Copper Mountain, Keystone Resort exceed last year’s snow totals as Summit County ski areas see hit-or-miss pattern this season |

Copper Mountain, Keystone Resort exceed last year’s snow totals as Summit County ski areas see hit-or-miss pattern this season

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort near last year's totals while A-Basin is currently a little bit behind

A skier launches in the air as snow floats down upon Breckenridge Ski Resort. Although Summit's ski areas have not seen as much snow as other Colorado ski resorts, many ski areas are on pace — or have surpassed — last year's snow totals.
Sarah McLear/Breckenridge Ski Resort

This winter has been a huge one in terms of constant snowfall and historic winter storms across the U.S.

Although the ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains have not seen as much snow as California or Utah, where totals have surpassed 700 inches in some places, Colorado has still seen its fair share of snow this season.

In Colorado, Steamboat Springs Ski Resort has seen so much snow that it surpassed last season’s snowfall totals in the middle of January. The resort surpassed 400 inches on the season on Thursday. 

Summit County’s ski areas have not seen nearly as much snow as Steamboat Springs, but the area has been graced by a consistent string of storms since late October. 

The consistent storms have not only helped boost Summit’s snowpack in the Blue River Basin — which is currently on pace to surpass the 30-year median for the first time since 2020 — but the snow has also helped the snow totals at Summit’s four ski resorts. With the better part of a month — or more — left in the 2022-23 ski and ride season all four of Summit’s ski resorts have surpassed or are nearing last year’s snow totals.

The black line shows the 2022-23 season’s snowpack level while the green line shows the 30-year median.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Courtesy illustration

Breckenridge Ski Resort

According to senior specialist of communications at Breckenridge Ski Resort Shayna Silverman, Breckenridge Ski Resort saw 292 inches last season and 290 inches of snow during the 2020-21 season. The resort has a 10-year high of 441 inches (2013-14).

As of Friday, Breckenridge Ski Resort was reporting 254 inches of total snow for the season. 

“This year’s weather pattern has brought us great skiing conditions,” Breckenridge Ski Patrol member Duke Barlow. “Our storms have been hitting us from the southwest more than I can ever remember. While it hasn’t amounted to the record winter totals seen in the Sierra or the Wasatch ranges, it has led to more consistent snowfall here in Breck.”

A skier navigates a stash of powder in Bergman Bowl at Keystone Resort.
Katie Young/Keystone Resort

Keystone Resort

Just down Swan Mountain Road, Keystone Ski Resort has pushed higher than last year’s mark and is currently reporting 213 inches thanks to the help of recent storms.

The resort reported 187 inches (2021-22) and 215 inches (2020-21) over the last two seasons. The 20-year average is 234 inches.

Keystone still has a long way to go if it wants to set a new record over the last 10 years since the ski resort saw 288 inches of snow fall during the 2013-14 season. 

A skier barrels through the snow at Keystone Resort on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.
Katie Young/Keystone Resort

Copper Mountain Resort

Over at Copper Mountain, the resort is significantly ahead when compared to around this time last year. Copper communications coordinator Olivia Butrymovich reported that Copper saw 182 total inches from October through February during the 2021-22 season and 211 inches during that same time frame this season. 

Copper also recently surpassed last year’s snow total, which was 254 inches. The ski resort is currently reporting 256 inches for the season.

With a few more heavy storms, Copper has a chance to approach the 286-inch mark that was reported after the 2019-20 season. The resort is still over 135 inches away from Copper’s 17-year high of 390 inches (2010-11).

A skier takes a few turns down a powder filled run at Copper Mountain Resort.
Copper Mountain Resort/Courtesy photo

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

A-Basin is currently a little bit behind. Historic records provided by senior communications manager Katherine Fuller show 276 inches for the 2021-22 season and 255 inches after the 2020-21 season. 

On Friday, March 24, A-Basin was reporting just over 200 inches. But Fuller says there is still time to catch up since April historically is one of the ski area’s snowiest months. 

The recent snowfall ultimately helped A-Basin announce Thursday that it is now 100% open for the 2022-23 season with all nine lifts open and all 145 runs accessible to the public, including the legendary East Wall. 

After only receiving a total of 10.3 inches of snow in the month of February, March has already proven to be wet for A-Basin.

A skier catches some air after dropping off a rock cropping on a powder-filled day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
Ian Zinner/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Recent trends and beyond

Over the last week, Summit has seen several storms roll through the area, which has helped to replenish the slopes that have been carved down by the spring break crowds.

As of Friday morning, Copper was reporting the most snowfall among Summit County ski areas with 2 inches overnight, 2 inches over the last 24 hours and 10 inches over the last 48 hours. 

Breckenridge came in second with 4 inches of fresh snow over the last 24 hours and 8 inches over the last 48 hours. Keystone received 2 inches and A-Basin received 1 inch in the last 24 hours.

The current three-month forecast put out by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting equal chances for above-normal or below-normal precipitation from April through June. The same forecast model is foreseeing equal chances for above-normal or below-normal temperatures from April through June.

For the six- to 10-day outlook, the Climate Prediction Center is expecting a 50-70% chance for below-average temperatures and a 33-40% chance for above-normal precipitation.

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