Beaver Creek opens Rose Bowl, Strawberry Park as more snow piles up
Snowy conditions greeted skiers and snowboarders on Tuesday morning, with Vail and Beaver Creek each reporting another 6 inches of snow to start the day.
The Eagle County ski resorts have received 22 inches in the last five days, the latest in a good snow season that keeps getting better.
Another 3-4 inches fell during the ski day on Tuesday, and the snowy conditions are expected to continue.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Eagle County to last until 6 a.m. Thursday, calling for “snow, moderate to heavy at times under any snow bands. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with locally higher amounts possible. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph.”
Beaver Creek opened its Strawberry Park Express and Rose Bowl Express chairlifts on Tuesday, adding more than 150 acres of terrain to bring its total offering so far to more than 750 total acres total. Beaver Creek has reported 83 inches of natural snowfall this season cumulatively.
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Vail Mountain, on Tuesday, brought its terrain total to more than 1,000 acres with the opening of the Avanti, Pickeroon, Lodgepole Ledges and Berries runs.
Vail Mountain officials received some light heckling from a person in a chicken suit, who stood outside Gondola One with a sign that said “ample snow, yet most terrain still closed.”
Vail Mountain is unable to open the chairlifts Wildwood Express (No. 3) and Game Creek Express (No. 7) due to new chairlift construction in the area as No. 7 is upgraded to a six-seat chair.
“For Chair 3, we’re working on moving all of the construction equipment away from the top of Wildwood Express and the Boathouse, but we’re prioritizing splicing the haul rope for the new Game Creek Express right now,” said Vail Mountain spokesperson John Plack.
But Vail Mountain has still not opened Highline Express (No. 10), the Back Bowls or Blue Sky Basin, as well.
The last time Vail saw this much early-season snow was the 2018-19 season. That year, Vail Mountain opened Blue Sky Basin to the public on Nov. 29, after the resort had seen 71 inches of natural snowfall.
Vail Mountain has reported 93 inches of snow so far this season, not counting the few inches the mountain received during the ski day on Tuesday. Last year, Vail Mountain had recorded just 54 inches of snow at Patrol Headquarters as of Dec. 5, and temperatures were about 8 degrees warmer than they have been this year, Plack said.
“To show how important that combination is — we’re now at 1,000 acres compared to 350 acres last year at this time,” Plack said. “A pretty significant difference.”
Plack said Vail Mountain’s Highline Express should be open by this weekend, as operations crews are currently wrapping up snowmaking on the lower terminal there.