‘Beav’s back in business | VailDaily.com

‘Beav’s back in business

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyAn unidentified skier catches some air off mound of snow on the side of Ladigo run Friday on Beaver Creek's opening day

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado” Nobody expected Beaver Creek’s opening day to be a powder feast. But when it came to all the other things people were looking for Friday, Beaver Creek came through.

“Beaver Creek is kind of our home ski resort,” said Matt Patricoski, who came along with his family and some friends from Chicago. “We’ve been here for Thanksgiving break for the last five or six years. We know it the best.”

Nick Clymer, who came in from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. for a wedding, was just happy that there was snow.

“If I can get a couple of runs in, I don’t even care,” he said.

The open terrain ” Latigo and Haymeadow ” provided a mix of beginner and intermediate pitches for the mostly out-of-town crowd. Merchant passes and Colorado passes were blacked out because of the holiday.

“I thought it was going to be a little easy green (run), but it was a little challenging for me,” said Frida Fatemi, who has been coming to Beaver Creek during Thanksgiving and Spring Break for several years. “It was a little crowded … at the bottom. But I have no complaints.”

With Vail’s opening day on Wednesday, there were some skiers who had already taken to the slopes and others who preferred to kick things off a little further west.

“I love Vail Mountain, but Beaver Creek is easier to get in and out, and it’s got a lot of nice conveniences like warm cookies and escalators,” said Kathy Lehew, who has a home in Eagle-Vail.

Before many took their first run, they took their first bite into the warm chocolate chip cookies that were passed out by the base of the mountain.

The line at the Centennial Express Lift moved quickly through midday, while the new Buckaroo Gondola that services the Beaver Creek Ski School Learning Area shuttled little kids, instructors and parents at a swift pace.

“You don’t have to feel the cold weather,” said 7-year-old Brandon Lynch, who rode in the gondola with his skis in hand.

David Henze took the gondola up with his three kids and wife.

“It’s more convenient and we can all ride up as a family,” he said. “It’s a very family friendly mountain.”

Despite having some bare spots on the hill less than a week ago, the slopes had full coverage in all of the in-bounds areas.

“There’s very nice snow on this slope, then you look at the next one, and there’s hardly anything,” Fatemi said.

Before the rope dropped for first chair, snowcats put the finishing touches on Haymeadow, and continued to work through the day on other terrain.

“We had cold temperatures and made a lot of snow,” said Gary Shimanowitz, Beaver Creek’s snowmaking manager. “The grooming crew and snowmaking crew did a great job to get it ready in five days.

With cold temperatures in the forecast for the next few days, Beaver Creek will work toward opening more terrain. Shimanowitz said Gold Dust may be ready in a few days.

Staff Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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