Vail blanketed in snow after 5-plus inches fall | VailDaily.com
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Vail blanketed in snow after 5-plus inches fall

A view from the Sandstone neighborhood the morning of Wednesday. Five-plus inches blanket the higher-elevation areas of Vail

VAIL — Another snowy blast hit the High Country on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of several October storms to hit the Vail area so far this winter season.

Vail locals awoke to more than 5 inches of fresh snow in parts of Vail on Wednesday morning.

Interstate 70 at Vail Pass was closed for hours on Tuesday afternoon, leaving motorists to wait in Vail for the weather to break.



The highway also saw extended closures earlier in the month after a semitrailer jackknifed on Vail Pass on Oct. 12 and was recovered Oct. 13.

A jackknifed semitrailer on the Vail Pass section of Interstate 70 on Oct. 13. The interstate has seen several closures already this winter season.
Jacob Best/Colorado State Patrol

Vail Pass is seeing construction currently on the westbound side; motorists are urged to drive with caution.



Keystone gondola on wind delay

Vail Resorts shares a pass with Keystone Ski Resort in the Epic Pass, and while Keystone opened for the season Friday, passholders were not able to use the gondola Wednesday due to high winds in the area. Keystone’s Summit Express chairlift transported skiers up the mountain instead.

On Vail Mountain, the snowguns have fired up for the season in hopes of what could be one of the earliest openings in Vail’s history.

In 2019, after installing a new snowmaking system on high elevation terrain and reconfiguring the opening to start at midmountain, Vail pulled off a much-celebrated Nov. 15 opening.

A look at Vail Village on Wednesday. The High Country saw more than 5 inches of snow which also reached lower elevations, blanketing the floor of the Gore Creek valley in heavy snow.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Longtime local Paul Testwuide, who moved to Vail in 1963 and became ski patrol director in 1974, said he does not know of an earlier opening than Nov. 15.

This year, that snowmaking system is again at work as crews shoot for an even earlier opening. Vail is targeting a Nov. 12 welcome for the general public.

A look at Vail Mountain on Wednesday. Several snowstorms have hit the mountain in October.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

And for ski racers at Golden Peak, the season could start even earlier.

A hardpack snow surface on an expanded, higher-elevation race course is currently being prepared at the Golden Peak ski racing arena.

The new terrain on Golden Peak opened in 2019 and was expected to hold snow better than the previous offering for ski racers there, a theory which has proven true this season as the top of Golden Peak has been white in recent weeks.


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