Summit County snow terrain update
Ryan Summerlin November 10, 2012
The winter storm may have brought the skier excitement to a new level while bringing most local ski areas around 2-4 inches of accumulation Saturday, but available terrain remains the same at local ski areas.
Though touting favorable conditions, opening new terrain will require more than what the county has seen from this weather event with Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Keystone and Breckenridge holding out on opening additional trails.
“As always, snowmakers are working hard,” said Will Bond, marketing and events coordinator for Arapahoe Basin. “This snow should encourage the opening process.”
By Saturday afternoon, Arapahoe Basin reported 4 inches of accumulation. The ski area currently offers the High Noon and Ramrod trails and the High Divide terrain park, a total of 20 of the ski area’s 960 skiable acres.
Loveland reported 2 inches of accumulation from the storm – the ski area has one lift open with four trails on 79 skiable acres.
Copper Mountain reported 2 inches of accumulation by Saturday afternoon. The ski area has two lifts and four trails open with 55 skiable acres.
Keystone Resort has received 3 inches of snow from Saturday’s storm. The ski area has five operating lifts, with four runs and 54 acres of skiable terrain.
“We’ll take advantage of the colder temps and make snow around the clock as conditions allow and we’ll evaluate additional terrain opening after the conclusion of the storm and weekend,” said Laura Parquette, spokeswoman for Keystone Resort. “But it’s great to see snow falling!”
Breckenridge, which opened for the season Friday, reported 1 inch of accumulation from the storm. It has two lifts, two runs and 40 acres of skiable terrain open.
According to Dennis Phillips, meteorologist with the National Weather service based in Grand Junction, this weather event is “a pretty strong storm” consisting of two phases with the stronger of the two expected to move through Summit today.
“The first phase passed through Saturday during the day while the main phase was in Utah,” Phillips said. “The second phase will bring up to 10 inches of accumulation, depending on elevation.”
Cooler temperatures coming with the main phase of the storm will make “snow more efficient, more powdery,” Phillips said.
Winds are forecasted to switch from southerly to northerly during the main phase today.
“The winds from the main phase of the storm will favor north-facing slopes, it all depends on where you are but skiing conditions Sunday should be very good,” Phillips said.
Though it’s possible the storm could continue through Sunday evening, forecasters say the storm will taper off this afternoon.
“The National Weather Service has a Twitter feed set up on this storm and everyone from the Summit County area seems to be pretty excited about getting snow up in the High County,” Phillips said.
The weather forecast for Veterans Day calls for a 60 percent chance of snow with cloudy conditions and a high near 24. The wind chill will make the temperatures feel like -5 degrees, with west-northwest wind gusts from 7-22 mph. Snowfall is forecasted to continue through the afternoon, but with less than 3 inches of accumulation possible.
Mostly sunny conditions and highs in the mid-30s are forecasted for early in the week starting Monday and are expected to continue through Wednesday.
Another winter storm is possible Thursday evening – current weather reports forecast a 20 percent chance of snow through Friday.