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Rolling out the white ribbon for Day 1 of ski season at Keystone

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October 16, 2019, 10:48 am
Rennick Williams was more than ready. Go Buffs!

My calves hurt this morning – a pathetic example of my lack of conditioning after my first day on alpine skis in a little over four months. Day 1 of the 2019-20 ski season was a typical white-ribbon affair Tuesday on Keystone’s 3.5-mile Schoolmarm run.

As I wrote last week, Keystone’s return to the first-to-open fray is a welcome development because its enhanced snowmaking system and lengthy early-season run does a good job of distributing shaky fall snow riders on a wider, longer white ribbon. And its now the only early-season option on the Epic Pass after Arapahoe Basin bailed in favor of Ikon last spring.

Still, for early- and late-season inbounds skiing (a somewhat limited menu anyway), I like the Epic Pass Breckenridge-Keystone combo. My last day of last season was mid-May at Breck with about seven inches of new snow on Whale’s Tail while nearby A-Basin (I heard) was overrun because of its direct lift access from the Beach (parking lot).

It’s just good to have options – and the more resorts the better. Loveland Ski Area looks like it will be next to open.

“Another good night of snowmaking,” Loveland Ski Area posted on its website Tuesday. “We are hoping for some more cool nights this week to allow us to continue making snow. There could be a system rolling into Loveland later this week. We’ll keep an eye on the forecast and hope it drops some fresh snow on the mountain. Loveland hopes to open in the next week or two. Last year Loveland opened on Oct. 20.”

Yeah, about later in the week. Looks like a couple of systems could be rolling through.

“Wednesday should be sunny, Thursday will bring more clouds, then on Thursday night and Friday, we’ll see high-elevation snow with accumulations of 1-5 inches,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Wednesday morning. “Following a dry day on Saturday, a stronger and colder storm will bring snow from Saturday night through Monday midday with totals possibly greater than 6 inches.”

After Loveland joins the fray, Copper Mountain and Breck will be next up on Friday, Nov. 8, and then it’s Vail’s turn on Friday, Nov. 15, followed by Beaver Creek on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

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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 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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