BEAVER CREEK — The largest Vail Valley opening day in years treated snowriders to powdery conditions Wednesday.
And the groomers weren’t bad, either.
Those are the words of Vail resident Cesar Hermosillo, who on Wednesday completed his quest to be on all four of Vail Resorts’ new chairs in Colorado this season.
“The conditions at Beaver Creek’s opening day were absolutely phenomenal,” said Hermosillo. “My first run down Ripsaw was the longest and steepest powder run I’ve had all season. ... The guy I was skiing with said he lost track after 50 wide-open powder turns.”
Hermosillo punched through the ribbon at Vail last week, Beaver Creek on Wednesday and was on the first public chairs up the mountain at both Breckenridge and Keystone before that. On Oct. 12, as Arapahoe Basin prepared for its season-opener scheduled for the next day, Hermosillo camped out under the lift and managed to be on the second chair up the mountain to start Colorado’s ski season.
Since then, he’s logged 46 days and 800,000 vertical feet skied, which he’s been tracking on www.epic mix.com.
“Vail Resorts always does a good job with their opening days, but Beaver Creek’s was the best one I’ve been to in a while,” he said.
As World Cup downhill training was under way at Beaver Creek on Wednesday in anticipation of Friday’s races, the resort opened with 486 acres of terrain accessed by seven lifts and seven surface lifts.
Joining Hermosillo on the first chair was local Michael Harris and his brother David.
Harris said he’s always wanted to be on the first chair of the season at Beaver Creek, but didn’t see an opportunity until this year.
“We had heard that Vail was going to be opening up the new Chair 4, so we figured this was the year to try to get on first chair at Beaver Creek without having to sleep over the night before,” he said.
Harris and his brother arrived at about 6:30 a.m. and found Hermosillo, who had been there since 5:30 a.m.
“It was a little cold standing there for two hours, but those first runs in Rose Bowl were totally worth it,” Harris said.
‘Felt like mid-January’
Eagle resident Nicole Trevino was also in the opening group at Beaver Creek. She said she was surprised to see how large the crowd was. “Everybody was really excited to get out and go skiing,” she said.
For Trevino, it was the first opening day she had attended in a long time.
“I usually don’t go on opening day because the conditions aren’t very good that early in the season, but this year it was fantastic, it felt like mid-January,” she said.
Trevino skied Ripsaw and Stone Creek Meadows, and her husband, Jonathan Baer, did multiple laps on Cataract, saying it was amazing.
The mountain operations team said they will continue to open terrain as conditions permit and a chance of snow in the forecast for the weekend could provide the right conditions for more openings.