Vail Mountain won’t open Friday |

Vail Mountain won’t open Friday

VAIL ” Citing a lack of snow, Vail Mountain has put off its opening, scheduled for Friday, until Wednesday.

Conditions were shaping up to be “marginal,” spokeswoman Jen Brown said Thursday.

“In terms of coverage and surface, we would prefer to have additional nights of snowmaking,” she said.

Officials had hoped to open the Born Free trail, above Lionshead, Friday on manmade snow.

Vail has seen little natural snow over the last month, and warm temperatures have limited the amount of snow that could be made.

With cold temperatures Wednesday night, snowmakers were able to fire up more than 50 snow guns. But in the previous two weeks ” snowmaking began Nov. 1 ” temperatures had seldom dipped far below freezing, leaving short and unfruitful windows for snowmaking.

Beaver Creek Mountain still plans to open Wednesday.

Steamboat also announced Thursday it would move back its opening, originally set for Wednesday, to Nov. 30. Eldora said Wednesday it would delay its opening.

Some local skiers were a bit disappointed at the delay, but few were surprised.

“I figured it was going to be,” said Lisa Ludwig as she went to pick up her ski pass on the warm Thursday morning.

Yes, it was beautiful weather ” people wore short sleeves around Vail on Thursday ” but she would rather see it snowing, Ludwig said.

“I was going to go up for one or two runs (Friday), just to get back into it,” she said.

Margaret Rogers, a Vail councilwoman and an avid skier, was also headed to the pass office. She was not surprised with the delay, she said, especially considering that other resorts around the region are also having trouble getting snow.

“You can’t control Mother Nature,” she said.

James Ellington, who is spending his first season in Vail, said the delay wasn’t a big deal.

“The snow is going to come regardless,” he said.

Eddie Koziol greeted the news of the delay with a resounding “bummer.”

“I was going to go up for a few,” he said.

But he, too, was not surprised by the change, and was encouraged by the amount of snow that Vail was able to make.

Koziol started calling friends to tell them about the delay, and wondered how Vail Resorts would get the word out so people wouldn’t show up on Friday.

Koziol said he said he might change his agenda for Friday.

“I wasn’t planning on working,” he said. “Maybe I will.”

Aldis Strautins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said a changing weather pattern could bring some snow to Vail early next week, perhaps Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s too early to tell how much, he said.

A lack of early season snow has happened before in Vail. In fact, it was a problem in each of Vail’s first two seasons.

Daphne Slevin, a Vail resident since 1962, remembers driving up to Mid-Vail on Dec. 10, 1962, in a Volkswagen van. That was five days before the opening of Vail’s first season.

“Vail Associates got the Army in with baskets to go under the trees, where there was more snow, and take the snow from under the trees and put it on the runs,” she said.

After a dry start to the second season, Vail Associates brought in some Ute Indians to perform a snow dance. Five days later, a blizzard slammed Vail.

There are no immediate plans to bring back the Utes, Brown said.

“But we know how to reach them,” she said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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