With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, six more Colorado ski resorts open this week, nearly doubling the number in operation and bringing the total to 13.
And just in time, a storm system is expected to drop 6-12 inches of snow on Summit County ski areas between midnight Monday and noon Tuesday, according to Lisa Kriederman, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Boulder. It’s already snowing in the San Juans, which could get up to 20 inches from this system. Vail and Beaver Creek are expected to receive 6 to inches.
Eldora opened on Monday. Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte open on Wednesday, and Telluride opens on Thursday.
Copper Mountain is set to open next Monday, Nov. 30. Winter Park still isn’t saying, except that it won’t open before Monday.
Avid skiers and snowboarders no doubt are wondering what kind of snow conditions we can anticipate this winter. We checked with the National Weather Service to see what they’re thinking about Colorado mountain snowfall prospects during ski season.
Based on ocean temperature data in the equatorial Pacific, climate experts believe a mild La Niña winter may be in the offing for North America. La Niña years generally favor our northern mountains for snowfall, while El Niño years generally mean our southern mountains do better.
“I think for the northern mountains like Steamboat Springs — pretty much anything Summit County and northward — I would expect at, or slightly above, normal snowfall,” said Scott Entrekin, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Boulder. “The ones that won’t do that well will be the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado; they’ll typically tend to be drier in a La Niña winter.”
Here’s what ski areas are telling us about their projected opening dates, all of which is subject to change:
Colorado ski resorts projected opening dates
Arapahoe Basin: Open
Wolf Creek: Open
Aspen Mountain: Nov. 25
Beaver Creek: Nov. 25
Crested Butte: Nov. 25
Snowmass: Nov. 25
Silverton: Heli-skiing, Nov. 26; lift-served, Dec. 26
Telluride: Nov. 26
Winter Park: Delayed its initial opening, says it’ll open no earlier than Nov. 30
Copper Mountain: Nov. 30
Steamboat: Dec. 1
Ski Cooper: Dec. 9
Sunlight: Dec. 11
Aspen Highlands: Dec. 12
Buttermilk: Dec. 18
No announcement yet: Echo Mountain, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Howelsen Hill, Kendall Mountain, Monarch, Powderhorn.