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Tennessee Creek Basin opens to deep powder conditions at Ski Cooper

Kyle Scoby skis in the Tennessee Creek Basin at Ski Cooper during its opening day for the 2022-23 ski season. Skiers enjoyed deep powder conditions in the basin, which began offering lift service in the 2019-20 season.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

The snow was deep in Tennessee Creek Basin heading into this week, prompting Ski Cooper ski area Tuesday to announce plans to open the extreme terrain to skiers and snowboarders.

And then another 6 inches of snow fell as the resort was opening on Wednesday, creating a powder bonanza for those who made it to the last of the ski area’s rope drops for this season.

Dana Johnson with Ski Cooper said the early January opening for Tennessee Creek Basin is right on target with when the ski area was hoping to open the expanded area this year.



Tennessee Creek Basin opened to skiers during the 2019-20 season, adding approximately 20 percent more terrain to the ski area, bringing Ski Cooper’s total terrain to about 475 acres.

The idea was to add “higher-level, steeper terrain,” said General Manager Dan Torsell, something Ski Cooper customers had been asking for.

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Skiers ride the Little Horse T-Bar Wednesday at Ski Cooper during the lift line’s first day of operation for the 2022-23 season.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Torsell described Tennessee Creek Basin as a nice compliment to the wide-open, gentle slopes on the front side of Ski Cooper.

Tennessee Creek Basin faces Chicago Ridge, where the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army trained for World War II. The steep, east-facing basin was selected as an ideal option to add 19 trails of double black terrain with one, 800-vertical foot T-bar-style surface lift.

Kyle Scoby, on Wednesday, was one of those guests Torsell described, seeking more extreme terrain while his family enjoyed the easier slopes. Scoby, a former moguls skier who used to compete in Colorado, now lives in California and was visiting on a ski vacation.



Scoby’s 3-year-old son, Finn, skied the magic carpet area with Scoby’s mother while he explored the Tennessee Creek Basin.

“I feel really lucky to have caught it on its opening day,” he said. “Absolutely bottomless powder.”


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