A challenge to be the first ski area to open has been issued between Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin). Their race will only benefit our need to feel the snow underneath our skis, snowboards or teles.
A-Basin (picture attached) and Loveland Ski Area have started snow-making operations for the 2010-2011 season. A recent series of weather disturbances with colder temperatures and natural snowfall -nearly 2 inches of snow fell on Loveland Pass overnight Thursday, and some elevations above 10,000 feet in northern Colorado saw some morning snow Friday-, provided the right conditions for making snow. "This really is the main, first snow over the pass (this season)", said Jim Kalina, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder.
Both areas plan to keep generating snow as weather dictates. The long-range forecast looks pretty good, with lows forecast to be below freezing through the weekend and a stronger storm with natural snowfall is possible on Tuesday.
A-Basin and Loveland are situated on the Continental Divide in north-central Colorado (about 30 miles from Breckenridge). A-Basin has a base-area elevation of 10,780' and Loveland has a base-area elevation of 10,800'. Given their high elevations, temperatures should remain cold enough for snow-making to continue. Both areas expect to open sometime in the next three weeks with limited terrain available. With a little help from Mother Nature they could open sooner.
A-Basin and Loveland are typically among the first ski areas to open in the U.S. Last season Loveland opened Oct. 7, its second-earliest opening date ever, and A-Basin opened on Oct. 9, its earliest opening date ever.
Loveland initially started making snow on Sept. 24, 2010 after a cold front passed through Colorado but had to halt after temperatures rose.