There's nothing like a fresh dusting of snow to inaugurate a new ski and snowboard season: both Vail and Eldora are celebrating opening day today, just as Front Range shredders now have snow -- and the need for new snow tires -- very much on the brain.
Vail's kicking things off with more than 130 acres of open terrain under Gondola One, Born Free Express, Little Eagle, and the Eagle Bahn Gondola, including an early-season terrain park and some beginner terrain.
"We are very close to being able to open up much more additional terrain on mostly natural snow, and just need a bit more snow and, most importantly, cold temperatures to allow our snow makers and groomers to fill in a few ditches, holes and gaps to connect everything together safely," reports Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.
"Ski Patrol will be evaluating trails every day, and we will open up as much additional terrain as we can, as soon as we can open it safely for all of our guests. Keep your fingers crossed for continued snow and for cold temperatures, and we'll get there soon."
Eldora's had nine inches of new snow this week, including two last night, and opened today with intermediate terrain on the Hornblower and International runs.
Elsewhere in winter fun this weekend:
A big storm is rolling in, with Southwest Colorado poised to reap the most from it: Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com is forecasting up to thirteen inches of new snow at Wolf Creek.
Loveland is hosting the first of the 2013-2014 FIS NorAm Slalom races at Loveland Valley with the men vying for spots on the World Cup circuit this weekend and women racing next week, December 2-6.
Copper Mountain is offering up to 42 percent off on lift tickets purchased online, with a cybersale discount good through December 2. That's just in time to get your lift tickets for next week's Woodward ReMix event, the opening of the Main Vein super pipe, and the annual Yam Jam jib contest.
Breckenridge opens Peak 9 on Saturday, including the Silverthorne and King's Way trails via the Quicksilver SuperChair as well as Crosscut and lower Sawmill via the Snowflake lift. The Peak 8 SuperConnect for will be open to allow back and forth skiable access between Peak 8 and Peak 9.
And, if you're looking to get your holiday wish list in order, Colorado Ski & Golf is hosting Keystone's Demo Days this weekend from the East Gondola Parking lot, the perfect chance to test out the latest gear and plot your upgrade (registration is $65 and includes a lift ticket and unlimited demos for the day; $25 for season pass holders).
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More to be thankful for next week: Steamboat's been getting dumped on and finally gets its lifts spinning on November 27. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort opens November 29, and Howelsen Hill in Steamboat opens November 30 amidst a season-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.