Beaver Creek opens on a powder day |

Beaver Creek opens on a powder day

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
CVR Beaver Creek Opens DT 11-24-10

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – The Rodriguez brothers don’t typically wake up early, but for early-season powder conditions like Beaver Creek had on Wednesday, they couldn’t get up early enough.

“We’re riding all over the mountain on all that good stuff we only get to ride in February, but now we get to do it in November,” said Rick Rodriguez, of Eagle. “We’re pumped.”

At 8:02 a.m., Billy and Rick Rodriguez were some of the first people in line for first chair. The brothers grew up in the valley and have been riding Beaver Creek for about 13 years, so they should know about early-season conditions.

“This is one of the best openings we’ve had,” Rick Rodriguez said.

Temperatures in the single digits and teens and below-zero wind chills weren’t enough to keep people away from the snow Wednesday.

“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Beaver Creek spokeswoman Jen Brown.

Beaver Creek Ski Patrol dropped the ropes on the Rose Bowl just before noon, bringing the amount of open terrain to 530 acres on opening day. Brown said the conditions back there were “unbelievable.”

“It was still snowing when I left, and it’s knee-to-thigh deep in places,” Brown said Wednesday afternoon.

Doug Lovell, Beaver Creek’s new chief operating officer, was excited to see the snow falling and said he hopes it keeps on coming all winter.

While the snow means mountain operations crews have to get more terrain ready, Assistant Ski Patrol Director Adam Borg said the snow can also make work a little easier, too.

“We don’t have to put up as many closures,” Borg said.

Brown said snow falling since October has dropped about 61 inches on the resort so far, providing a “fantastic base for us,” she said.

The snow has been the talk of the valley this month. Some dedicated skiers and riders have been getting fresh powder fixes locally since late October by hiking the slopes at Vail and Beaver Creek.

“We couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Graham Mytton, of Minturn. “We’re fortunate to have the snow now. As far as what it means for the rest of the season, it’s hard to tell, but there’s a good feeling around the valley.”

The same feeling was felt at Vail last Friday for its opening day. Deep and fluffy powder conditions, combined with sunny skies, made for a near-record opening day there in terms of open terrain and snow conditions.

Brad Austin, aka BBQ Brad, said anyone who wasn’t at Beaver Creek’s opening day was missing out. Austin has lived in the valley for 10 years and called this year’s early season “epic.”

“It’s one of the best openings I’ve seen in a decade,” Austin said. “What a great way to celebrate 30 years.”

Beaver Creek Resort hits its 30th anniversary Dec. 15. The resort has gone from a six-lift ski mountain to a 25-lift mountain with three villages and has become the host to the only men’s World Cup event in the United States, Birds of Prey, which kicks off next week.

Beaver Creek has also been climbing in Ski Magazine’s annual reader poll rankings, coming in as the No. 4 resort overall for 2010-11, and No. 1 for family programming.

And if the snow keeps up the way it has kicked off the season, Beaver Creek could see high ranks for snow next year, too.

“It’s definitely deep up there,” said Eamon Murphy, of Summit County. “The snow quality is phenomenal.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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