Welcome back to Blue Sky Basin | VailDaily.com

Welcome back to Blue Sky Basin

Matt Zalaznick
Daily File Photo Skiers and snowboards enter Sun Up Bowl on Vail Mountain last winter. Portions of Sun Up and China bowls, along with Blue Sky Basin, are open.
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EAGLE COUNTY – While snow absolutely buried Breckenridge, Vail Mountain got a more modest supply of powder from a storm that barreled through the mountains recently. The good news for local skiers and snowboarders is Blue Sky Basin opens today along with portions of China and Sun Up bowls, and a batch of chairlifts running above those popular parts of Vail Mountain. Along with hurricane-force wind gusts, the week’s storm dropped more than two feet of snow at Breckenridge. The official total at Vail was about half as much at Beaver Creek, but some skiers said they didn’t find quite that much fresh powder. “I’d say there’s about six inches,” Alex McCann said while riding a chairlift Friday morning. “Very good conditions, but I would like to see a couple of more chairs open.”

At Beaver Creek, the Grouse Mountain Express Lift, chair 11, is open along with the black-diamond runs Bald Eagle, Screech Owl, Falcon Park, Osprey, Ptarmigan and Ruffed Grouse. Among the intermediate “blue” runs opening are Camp Robber Road and Raven Ridge.Vail opened the lift at Golden Peak and the Sourdough beginner’s area, including chair 14, at the top of the mountain. Now, 27 of Vail’s 34 chairlifts are open along with more than 3,000 acres of terrain. At Breckenridge, scores of die-hard powderhounds lined up to take the lifts up the mountain to zero visibility and the powder for which they’d been waiting all summer. “Can you believe it?” Breckenridge spokeswoman Emily Jacob said. “We’re grinning from ear to ear. I think people are so excited about the powder, they’re braving the cold and wind.”

Summit County correspondent Jane Stebbins and Vail Daily photographer Bret Hartman contributed to this report. Vail Colorado