Arapahoe Basin opens upper mountain ski terrain ahead of last year’s pace
Summit Daily News
SUMMIT COUNTY — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area continues to open sections of its terrain ahead of last year’s pace as portions of the upper mountain opened Wednesday morning, Nov. 1.
Lenawee Face and Dercum’s Gulch opened around 9 a.m. Wednesday, joining High Noon and Ramrod as blue runs open for this season. Currently only intermediate runs are open on the mountain, along with the Banana Park portion of the frontside terrain park.
Speaking Wednesday evening, Arapahoe Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac said the ski area once again is targeting Thanksgiving as its date to open beginner terrain, though if the terrain can be opened before the holiday, then A-Basin “will make it happen.”
“Typically we will still make snow on the top of the mountain but will also look to get our beginner terrain open as quickly as possible after the upper mountain opens,” Isaac said.
“We are hoping to have beginner terrain open soon,” she added, “and of course we are hoping Mother Nature is kind to all of us, because the rest of terrain will rely on natural snowfall to open.”
Isaac described A-Basin’s early season since its initial Oct. 13 opening — a week earlier than last year — as “really successful,” as the ski area gears up to open its new 339-acres of terrain at The Beavers this season via a lift for the first time. A-Basin received 3 inches of new snow overnight from Monday, Oct. 30, into Tuesday, Oct. 31.
“The upper mountain in the last few years opened in early November,” Isaac said, “so to have the upper mountain open on Nov. 1 is really exciting, and I’m hoping it’s a sign for a really snowy winter to come.”
The National Weather Service forecast calls for a chance of snow showers through the weekend in Vail, with the best shot for snow coming before 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. Vail snowmaking operations have been running as the weather allows and the mountain is scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 17, followed by Beaver Creek Resort on Wednesday, Nov. 22
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.