Believe it or not, ski season is a month away
summit daily news
Can you hear it? Me neither, but it’s coming, fast and silent. Winter, snow … ski season.
Believe it or not, if this were last year we’d already be less than a month away from Loveland’s Oct. 15 opening day. That in itself is enough to excite the diehards yearning for turns.
In the last frost-filled week I’ve participated in at least a half-dozen conversations surrounding ski season. People getting their season passes, the inch or so of white that painted our county’s highest peaks on Wednesday ” I know of few topics more welcoming to the masses than the pending onset of the winter outdoors season.
When reminded of how close we are to last year’s opening date ” which, granted, was aided by an unusual amount of early season snowfall ” Loveland’s Mark Abrahamson laughed. “No wonder I can’t sleep at night and my stomach hurts and I’ve got a headache ” because I’ve gotta get the snowmaking fired up!” he said, chuckling but not kidding.
Abrahamson runs Loveland’s snowmaking operations. In other words, he holds the Joe Torre position in the world of ski areas trying to open first. Loveland has opened first five straight years, and 17 of the last 23. (Arapahoe Basin opened Oct. 22 last year, a week after its neighbor on the Continental Divide.)
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According to Abrahamson, Loveland’s guns should be spewing manmade snow within the next seven days. On Oct. 5, the area’s eight Kiwi imports will return to Colorado to help Loveland try to make it six straight years opening first.
“Right around 28 degrees is most efficient (for snowmaking),” Abrahamson said. “It’s up to Mother Nature right now.”
A-Basin’s Marty Gotantas, the ski area’s snow sports center director and a seasoned veteran of High Country winters, said the Basin’s snowmaking guns were placed on the trails last week and they, too, are simply waiting on the weather to cool off.
Speaking of little-old Mama Nature, the forecast calls for low temperatures to be in the 30s for the next 10 days, but where it counts most ” around 12,000 feet ” could drop into the high 20s.
Gotantas said he’s beginning to see the Basin’s traffic increase as the leaves turn to gold.
“There’s a lot of curious employees ” both potential and returning,” he said. “The phone calls are definitely starting.”
It’s still early, yes, and to those who say the season doesn’t truly begin until we can ski real snow, on top-to-bottom trails, usually sometime after Thanksgiving, this talk is probably a little annoying.
But to the rest of us, it’s enticing. Getting your equipment in order is a task to look forward to. So is figuring out which days you’ll be able to ski the most, and opening up a can of hope that those days will be better than the rest. (Last season, for instance, Monday was a great day to have off; I counted at least six powder Mondays.)
There’s still plenty of fun to be had this fall. Plenty of hiking, running, biking and leaf-gawking.
But ski season’s a month away. And if that doesn’t get you going, you’re watching too much football.
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