Mother Nature gifts Copper Mountain Resort with several inches of snow for opening day

A skier navigates through several inches of powder at Copper Mountain Resort's opening day on Monday, Nov. 14. Mother Nature gifted the ski resort with several inches overnight, providing ideal riding conditions for opening day.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

And just like that, all four of Summit County’s ski areas have opened up for the 2022-23 ski and ride season. After patiently watching the other three Summit County ski areas host its opening days over the past few weeks, Copper Mountain Resort got its 50th anniversary season under way on Monday, Nov. 14.

Despite being the last resort to open for the season in Summit County, the excitement for Copper’s season couldn’t be higher as people waited for the American Eagle chairlift to start running for the first time of the season.

At the front of the line were several first chair extraordinaires including Darren “Disco Darren” Droge and a Ski Funk. The duo missed the first chair at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s opening day back in October, but were successful in securing the first chair at Copper. 

Joining Droge and Ski Funk, was Leadville resident — Cameron Carpenter — who had been standing in line with his friends since 10 a.m. on Sunday.  

Kicking off a 50th anniversary season is exciting enough, but skiers and riders grew even more stoked for the season when they saw Copper had received 4 to 5 inches of fresh snow overnight.

“It’s been great because we got a little bit of snow last night and that always adds to the energy,” president and general manager of Copper Dustin Lyman said. “It’s so much fun to open to the public because now we just do the same thing everyday until April. We are really looking forward to it. It’s the 50th year, it’s a big year for us. It’s going to be a fun one.” 

Once at the top of the American Eagle lift, skiers and riders were treated to a plethora of open terrain and a mountain-top terrain park. With the American Eagle, Excelerator, EZ Rider and Pitchfork lifts all in service for opening day, guests of all skill levels had options when it came to powder.

John Marshall from Denver was one of the first dozen chairs up the mountain and was especially looking forward to the powder on a day off from work.  

“It’s the first day of the season,” Marshall said of why he made the early morning drive from Denver to Copper. “They got 4 inches of fresh snow. It’s a beautiful day and I’m not working.”

A wide shot, time lapse of Copper Mountain Resort’s opening day on Monday, Nov. 14.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Marshall came up with his family for Copper’s opening day for their first ski day of the 2022-23 season. 

“This is our first day of the season,” Marshall said. “We come to Copper, we have a place down here and we wanted to be here for the first day especially since it is the 50th anniversary.”

With a new season underway, Marshall and his family were looking forward to slicing through the several inches of fresh snow. 

“I just want to float in the powder,” Marshall said. 

Carpenter was blown away by the quality of the opening day snow as he drifted back down to Center Village.

“It was awesome.” Carpenter said. “You couldn’t really ask for better snow on the first day. It started snowing when we were setting up and we woke up with a nice layer of pow on us.It’s awesome to make the fresh turns out there. First chair of the day. It was totally worth it.”

Carpenter is hoping that powder days are a common occurrence throughout the rest of the season.

“With the amount of rain that we got this summer I am just hoping for pow days,” Carpenter said. “Based on the snow we have gotten so far I think it is going to be a pretty good year.That’s what I am looking forward to most and just getting out as much as I can.”

For Copper, opening day is just the beginning of a long season of events to celebrate the ski resort’s 50th anniversary.

“We are doing more events this year than we have ever done before,” Lyman said. “Almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday we are going to have live music in Center Village. We are doing a big party for our 50th anniversary on Dec. 3. We also have Snowsation, Sunsation, U.S. Grand Prix and Dew Tour. All of our big events are coming back.”

Copper will host its first festival of the winter season — Snowsation — from Saturday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 20. The festival will include live music, games and  good times in Center Village.

To purchase lift tickets or view the full calendar of events, visit

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