Although we’ve had only a few flurries here in Fort Collins, the mountains have been hit hard for the past several weeks, which can only mean it is time for ski season to begin.
Colorado is home to more than thirty ski resorts, all of which have started their countdowns to the kick-off of the ski season. Some of them have already opened their doors to snowboarders and skiers alike.
As of Oct. 13, Arapahoe Basin was the first mountain to opened up with a mid-mountain base of nearly 18 inches, and the snow keeps coming.
Arapahoe Basin, along with Loveland, have been known for some of the longest seasons in North America. According to Colorado Ski Country USA, they are open from mid-October to mid-June and often times stay open all the way into July.
“The turnout so far has been outstanding — people are really ready to get back to the skiing and riding in Colorado,” said Adrienne Saia Isaac, the Marketing and Communications manager for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
“I’m hoping that this snowfall trend continues and intensifies this season. I think we’re all due for a big powder year … the more snow we receive and the colder the temperatures stay, the faster we can get more terrain open for everyone,” Isaac said.
Resorts are looking forward to a great season with hopes that Mother Nature will keep bringing in the cold weather along with precipitation.
According to Isaac, Arapahoe Basin is currently offering the Elevation 4 Pass for $129, which is good for any four days of skiing or riding in the 2013-2014 season for one person.
A large amount of college students have purchased the 2013/14 Rocky Mountain Super Pass. The pass offers unlimited skiing and riding at Winter Park and Copper, packaged along with six days at Steamboat and three extra days at Monarch.
Lydia Fahrenkrug, an avid skier and a sophomore biomedical and mechanical engineering major, purchased her Superpass this summer for $320. Her friends went through Wells Fargo and benefited from a buy one, get one free deal for the cost of $200.
Fahrenkrug is ready to hit the slopes, now that she is equipped with a pass and her ski gear.
“I love everything about a hard day of skiing … the early drive through the mountains, jamming as I put on my layers of gear, packing some quality snacks in my backpack and of course the excitement as I ride up the lift for the first run,” Fahrenkrug said.
She watches ski videos every day while waiting for Winter Park to open. She eagerly awaits the first time she can feel the crisp mountain air against her face.
According to Fahrenkrug, it is the challenge and the freedom that keeps her coming back and the skier’s high that comes so naturally.
Resorts anxiously await their skiers as they start the real countdown to their opening dates.
According to Steve Hurlbert, Public Relations and Communications manager at Winter Park Resort, Winter Park will open their lifts on Nov. 13 this year and are expecting a great season to come.
“With respect to early season conditions, we’ve been getting a pretty good dose of snow over the last three weeks, which obviously helps … but we’ve recently upgraded our snowmaking operation, allowing us to make snow much more quickly and efficiently when Mother Nature needs a boost,” Hurlbert said.
Winter Park creates snow for 27 of their trails at both Winter Park and Mary Jane bases, which encompasses 313.1 acres.
The majority of ski resorts plan to open the weekend of Thanksgiving, including Steamboat and Telluride.
“Steamboat attracts many students from Colorado State and Wyoming,” said Kerry Holmquist, ticket office employee at Steamboat Resort.
Steamboat is located about three hours southwest of Fort Collins, which means traffic is light and and can be avoided on I-70.
Across the board, the resorts and the skiers alike are ready for an epic season. Isaac’s advice is to buy early for the season because tickets are subject to change and prices will go up.
“We hope this wet trend will continue, so the snow conditions will satisfy bringing more people out to enjoy the slopes,” Issac said.
Collegian Reporter Josephine Bush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.