Colorado Ski Season Kicks Off

Loveland and A-Basin tie for first-to-open honors.

ColoradoFlagMaybe I should have written, “Colorado Ski and Snowboard Season Kicks Off” because the riders on the first chairs at Loveland and Arapahoe Basin were snowboarders, though you can’t see that in this picture. Opening day is always exciting for snowsports lovers, even though these two areas on each side of Loveland Pass started, as the generally do, running just one lift and opening just one or perhaps a handful of runs.

Skiers enjoy fresh snow for opening day at Loveland Ski Area, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Georgetown, Colo. Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are the first resorts opening today for the full ski season in the United States.  (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Opening day at Loveland Ski Area on October 29. Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are the first resorts opening the full ski season in the United States.  Sunday River, Maine, opened briefly but closed again. Photo: (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, courtesy Colorado Ski Country USA.

The magic hour was 9 a.m. At Loveland, the first chair was appropriately Chair 1, delivering riders 1 to the top of the Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run trails for  a mile-long descent on 18 inches of packed powder. At Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift unloaded snow riders to the top of the intermediate High Noon run. There’s been a lot of buzz about the potential for a strong El Niño weather pattern that historically meant a lot of snow. I’m hoping so.