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Copper Mountain cranks up snow guns as Colorado ski areas hit with fresh snow

September 30, 2014, 12:57 pm

Colorado ski areas got a fresh coating of new snow overnight Monday into Tuesday, allowing Copper Mountain to crank up snow guns along Upper Andy’s and Copperopolis trails.

Copper Mountain snowmaking

Snowmaking at Copper Mountain on Tuesday, Sept. 30 (Copper Mountain photo).

Copper, which saw more than two inches of new snow overnight, is scheduled to open to the public for the season on Friday, Oct. 31. U.S. Ski Team athletes will start training before then on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain in preparation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to be held at Beaver Creek in February.

Copper once again will introduce the full roster of Olympic medalists and World Champion alpine skiers while hosting the First Tracks Alpine Team Naming on Saturday, Nov. 8.

Arapahoe Basin officials on Tuesday were still weighing the merits of starting snowmaking operations, saying temperatures and humidity were both a little high.

“Tonight looks to be similar with high humidity and temps in the high 20’s,” A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth wrote in his blog. “Now Wednesday night looks to be another story. Right now temps are forecast down to 20 F or maybe even colder. I hope we are delivering some good news on snowmaking Thursday morning.”

A-Basin won the race to open first in Colorado the last two seasons by cranking up its lifts on Oct. 13 last year and Oct. 17 the year before. Loveland followed closely behind on Oct. 17 and Oct. 23.

“Last night Loveland got a nice dusting of snow,” Loveland officials reported on the ski area’s website on Monday. “Our snowmakers are hoping to fire up the guns later this week. Loveland is still tracking for a mid-October opening.”

Keystone also opens on Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31, followed by Breckenridge and Wolf Creek (tentatively) on Friday, Nov. 7, Vail on Friday, Nov. 21, and Beaver Creek the day before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are both set to open on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27.

Meteorologist Joel Gratz of Opensnow.com is calling for more new snow up high on Wednesday: “A stronger storm will drop 3-6 inches of snow across northern and central Colorado on Wednesday afternoon, then Thursday through early next week will be dry.”

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