Colorado Winter: The Show That Never Ends
Hit Mary Jane up for more spring. (Winter Park/Facebook)
Just when Colorado resorts prepare to shut down winter operations, snow storms roll into the Rockies -- and forcing a trio of mountains to keep their lifts running longer than scheduled.
Resorts still open in the Centennial State report more than a foot of snow since the beginning of April – with some adding two feet or more. While temps warmed unseasonably in March, they cooled significantly once April arrived to not only produce new snow but also slow the annual slushing-up during the spring skiing period.
Vail has announced it will a week longer to April 17, due to two feet that have fallen in recent days. The majority of the front side of the mountain – plus Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls – will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ski school will run private lessons only.
Over the hill at Aspen Mountain, diminishing snowfall in March – 30 inches total – made the scheduled closing date of April 16 realistic; however, another 17 inches in the first week of the month pushed the shutdown to April 23.
Operating hours will shift to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. to take allow slopes to warm up in the morning and to take advantage of longer days – unless a powder day shows up and lifts crank up at 9 a.m.
Top-to-bottom skiing will be served by Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express, FIS and Ruthie's lifts.
While the bulk of Winter Park closes on April 23, the bumps of Mary Jane will be ready for spring skiing and riding until April 30.