Snowmaking has begun at Loveland Ski Area, CO. The Loveland snowmaking team started making snow on Catwalk and Mambo just after midnight on Wednesday following tests last week.
- Related: Brain Post: How Snow Guns Work
The snow guns were still stacking up little pieces of winter as of 10:00 am yesterday, and the forecast looks promising. Loveland began snowmaking on October 10th, last season.
“I love the sound of snow guns in the morning. Our snowmaking team was ready to go when the temperatures dropped, and they had a very productive first night of snowmaking. We are off to a great start and will continue to make snow as conditions permit. Ski season is right around the corner.”
– Rob Goodell, COO
Loveland Ski Area will open with an entire top-to-bottom run made up of Catwalk, Mambo, and Home Run trails. The opening day run is 1,000 vertical feet and over a mile in length. Loveland’s snowmakers typically take about two weeks to cover the opening day run from tree to tree with an 18-inch base. Last season Loveland opened on October 30th.
Copper Mountain was the first resort in North America to begin snowmaking on October 4th; Killington, VT, started on October 8th, and both Arapahoe Basin, CO, and Keystone Resort, CO, on October 9th.
Typically, it’s a brawl between Colorado’s A-Basin and Loveland to see who starts the ski season off for North America, both resorts battling for bragging rights.
From 1982 through 2001, Loveland was the first to open ten times, and Keystone was the first ten times. However, three of Keystone’s wins were photo finishes when both areas opened on the same day, and Keystone used its lights to open before sunrise, getting a jump on Loveland by two or three hours in the quest for bragging rights, according to the Denver Post. Then in 2002, Arapahoe Basin installed snowmaking equipment. From 2003 through 2018, Arapahoe Basin was the first Front Range area to open nine times, Loveland was first five times, and they tied twice. Wolf Creek, a small area 250 miles from Denver in southern Colorado, actually beat both of them four times since 2011, thanks to ample early natural snowfall.
Here is a list of the first resorts to open over the last ten years or so:
- 21/22: Wolf Creek, Colorado – October 16th
- 20/21: Wild Mountain, Minnesota – October 19th
- 19/20: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – October 11th
- 18/19: Wolf Creek, Colorado – October 13th
- 17/18: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – October 13th
- 16/17: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – October 21st
- 15/16: Killington, Vermont – October 18th
- 14/15: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – October 17th
- 13/14: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – October 13th
- 12/13: Wild Mountain, Minnesota – October 18th
- 11/12: Wolf Creek, Colorado – October 11th
- 10/11: Sunday River, Maine – October 23rd
- 09/10: Loveland, Colorado – October 6th
- 08/09: Loveland, Colorado – October 7th
See you on the slopes very shortly.