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Vail is headed for a snowy Semana Santa (Holy Week) that began with Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday, April 17, with the closing of Beaver Creek for the season.
Vail stays open through its extended season until Sunday, May 1, but it will do so without a lot of its Back Bowl terrain. As of Monday, Blue Sky Basin, China Bowl and Tea Cup Bowl are closed for the season.
“We’re following our normal season ramp-down plan, but we’re proud to have kept Blue Sky Basin and China Bowl open one week longer than last year,” Vail spokesman John Plack said in an email.
Last season, in a very below-average snow year, both Vail and Beaver Creek closed after around 200 total inches of snow — well below the 300-plus-inch seasonal average.
This season, both ski areas are ahead of that pace but still below average, with Beaver Creek coming in at 239 inches for the season and Vail slightly behind at 235.
For this week, Beaver Creek is still open, and at Vail, Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls and the front side of the mountain will be open for what promises to be a solid spring storm.
“Monday will be mostly dry, then we’ll see intense snow on Tuesday morning through afternoon, with snow showers continuing all the way until Thursday,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote on Monday morning.
“Based on this timing, Tuesday should be a powder day, and conditions will continue to be soft on Wednesday and Thursday, with storm total snowfall of greater than 10 inches for many spots,” Gratz continued. “After that, Friday and Saturday should be warmer and drier.”
The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a Winter Storm Watch for much of western Colorado, including the Vail area. Three inches of snow fell in Portland, Oregon, on Monday in a rare April snowstorm for that area that is now headed toward Colorado. Mount Hood received about 50 inches from the storm.