Colorado snow guns howl as ski season draws near

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenOctober 11, 2010
Frost has returned to windshields. The peaks are capped with snow. Ski season is near.

The Aspen Skiing Company took to Facebook on Friday to post spectacular images of powder gracing area mountains, while resorts closer to the Front Range fired up their snow guns for the first time this season.
The snow guns are roaring at A-Basin.

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin began making snow with 18 machines Friday night, according to marketing and communications director Leigh Hierholzer, and Loveland started manufacturing snow in September. Spokesman John Sellers said Loveland cranked up 20 of its 32 guns last month, but the early October heat wave put the snow-making operation back on ice until Friday. Indeed, an Indian summer has pushed back the debut of skiing in Colorado this season: Last year, Arapahoe Basin was already open at this time.

As usual, it'll be another race to the start of the Colorado season with both A-Basin and Loveland the regular front-runners.

“Opening day is weather dependent and has yet to be determined,” A-Basin’s Hierholzer said. “The race is on.”

"We got a little bit of natural snow over the weekend to complement our snow-making efforts," added Loveland's John Sellers. "We had a very productive weekend and it looks like the temps will stay cool this week, so we will keep making snow as weather permits."

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area are set to open Nov. 25.

“We really don't fire up (the snow guns) until Nov. 1 at midnight unless we get an exceptionally long cold snap and we see that it will not warm up,” Aspen Skiing Company spokesman Jeff Hanle said.

“Right now we are testing lines and just getting ready to fire up,” he said.

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Dec. 11. As it does every season, the Aspen Skiing Company will award season passes to die-hards who help them boot-pack Highland Bowl.
Aspen Highlands on Friday.
Photo by Jeremy Swanson
Aspen Skiing Company

The Aspen Skiing Company also has a variety of ski passes on sale now. There are all kinds of new perks at Aspen/Snowmass for 2010/2011, including a new terrain park, a longer ski season and more.

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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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