Early snow falls in Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The snow falling in Vail Village on Monday left snowboarder Adam Khawaja feeling stoked.
“If there was another inch, I would be hiking up Pepi’s Face right now,” the 27-year-old Vail resident said.
Never mind that it was only Sept. 21 – what were arguably the first flakes to drift into town this fall fueled excitement about the upcoming ski season.
A manager at Vail Mountain Adventure Center, Khawaja had been unpacking the winter inventory inside the store as the snow fell. With the little burst of flakes, he started to think about snow gear and switching into winter mode.
“I was just wearing a Burton one-piece,” Khawaja admitted.
Unfortunately, he was all dressed up with no place to go. Vail Mountain doesn’t open until Nov. 20, with Beaver Creek’s opening day set for Nov. 25.
“It’s kind of a tease at this point,” Khawaja said. “We’re still a month, a month and a half out from any resort in Colorado opening up, so it’s snowing but we can’t go out there and do anything about it unless you want to start hiking.”
Temperatures dipped low enough for Loveland Ski Area to kick-off snowmaking, the resort said in a press release.
Still, the snow in Eagle County stopped short of epic.
“I would say one to two inches accumulation, primarily above 10,000 feet,” said Paul Frisbie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “Probably less than an inch of snow anything below that level.”
Neither Vail nor Beaver Creek mountains are recording snowfall amounts yet this year.
In Vail and surrounding towns, the snow failed to stick but it left people thinking about the ski season.
“I welcomed it because I come from Florida and I’m new to the whole skiing and snowboarding culture,” said 30-year-old snowboarder Joe Littell, who moved to Eagle-Vail last November.
Some people were less than ecstatic.
When Patryk Morzyszek set out to ride his bike from Minturn to Beaver Creek for work Monday morning, the blowing snow caught him off guard.
“It was kind of hailing this morning in Minturn,” 29-year-old said. “My hands were really cold.”
Though he’s excited for the upcoming ski season, the eight-year valley resident could stand to see a little more warm weather first.
“It’s going to snow at some point,” he said. “I just want a little more warmth before it comes because the winters are so long.”
Likewise, Deb Benjamin, a manager at Venture Sports in Avon, isn’t ready for the end of cycling season.
“I want more sun,” she said. “I want more riding.”
Though it’s only September, Monday’s snowfall in the Vail area won’t be making its way into the Guinness Book of World records.
“We’ve seen snow as early as late August at times in those areas, so to see it now is not really that unusual,” weather service meteorologist Jeff Colton said.
Forecasts call for a mix of rain and snow to continue Tuesday, with little to no accumulation, Frisbie said.
“This is not a major winter storm or anything,” he said.