Finally! The last week of Vail Valley snowfall has quickly built seasonal totals |

Finally! The last week of Vail Valley snowfall has quickly built seasonal totals

Brent, Lindsay and Landry, 3, of Texas, build a snowman with the freshly-fallen snow on Friday, Jan. 12, in Beaver Creek. Landry just got new gloves to play in the snow.
Chris Dillmann | |


After waiting … and waiting … and then waiting some more for snow, the sky has finally opened up a bit and delivered some sustained snowfall.

At Beaver Creek, the snow report finally had some good news. The report for Friday, Jan. 12, listed just one inch new in the past 24 hours. However, the snow measurements are taken in the early-morning hours and don’t account for daytime snow, which continued into Friday afternoon in the Vail Valley.

Still, Beaver Creek has reported 18 inches of snow in the past seven days. That’s 30 percent of the current seasonal snowfall reported at the resort.

The same Friday snowfall continued at Vail Mountain, which reported 15 inches of fresh powder in the past seven days, a bit less than 25 percent of the total seasonal snowfall.

The full day of snow Friday prompted Vail Resorts to open more terrain at Vail and Beaver Creek for the weekend.

At the Beav’

At Beaver Creek, more than 1,000 skiable acres will be available as of Saturday, Jan. 13.

Open lifts are:

• Buckaroo Express Gondola (No. 1)

• Highlands Lift (No. 2)

• Rose Bowl Express (No. 4)

• Red Buffalo Express (No. 5)

• Centennial Express (No. 6)

• Riverfront Express Gondola (No. 7)

• Cinch Express (No. 8)

• Birds of Prey Express (No. 9)

• Larkspur Express (No. 11)

• Strawberry Park Express (No. 12)

• Lower Beaver Creek Express (No. 15)

• Bachelor Gulch Express (No. 16)

• Arrow Bahn Express (No. 17)

• Upper Beaver Creek Express (No. 18)

• Magic Carpet

• Bibber Bahn

• Silver Bahn

• Kerch Bahn

• Ritz Bahn

• Gold Bahn

The Nordic Center at Beaver Creek Resort has approximately 80 percent of its trails groomed and open for cross country and snowshoeing, approximately 15 miles of trails.

At Vail

At Vail, more than 2,100 acres will be available as of Saturday. Open lifts are:

• Gondola One

• Avanti Express (No. 2)

• Wildwood Express (No. 3)

• Mountain Top Express (No. 4)

• High Noon Express (No. 5)

• Riva Bahn Express (No. 6)

• Game Creek Express (No. 7)

• Born Free Express (No. 8)

• Sun Up Express (No. 9)

• Highline Express (No. 10)

• Northwoods Express (No. 11)

• Gopher Hill Lift (No. 12)

• Sourdough Express (No. 14)

• Little Eagle (No. 15) 

• Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19)

• Cascade Village (No. 20)

• Orient Express (No. 21)

• Golden Peak Carpet (No. 25)

• Pride Express (No. 26)

• Golden Peak Carpet (No. 29)

• Golden Peak Carpet (No. 33)

• Lionshead Carpet (No. 34)

• Eagle’s Nest Carpet (No. 35)

• Tea Cup Express Lift (No. 36)

• Skyline Express Lift (No. 37)

• Pete’s Express (No. 39)

The forecast

Fortunately for those who traveled for this holiday weekend, the weather forecast shows clear skies through at least Monday, Jan. 15.

The forecast on the website predicts a relatively weak storm on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and Wednesday, Jan. 17, with another, stronger storm moving in Friday, Jan. 19, and Saturday, Jan. 20.

In his Friday report for the Interstate 70 corridor, forecaster Sam Collentine wrote that the longer-term forecast indicates that the last 10 days of January also look positive for still more snow.

The Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service takes a more cautious outlook into the coming week, predicting just partly cloudy conditions for Vail into mid-week.

The Weather Channel’s 10-day forecast for Vail predicts a good chance of snow for next weekend, but little in the interim, with forecast highs in the 30s and low 40s through much of the coming week.

Any snow is welcome right now, and the more the better, not just for this winter’s recreation, but for water supplies in the summer to come.

The most recent “snow water equivalent” graph from the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, taken Monday, Jan. 8, showed current snowpack in Vail at just 38 percent of the 30-year median. If that trend continued, then this snow year would be the driest on record.

With a bit of luck, those numbers will climb quickly.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, and @scottnmiller.

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