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Loveland, Arapahoe Basin making snow, eyeing opening day

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October 2, 2013, 11:57 pm
Both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski areas turned on their snow guns over the weekend as a cold front passed through the state and lowered overnight temperatures.The man-made snow supplements natural snow that fell in two separate storms late last month, moving both resorts closer to opening day.“The surrounding peaks have been white all week and it is great to see our snowmaking team push the snow line a little further down the mountain,” said Loveland marketing director John Sellers said. “Every flake that falls from the sky or from one of our snow guns gets us that much closer to opening day. We look forward to turning the lifts for all the skiers and snowboarders that have patiently made it through another long summer.”

Arapahoe Basin snowmaking

Snowmaking at Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin photo).

During an unusually dry fall last year, Loveland opened for the season on Oct. 23, with A-Basin opening first on Oct. 17. The two ski areas high atop the Continental Divide typically duel to be the first to open in the state, sometimes opening as early as the first week of October.

“Our mountain ops crew fired up the snow guns late last night [Friday], and [Saturday] morning we have new snow blanketing the intermediate High Noon run at Arapahoe Basin,” A-Basin marketing and communications manager Adrienne Saia Isaac said in an email blast on Saturday. “Break out your puffy and get that gear tuned. The 2013-14 ski and ride season will be here before we know it.”

Loveland’s snowmaking crew also started up the guns Friday night and will work their way down Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun for opening day. Sections of the three trails form a top-to-bottom run that’s more than a mile long and drops nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

It usually takes two to three weeks for Loveland’s snowmaking crew to cover the top-to-bottom run with an 18-inch base and tree-to-tree coverage. Loveland started making snow on Oct. 4 last season. Go to the websites for both Loveland and A-Basin for the latest snowmaking updates.

Forecasters are calling for sunny and dry weather through Thursday, with another storm rolling in Thursday night and possibly dropping 6-12 inches of new snow at altitudes down to 6,500 feet by Friday.

Aspen and Snowmass open for the season on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28). Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk open for the season in early December.
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David O. Williams is an award-winning energy, environment, sports and outdoor writer based in the Vail Valley. His work has appeared in publications as diverse as the The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, SKI, SKIING, Powder, People, LA Weekly and the Huffington Post.

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