‘Best opening conditions in recent memory’ | VailDaily.com
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‘Best opening conditions in recent memory’

Summit Daily/Mark FoxSnowcats move snow around the base of Copper Mountain's American Eagle lift Thursday afternoon in preparation for opening day of the season today at 9 a.m.
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Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort kick off their winter season at 9 a.m. today, and it should be all smiles at the resorts after Mother Nature’s recent storm helped provide “some of the best opening conditions in recent memory,” Copper Mountain spokesman David Roth said.

Copper received 35 inches of natural snow on top of its snowmaking efforts since it opened for private race training on Oct. 23. With a 22-inch base, Copper plans to open with full tree-to-tree coverage on Main Vein, Rhapsody, The Easy Rider Learning area and about 10 features in the Eagle Jib Park, at the top of the American Eagle chair lift, Roth said. New snowmaking at Timberline chairlift should mean new terrain will open soon, he added.

The day ticket price for opening day and this weekend is $69.



Copper’s first apres party of the season starts at 4 p.m. today in Jack’s Bar. It includes specials from Coors, lift ticket and Saturday night concert ticket giveaways. There’s also a chance to win a pair of Coors Liberty skis.

The festivities continue all weekend, Roth said, with ski and snowboard videos from Matchstick Productions and Poor Boyz Productions airing tonight and late-night music with DJ Landry tonight as well as MURS and Lyrics Born on Saturday for $12. Rental and retail deals and demos are available all weekend. (See more on Copper’s Lift Off celebration in today’s Scene section.)



Season passes are still on sale and the season pass ticket window is open. For those looking to fill their Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus at Copper, there’s a separate service center at the top of the escalators in Copper One Lodge and through Copper Sports Center (next to Jack’s Bar) to process the Intrawest pass. Because it’s not a POWDR Corp product and uses a different system, it can’t be processed at Copper’s main season pass office.

At Keystone, if an 18-inch base and 32 inches of natural snow doesn’t entice skiers and riders to come out for opening day, the giveaways should.

Starting at 8 a.m., Keystone workers are handing out free coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts at River Run, Keystone spokesman Ryan Whaley said. Look to pick up a scratch card for the Keystone Condo Giveaway – where everyone wins something, from food and beverage discounts to lift tickets to skis to a condominium for the season. The promotional runs until Dec. 19. Kids can get “silly bands” in the shapes of mountains, goggles and the Keystone snowflake.



Whaley said Keystone’s open trails include top-to-bottom skiing on Spring Dipper, as well as the terrain park at the top of the run – with its more than 20 rails. Dutchman to Dutchwhacker are open to Spring Dipper as well as River Run from top to bottom. Beginner areas include the River Run Gondola Mid Station, Summit Tip Top Carpet and Endeavor to Ranger lifts.

Base area lifts – the River Run Gondola, the Gondola Mid-Station Carpet, Ranger lift and Kokomo Carpet – open at 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Summit area lift closes at 3:30 p.m.

New terrain continues to open at the ski areas on the Continental Divide, too.

Today, Arapahoe Basin’s Norway Lift opens at 9 a.m. It runs from mid-mountain to the summit, and will serve two intermediate runs – Dercum’s Gulch and Lenawee Face. That will mean two chairlifts are running, serving seven trails and four

features in the High Divide Terrain Park.


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