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It is October, and it is legitimately snowing in the Rockies. All is good and right with that part of the world. Each hour of snowfall adds to the base at the Colorado ski areas that usually target November for their opening. However, Mother Nature is running ahead of schedule this year and the Wolf Creek Ski Area announced that they will be the first ski resort to open in the nation.
Wolf Creek says that the “first tracks of the season” are possible this weekend as recent storms have given the area a total of 27 inches with a workable 21-inch base at midway.
The Oct. 13 date is the second earliest in the resort’s history, following only a previous slightly earlier Oct. 8 opening date.
The Wolf Creek website indicates that three lifts — Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova — will be operating and servicing runs with early season conditions and obstacles to be planned for accordingly. One would assume this means that some rocks, small boulders, bare spots and short stumps will be encountered. The three working lifts will be open weekends from 9am to 4pm.
The Wolf Creek Lodge will open with a limited lunch menu available in the restaurant and ski school will also be in session. Lift tickets are at a reduced rate of $50 for adults, $33 for seniors and $27 for children. The normal ticket window prices are $72, $43 and $37 respectively.
Wolf Creek, located in the south central part of Colorado, is traditionally blessed with some of the greatest snowfall in the Rockies with an historical average of 430 inches per year . The resort’s website claims, “The Most Snow in Colorado.” It helps that the elevation at the ski area ranges between 10,300 and 11,900 feet.
At the time of this writing, the area was still receiving snow with a forecast for more possible for later this weekend with projected temperatures ranging from 8 degrees to the low 40s.
The resort had initially anticipated a Nov. 2 opening, but this week’s snow total allowed for moving the opening up to three weeks. More lifts and more terrain are expected to be open as the snow depth increases and the resort will only operate on weekends until further accumulation is received.
Traditional “early season” ski openers, such as Loveland and Arapahoe Basin, are projecting opening dates in mid- to late-October. Families should note that Arapahoe Basin gives kids up to 12-years-old two totally free ski days with children 5 and under skiing free all season. Seniors may appreciate that unrestricted season passes for those 70+ are just $105 — that’s less than the cost of a one day lift ticket at a mega-resort like Vail.
We can almost hear the clanking of the skis, the clamping of the boots and the yells of delight from here. Get your ski passes and ski resort award bookings ready to let the fun of the ski season begin!
Photo by schegi/Getty Images
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