days. In the meanwhile, Vail is still offering the most inbounds terrain in the state.
Get out and enjoy it as we look forward to the next storm.