Despite deep snow cover at most Colorado ski areas, five are closing this weekend and two more will close next weekend.
Those closing Sunday are Buttermilk, Crested Butte, Granby Ranch, Sunlight and Telluride. Wolf Creek and Powderhorn will close on April 9, and 10 more will close a week later.
Nineteen Colorado ski areas are reporting base depths of five feet or more. Wolf Creek’s base depth is nearly 14 feet and Steamboat’s exceeds 10 feet. Crested Butte is closing despite a base depth of nearly eight feet.
Despite having received more than 39 feet of snow since November, Wolf Creek officials have not considered extending the season. Wolf Creek closed April 17 last year.
“We found there’s too little people that have an interest in (April) skiing,” said Wolf Creek spokeswoman Rosanne Pitcher. “That’s always been our meter — if we don’t have enough skiers to make it worthwhile for us. The other thing is that more areas will be open surrounding us. Monarch is going to stay open late (April 16), Purgatory (April 23), Santa Fe (April 16). With that many other areas open around us, we just felt like we’re going to end it on the ninth.”
Some areas did extend their seasons beyond the tentative closing dates they set months ago. Copper Mountain extended its season two weeks to May 7. Monarch, Powderhorn and Steamboat added a week. Much of Winter Park will close on April 23, but officials say they plan to keep the Mary Jane side of the resort open as long as possible. They say Mary Jane could be open through May, perhaps even longer.
Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge also are expected to offer skiing in May.
Many areas can expect double-digit snowfall Thursday and Friday, with another mountain storm system anticipated early next week.