Early opening may be on tap for Aspen Mountain

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenNovember 16, 2010

While several of Colorado's other ski resorts are dropping their ropes this week and ringing in another new season, the Aspen Skiing Company is weighing whether it should get in the game too.

Sources inside the Aspen Skiing Company say executives are drafting up a plan to potentially open Aspen Mountain this weekend, several days before its scheduled Thanksgiving welcome.

Big mountain skier Chris Davenport enjoys a sneak peak of Back of Bell on Aspen Mountain on Tuesday.
Ted Mahon

"No decision" has been made, according to Aspen Skiing Company spokesman Jeff Hanle, who confirmed an early opening is naturally on the table thanks to this week's copious snowfall.

But just because it's under consideration doesn't mean it will for sure happen. Residents who posted messages on the Aspen Skiing Company's wall on Facebook today pontificating about an early opening received this message from the webmaster:

"All rumors - sorry folks. We're still focusing on our November 25th opening on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass. This is probably one of those situations where you probably wish Facebook had a 'dislike' button, but we'd rather be honest and set the record straight. ... I know the wait hurts for some of you, but hang tight, the 25th will be here before you know it."

An official announcement about an early opening in Aspen is expected Wednesday or Thursday.

Snow is slamming down on the Rockies and on several of Colorado's mountains fresh powder is getting measured in feet, not inches. The sky is spitting out flakes, as quickly as two or three inches an hour.

Even though the gondola and lifts aren't running, die-hard skiers and riders are already carving up Old Man Winter's latest gift to the state's high country denizens. Some hike. Others snowmobile.

Locals trekking up Aspen Mountain are reporting knee-deep powder on the Back of Bell runs.

Meanwhile, officials report that the World Cup course on the western side of Aspen Mountain should have plenty of natural and man-made snow for the women's slalom and giant slalom races Nov. 27-28.

Elsewhere in the state, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Loveland and Wolf Creek are already up and running. Winter Park is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 17. Vail is planning to open more than 1,100 acres on Friday. Eldora opens the same day. Snowmass is scheduled to open Thanksgiving.

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are set to open Dec. 11.

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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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