Nestled atop the Continental Divide, both Colorado areas began making snow on Friday, Sept. 27 following a series of storms that dropped temperatures below freezing and up to six inches of snow.
“We had a good start over the weekend with a couple long, productive nights of snowmaking,” said Loveland’s John Sellers told SnoCountry.com. “The weather has been warmer the past couple days, but we have some cold temperatures moving back into the area … which should allow us to get started again. “
Arapahoe Basin's Alan Henceroth offered a similar assessment on his Al’s Blog post: “Looks like we have some weather moving our way. There appears to be some cold temperatures and precipitation in the forecast starting Thursday night and going into the weekend. If the temperature forecast holds true, we will have a pretty good snowmaking session. Stay tuned. “
OpenSnow.com Meteorologist Joel Gratz is calling for 4-8 inches of snow in the Colorado High Country Thursday into Friday, and possible up to 12 inches in some areas.
“Total accumulations by Friday evening could be just an inch or two in the San Juans (perhaps a bit more in northern areas like Red Mountain Pass and Telluride), about 4-8 inches for central areas, and perhaps 6-12 inches in locations along and north of I-70,” Gratz posted on OpenSnow.com
Meanwhile, both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin have forged a friendly battle for bragging rights as the first ski area to open for the season in North America. However, over the past decade, other resorts have thrown their hats into the early-season mix, including Minnesota’s Wild Mountain, which was the first resort to open for the 2012-13 season.
However, opening for the season and remaining open has long been the benchmark for claiming “First to Open” status. Last year, Arapahoe Basin was the first to open for the season on October 17. Loveland opened a couple days later.
Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort battled with Colorado’s Wolf Creek to be the first area to open for the 2011 season. Ski Las Vegas edged Wolf Creek by 30 minutes to open October 8. However, Las Vegas did close and then re-open for the season.
Now the “Million Dollar Question.” Which area will be the first to open this season?
“No specific day has been set, but we are still working to open as quickly as possible,” Sellers said. “As soon as we have an 18-inch base and tree-to-tree coverage on our top-to-bottom run, we will start turning the lifts for all the eager skiers and snowboarders. “
Like Al says, stay tuned!
Photos: (Top) Snowmaking underway at Loveland / Loveland Photo
(botom) Arapahoe Basin snowmaking last weekend.