Three Colorado resorts have opened or are opening in the next 24 hours.
Normally there is a snowmaking race to see which resort is first, but this season heavy snowfall across the state last weekend led to resorts being able to open with real snow.
The biggest fall – of some 44 inches or 110cm - was in the state’s southern San Juan Mountains and Wolf Creek Ski Area there opened with a 45cm/18 inch base on Saturday 8 October with 1500 excited skiers and boarders on the slopes.
Top the north Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area, two of the world’s highest and traditionally among the first to open in the US each season, will start operating today, and tomorrow, October 13th and 14th, respectively.
"Warm weather delayed the start of snowmaking, but cold temperatures settled in and our snowmaking crew has done a great job making up for lost time", said Rob Goodell, Director of Business Operations. "We still have some work to do, but the mountain looks great and we will have eighteen inches of snow from tree-to-tree for skiers and riders on Friday morning".
Loveland will offer lift served access to one top-to-bottom run. Skiers and riders will drop one thousand vertical feet (330m) in a little over a mile (1.6km) via the trails Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun.
"When the cold temperatures settled in, we were able to make a lot of progress very quickly", said Eric Johnstone, Snowmaking and Trail Maintenance Manager. "We started last Thursday and have been running non-stop with the exception of a short stoppage on Tuesday. Our snowmaking crew has done a tremendous job and opening day skiers and riders are going to be very happy with the conditions".
Elsewhere in the US, Las Vegas ski area in Nevada opened last week and Timberline ski area in Oregon, which is open almost year round, re-opened after a few week’s annual maintenance closure in late September.