FIRST US RESORT OPENS
20th October 2016
Arapahoe Basin in Colorado fired up its first lift on Friday for the start of the winter season. 3,000 turned out and other US resorts plan to follow soon.
The Black Mountain Express lift was operating, giving access to the intermediate High Noon trail.
More than 3,000 skiers and snowboarders lapped the run.
“Recent snowmaking efforts allowed High Noon to open with one of the widest and best snow surfaces it has ever had for opening day, and snowmakers took advantage of the temps to start snowmaking on Ramrod, which will be the next run to open,” said a statement from the resort.
“Arapahoe Basin will continue to operate for skiing and snowboarding seven days a week through closing day, and will open terrain as snowmaking and Mother Nature allow. A-Basin has Colorado’s longest ski and ride season; the ski area plans to remain open until early June,” the statement added.
Skiing has started in North America and with resorts already open in the Alps and the first World Cup race of the season this weekend in Austria we reckon the skiing season of 2016/17 has begun.
Arapahoe Basin and Loveland battle it out to be the first ski area in Colorado to open and often the first in North America.
There may be another small ski area in the US that has opened a slope this autumn, but we haven’t heard of one.
In A-Basin the October opening follows cool temperatures and perfect weather for snowmaking with good humidity levels.
“This is going to be a tremendous start to the ski season at Arapahoe Basin and in the state of Colorado,” the resort’s Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth said.
“We’ve been fortunate to have optimal conditions for our snowmaking team to get a base on the High Noon trail, and offer our guests skiing and snowboarding in October.”
There are benefits to being the boss.
On Thursday afternoon, before the official opening, Alan took his skis out for a couple of test runs.
“Just wanted to make sure everything was alright,” he said in his blog.
Looks like an understatement to us!
These earlier photos from Arapahoe Basin’s Facebook page show the progress of its snowmaking since the end of September.
And here’s another photo from Arapahoe Basin – just because we like it!
Further south, Mount Rose Ski Tahoe in Nevada is likely to be the first resort to open in the California-Nevada area.
The resort, about 25 miles south of Reno, has announced that it plans to open on 31st October after between 7 and 18 inches of snow fell in the first storm of the season.
Planned opening dates at California ski resorts, weather permitting, are:
10th November – Mammoth
11th November – Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows
18th November – Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Northstar
We’ll keep you updated.
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