EAGLE COUNTY - Snowboarder Rob Roth would be happy with a 1- or- 2-inch storm these days, so to have 10 fresh inches of snow on Vail Mountain Tuesday morning was pure bliss.
The 10 inches felt more like 3 feet - there was powder, and it was everywhere. You could hear skiers and snowboarders shouting 'woo-hoo' as they floated through it.
Roth, of Vail, said he's excited about the snow and hopes this is the beginning of a new weather pattern
"The only times I've been up this early were the other two snow days we had," Roth said as he rode the Vista Bahn chair lift just after 8:30 a.m.
The mountain was jamming Tuesday morning - many snow riders had their sights set on getting some of that powder that has been so elusive so far this winter.
The snow forecast for Vail shows a chance of snow every day this week, a big departure from the sunny days that have plagued the region this winter, depriving ski resorts around the state and across the West from snow.
Vail Mountain operations crews were evaluating the conditions after Monday's storm and "hope to open additional terrain, including portions of Vail's Back Bowls, soon," according to a Vail Resorts statement released Tuesday.
Beaver Creek reported 9 inches of snow Tuesday, and skiers there were ecstatic.
Rich McNamara said on Beaver Creek's Facebook page that he was "killing Larkspur and Birds of Prey."
"Truly epic - 9 inches makes for a whole new world," McNamara wrote.
Victor Deleon, of Vail, said the valley is finally starting "to feel the wrath of La Nina."
Deleon, who was snowboarding at Vail early Tuesday morning, said he usually takes the 7:50 a.m. bus to work in Vail. It's always empty, he said, but not on powder days.
"That first big dump we got, it was packed," he said. "This morning wasn't too busy, but they sent two buses."
Skier Kyle Koczanowski is spending his first winter as a Vail resident. He's been enjoying himself, but Tuesday's conditions on the mountain made life sweet.
"It's been great, but this is something else," Koczanowski said. "This is the earliest (in the morning) I've been out, hands down. Living here, you don't feel the urgency to push yourself eight hours every day, but if there's fresh powder, catching first chair - it's worth it."
One man even credited the Southern Ute Indians, who performed a snow ritual at Vail Mountain Jan. 7, for the change in the weather pattern.
"Just moved up here last Friday, six days on the season (with) four powder days totaling 25 inches," wrote Matt Wasserman on the Vail Mountain Facebook page. "Can't wait for the next three months. Call me Matthew Ute Wasserman - always thought I was an Indian in my former life."
Last week, meteorologists reported a change in the storm track coming in off the Pacific Ocean. Now the path appears to be heading into North America much farther south than it had been, which should mean more snow for northern Colorado.
Meteorologist Joel Gratz, who runs the powder forecast website opensnow.com, is forecasting more nice powder days Friday, Saturday and Monday.
"Tons and tons (and tons) of moisture will arrive on Wednesday and stick around through Monday," Gratz wrote in his Monday night Colorado forecast. "... How cool is it that we actually have weather to talk about? Yeeeehawwww!"
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.