Arapahoe Basin Wins Race To Open First
Cooler nighttime temperatures has led to aggressive snowmaking at Arapahoe Basin, so much so that the high-altitude Colorado mountain loaded its first skiers and snowboarders on Sunday, Oct. 23.
Eager skiers and riders get to head up on high-speed chairlift, the Black Mountain Express, and make the first turns of the season on blue-rated High Noon on the lower half of the mountain.
"The time has come," said A-Basin chief Alan Henceroth. "The snowmakers and 'cat drivers have done a tremendous job, and the forecast for the coming week looks outstanding."
Last year's early-opening winner, Wolf Creek, is expected to get a double-digit dump out of this storm. The mountain perched on the Continental Divide is on track to open as scheduled on Oct. 29.
Indeed, warm fall weather is predicted to turn dramatically in the coming weeks all over the West. Forecasting service OpenSnow saying that mountains in Utah should begin to fill up, with Alta and Snowbird with more than a foot. Southern Colorado should get significant snowfalls on the first weekend of the season, but most will wait to open until November.
In the week following, OpenSnow predicts small but steady buildup at most mountains in the West. Expect Loveland and Keystone in Colorado to begin spinning lifts for the 2022-2023 season before the end of October.
However, the ski-focused forecaster indicates that snowfall will cease toward the end of the month, so skiers and 'boarders shouldn't look for many slopes to open before announced dates.
Depending upon location, night temperatures should stay cold enough for snow guns to shoot a base onto their slopes and trails. But mountain managers note that day temperatures can't rise too much without melting some of the overnight coverage.