Keystone, Copper Mountain open on heels of Summit County snowfall
Mother Nature laid a fresh blanket of snow onto High Country mountains just as two major Summit County ski resorts prepare to usher in the season.
The early winter storm swirled over much of the west Tuesday night, and swept in anywhere from 3 to 10 inches to the mountains of Colorado, according to meteorologist Joel Gratz’s Colorado Daily Snow report.
Most of the moisture was expected to push out by Thursday morning, but Gratz said he expected another flurry of snowfall, ranging from 2-4 inches in the mountains along and north of Interstate 70 Thursday night before rolling into a clear and sunny weekend.
Keystone Resort representatives welcomed the new layer of fresh snow Wednesday as they ramped up for opening day.
“Early snow and cold temperatures allowed us to begin snowmaking on Oct. 5 this year, which has helped lay down a great base in preparation for our season,” said Laura Parquette, senior communications manager for Keystone Resort. “We’re excited for some additional natural snow this week ahead of opening, and look forward to fantastic skiing and riding beginning on Friday.”
The Keystone season will debut with 65 skiable acres on Dercum Mountain. Lifts will open at 9 a.m. with skiing and riding continuing through 4 p.m.
The resort will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on the intermediate Spring Dipper and River Run trails.
“Spring Dipper is one of Keystone’s signature cruisers and is the perfect run to get in early season turns,” Parquette said.
The River Run gondola, Summit Express, Montezuma and Ranger lifts will provide uphill access for skiers and riders. For beginners, the resort is offering a learning area at the top of the mountain on the Endeavor trail, including a carpet lift open to the public. Keystone Ski & Ride School will also have ski and snowboard lessons available on opening day.
Park lovers will have the chance to catch some air and grind some rails at the resort’s A51 Terrain Park, opening Friday. This terrain park is comprised of more than 20 features available in three lines ranging from beginner to advanced, Parquette said.
“Our early season terrain park, the largest available in the country, will be on Scout Trail with designated lift access on the Ranger lift for easy lapping,” she said.
Skiers and snowboarders who attend opening day can take part in events and activities throughout the day.
The first 200 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a raffle ticket for prizes — including a GoPro Hero 3, Never Summer snowboard, Starbucks gift cards and Keystone swag.
The first 43 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a Starbucks gift card and a Keystone Starbucks mug. Complimentary hot chocolate and donuts will be available to all.
Free parking will be available across the resort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Mountain access is easiest from the Gondola East/West lots and the River Run lot,” Parquette said. “Our free in-resort transportation system will be running as well.”
Both the River Run ticket window and pass office will be open on Friday. The pass office is currently open seven days per week and Keystone staff are suggesting pass holders pick up their passes prior to Friday morning, if possible.
For more information about Keystone Resort, visit www.keystoneresort.com or call (877) 204-7889.
Copper Mountain Resort
Copper Mountain snowmaking teams have been hard at work since early October to prepare for great early season conditions, said Austyn Williams, the resort’s communications manager. Their efforts, combined with recent snowfall, have transformed the mountain into a snow lover’s haven.
“Conditions are looking incredible on the mountain,” Williams said.
Copper will kick off their season on Friday featuring top-to-bottom skiing and riding off the American Eagle chairlift and in the Easy Rider learning area.
American Eagle chairlift will start turning for the 2013-14 season at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 and at 8:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
“Nothing is better than taking the first runs of the season on top-to-bottom terrain. It’s one of my favorite feelings to get back in the groove after a summer off,” Williams said.
The early season terrain is suitable not only for experienced riders, but beginners as well. Terrain off of American Eagle and Excelerator accommodate intermediate skiers and riders, while Easy Rider surface lift is the perfect beginner learning area, Williams said.
Throughout opening weekend guests can get lucky on Copper Mountain’s Loot Lift, a contest based on the New York City television hit Cash Cab. Guests riding the Loot Lift (the American Eagle chairlift) are randomly selected and quizzed on their ride to the top of the mountain. Prizes include complimentary Copper lift tickets, village gift cards, GoPro cameras and more.
The newly renovated Woodward at Copper Barn will also be open daily starting Friday, Nov. 1, from 1:30 to 8 p.m.
Staff said they are looking forward to the opening day buzz created by early season skiers and riders.
“I’m most looking forward to the opening day excitement, you can’t swing a dead cat around Copper during opening weekend without finding someone who’s just as excited to get back on the slopes,” Williams said.
Guests can park in the resort’s Alpine or Far East lots for free during opening weekend and all season long. Tickets are available at the mountain on opening day, but the lowest prices on Copper Mountain lift tickets can be found online, Williams said.
More information about Copper Resort can be found at www.CopperColorado.com.
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