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Editor’s note: Portions of the Back Bowls reportedly opened this morning (Thursday, Dec. 15) at Vail.
Vail got more than a foot of new snow from a cold storm cycle that moved in Monday, and Beaver Creek was close behind. Both mountains now have received more than 100 inches of snow so far this season.
At Beaver Creek, the Riverfront Express Gondola opened for the season today (Thursday).
At Vail, all eyes are still on the Back Bowls as crews scramble in conditions that are ideal for powder skiing but terrible for working on two news lifts still under construction: a new quad out of Sun Down Bowl and a new six-pack chairlift out of Game Creek Bowl.
Clearly, there is more than enough snow to open the bowls to snow riders, but the new lift construction has Vail behind schedule right before the Christmas holiday crowds descend.
Mountain ops crews should get a bit of a break with warmer, less snowy weather this weekend. But things get real again next week, according to forecasters.
“Thursday and Friday will be chilly with light snow on Thursday into Thursday night,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Thursday morning. “After that, Saturday through Tuesday will become warmer and the sky will be dry.
“Then starting around December 20 and continuing through late December, a new weather pattern will develop and this one could favor the northern mountains with frequent storms,” Gratz added.