Keystone Resort will become the second Colorado ski area to open for daily skiing and riding on Friday, joining neighboring Arapahoe Basin, which opened on Sunday.
Wolf Creek in southern Colorado opened last Saturday but is only operating on weekends for the time being. Last year, Keystone opened on Nov. 6, and Arapahoe Basin on Nov. 9.
Opening at 9 a.m., Keystone will offer 40 acres and nearly 2 miles of terrain on the Schoolmarm and Silverspoon trails, accessed by the River Run Gondola and the Montezuma Express lift. Only the top of the mountain will be open, though, so skiers and riders will have to download from midmountain via the gondola when they are done for the day.
“The team has put in a lot of hard work and long hours to get the resort ready to open,” said Chris Sorensen, Keystone’s new vice president and general manager, in a news release. “With this October opening at Keystone and Breck’s plan to operate through Memorial Day, we will offer one of the longest ski seasons in the country, providing even more value for our Epic Pass holders.”
On Friday, Copper Mountain will open its ski racing training venue, the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center, for elite ski racers from the U.S. and other countries in preparation for World Cup races next month. Top U.S. racers, including Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards, will be arriving in the next two weeks with next February’s Winter Olympics much on their minds. Copper will not yet open to the general public.
Loveland also has been making snow and is expected to be the next area to announce an opening date.
Mountain weather over the next few days is apt to be warm and dry, according to Joel Gratz, founding meteorologist of OpenSnow, which tracks mountain weather and forecasts. Multiple storms are predicted to pound California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming next week, but Gratz expects the main storm energy to stay north of Colorado. With the state on the southern edge of the storm track, Gratz sees 2-4 inches for most Colorado mountains. High-country temperatures should allow for nighttime snowmaking, though.
Keystone got about a foot of natural snow last week and Breckenridge received a bit more than that. Breckenridge began making snow on Wednesday in hopes of opening as scheduled on Nov. 12.
Read More:Surprise! Keystone Resort to open for the season on Friday.