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After huge snow cycle, dry conditions until Christmas in Vail Valley

December 16, 2019, 8:10 pm
Kristin Kenney Williams on Seldom at Vail on Saturday.

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.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, 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 Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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