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Ski season at Vail is a mere two weeks away (opening day is Friday, Nov. 12) and so far, Mother Nature is cooperating.
Vail and Beaver Creek, which opens Wednesday, Nov. 24, both received new snow overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning, and as of Thursday, temperatures in the Eagle River Valley were still hovering in the 40s with some light snow in the air. Loveland Ski Area opens for the season Saturday, joining Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Wolf Creek.
The weather is supposed to warm up and dry out over the weekend, but then another storm heads in starting late Sunday. There was enough new snow on the EagleVail Golf Course for Real Vail to get in Day on Nordic skis (see photo).
“The storm delivered snow on Tuesday and Tuesday night with totals that were about what we expected – fewer than 10″ for most spots with a couple of mountains cracking double digits,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz reported. “On Wednesday and Thursday, temperatures will stay cool and clouds with light snow showers could stick around. Our next chance for stormy weather will be later Sunday through the middle of next week.”
Beaver Creek, which saw 9 inches on its snow stake this week (see photo), needs all the natural help it can get as it blasts manmade snow ahead of both opening day for the public and the men’s Birds of Prey World Cup races Dec. 3-5.
Unfortunately, those races will consist of two super G events and one downhill but no giant slalom. While speed events are king, local favorite River Radamus, coming off a career-best 6th-place finish in the season-opening World Cup GS, is clearly stronger in that event.
For years, the now retired adopted hometown favorite – Ted Ligety of Park City – dominated on the Birds of Prey GS course. But the International Ski Federation (FIS) is adhering to COVID-19 protocols by keeping tech event (GS, slalom) teams separate from speed-event (downhill, super G) teams.
Bummer for us … and for Radamus. Maybe next year.
It’s also worth noting that Beijing Winter Olympics (Friday – Sunday, Feb. 4-20) are just about 100 days out. Radamus will likely be there gunning for gold, and so will another Edwards resident, two-time gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin.
Check her out on the Today Show this morning, and think snow!