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Saturday, October 04, 2014
A-Basin, Loveland ski areas follow Copper with snowmaking efforts
Courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas fired up their snow guns late Wednesday, Oct. 1, kicking off the resorts’ annual race to be the first to open for the season.
They followed Copper Mountain Resort, which on Monday became the first Summit County ski area to start blowing snow ahead of its Oct. 31 opening date. Neither A-Basin nor Loveland have announced opening dates.
A-Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac said it takes about two weeks from the start of snowmaking to create the 18 inches of base necessary for the resort to open its first trail, the intermediate High Noon run.
After that, snowmaking efforts focus on the neighboring Ramrod and Sundance runs and, if blessed with prime snowmaking conditions, move to the upper mountain.
This week brought cold temperatures and natural snow to the county, and Isaac said A-Basin hopes Mother Nature brings a strong early season to buttress man-made efforts and bring snow for Colorado’s powderhounds.
At Loveland, officials said the resort’s slopes have received 7 inches of snow over the past three days, and the snowmaking team fired up 17 snow guns Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The team began making snow on Catwalk and Mambo at the top of Chair 1, and crews will work their way down those two trails to Home Run to provide top-to-bottom and tree-to-tree coverage before opening day.
“We will keep making snow around the clock as conditions permit, and the slopes should be ready for the first skiers and riders in just a few weeks,” said Bobby Babeon, trail maintenance and snowmaking manager.
Loveland also said it usually takes about two weeks for snowmakers to cover the 1,000-foot vertical run with an 18-inch base for opening day. Last season Loveland started making snow on Sept. 27 and opened on Oct. 17.
“While most people dream of a white Christmas,” said John Sellers, marketing director, “here at Loveland we are focused on a white October.”