Powerful Storm Gives Major Boost to Colorado Ski Resorts


Silverton Main Street. Credit: Silverton Mountain

Denver, Colo. – Dec. 9, 2009 – Colorado's ski area operators are smiling today as they count the snow totals from this ski season's longest snowstorm, which blasted Ski Country with several feet of powder. After a string of days with continuous snowfall and cold weather, the storm system intensified in the past 48 hours. Every one of Colorado Ski Country USA's (CSCUSA) member resorts received fresh snow, with many resorts opening new terrain as a result and one resort prompted to open up early for the season.

Southern Colorado fared particularly well. Silverton Mountain broke the three-foot mark with 38 inches of snow in the past two days. A winter deluge engulfed Wolf Creek, which hosts a Local Appreciation Day today with reduced-price lift tickets. That ski area saw 35 inches mount in the last two days, with a weekly total of more than four feet of light, dry powder. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort followed suit, measuring 34 inches of snow in 48 hours. The snowy bounty filled out Purgatory's terrain so much that the resort decided to open for seven-day-a-week daily operations starting this Friday, December 11.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) saw 28 inches of accumulation in the past two days. Enough snow fell at CBMR over the past week to prompt the resort to open another lift, Paradise Express, which gives skiers access to more advanced terrain and to the mid-mountain Paradise Warming House.

Telluride Ski Resort also opened new lifts and terrain as a result of the storm. The resort, which welcomed 17 inches in the past 48 hours, is garnering worldwide attention this week as it prepares to host two Olympic qualifying events starting December 15, the U.S. World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom and Snowboardcross events.

Sunlight Mountain Resort also reaped 16 inches of snow, with most of that falling yesterday. Monarch Mountain joined Sunlight in shattering the one-foot mark, receiving 15 inches in the past two days. There are also a lot of happy riders at Snowmass, which was buried in a full foot of fluff since Monday morning. Aspen Mountain nearly matched its big brother's snowfall, clocking in with seven inches.

Northern Colorado got a major boost from the storm too. A new 6 inches of snow has Steamboat Resort opening top-to-bottom skiing today as it powers up its popular Storm Peak Express lift. Eldora Mountain Resort was pummeled with a half-foot of new snow in the past day as well, adding to the 14 inches that Eldora accumulated since last week. The new snow there caused Eldora to open two new lifts.

The fresh flurries have some resorts opening early to accommodate eager skiers and riders. Powderhorn's new 28 inches has that resort opening a full five days ahead of schedule. The ski area, on the edge of the Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, will now join Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk in opening this Saturday, December 12. The winter flurry has been a boon to Ski Cooper as well, which announced yesterday that it has enough snow to open for the season on December 18.

Shredders at Echo Mountain have an extra five inches of cushion for their landings as a result of the recent storm. Copper Mountain welcomed a fresh coat of powder as that resort prepares to kick off its U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix event tomorrow. Olympic snowboarders from around the world have descended on Copper over the past several weeks and can be seen practicing their art on the resort's 22-foot halfpipe. Skiers at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area are also enjoying fresh snowfall. Conditions at both resorts are a mix of powder and packed powder, ideal for smooth carving.

Recent snow blanketed Winter Park Resort over the past couple days as well. Skiers there can look forward to snowy turns as the sun comes out this weekend, and a not-to-miss après ski at the mountain's Derailer Bar, where acoustic artist Michelle Branch is playing a free concert on Friday, December 11.

For a complete listing of Colorado Ski Country USA member events and snow conditions, please visit <> .