On Friday November 10th, Summit County will be completely open for business!
The remaining resorts to open in Summit County, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain, will all spin their lifts to skiers and riders for the first time tomorrow, granting access to lift serviced snow across the entire county. Thanks to high altitude and early snowfall, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area have been spinning their lifts since October. Now the rest of the gang has showed up for the party. This is great news!
Don’t expect any deep turns, however. Coppper, Keystone, and Breck will only have a few runs and lifts open. Recent warm temperatures have hampered snow making efforts but it’s a great time to knock the cobwebs off your summer legs nevertheless.
In honor of the opening, we made a quick list of what’s now available to you in Summit County, CO.
Arapahoe Basin, usually called A-Basin (or even just the Basin), is located in the White River National Forest high in the Rocky Mountains. Known for its especially long season, low-brow style, and hardcore clientele, A-Basin is a no frills destination for all avid skiers and boarders. Then there’s the East Wall, which is home to some of the highest inbounds skiable terrain in North America complete with hike-to-terrain with steeps chutes, couloirs, and cliffs. In total the resort provides 900 skiable acres served by seven lifts and if you’re up for it, access to thousands of backcountry lines in every direction.
Located right off I-70 near Georgetown, Loveland is one of the closest and most convenient ski areas to Denver (on a good day, 45 minutes away). The resort is a tag team duo of both Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley. Loveland Basin is the larger of the two sides, covering 85 percent of the skiable terrain with a significant portion right along the continental divide overlooking the hubub of I-70 below. There is also a FREE snowcat available that is certainly worth the effort. Much of the terrain at the Basin is located above tree line so expect varied terrain, lots of snow, and unpredictable changes in weather. Loveland Valley, on the other hand, is a great spot for beginners looking to learn their turns in a much lower stress environment.
Breckenridge, a member of the Vail Resorts family in Summit County, has been the most popular ski resort in North America for the past few years. Breck is one of the top choices for out-of-state and international travelers for many good reasons. In 2008, SKImagazine ranked it as the ninth best resort in all of the United States. There is ample terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities at Breckenridge, which is nicely split between four peaks that cater to skiers of different levels. The Imperial Express Superchair, accessible via #6 Chair or the T-bar, is the highest lift in North America and will take you to challenging terrain if you’re up for it. Hiking access is available from the top of Imperial for dedicated skiers and boarders as well. Whether you’re looking for a ski area that is beginner-friendly or for one that will challenge anyone, Breck is the right choice.
Did you know that Keystone is the largest ski resort in Summit County? Another of the Vail Resorts family, Keystone consists of three mountains—Dercum Mountain, North Peak, and the Outback—across 3,148 skiable acres with terrain for skiers and riders of all levels. Five bowls provide plenty of advanced skiing, and you can experience the backcountry by either hiking or paying $5 a ride for snowcat service to the top of the North and South bowls. Are you a snowboarder? You will love Keystone’s lack of cat tracks and flats. The resort is laid out in such a way that results in very little traversing and very little scuttling along on one leg. Hallelujah! The cap it all off, Keystone is also the largest operation in Colorado to offer night skiing. The fun never has to end!
Copper Mountains is a prime spot for high alpine skiing and riding featuring four epic bowls: Copper Bowl, Resolution Bowl, Spaulding Bowl, and Union Bowl. With 22 lifts and almost 2,500 skiable acres, you will find plenty of snow to play in. On average, Copper receives nearly 300 inches of snow annually and when it falls, head to the bowls for some of the best turns of your life.
In short, Summity County is a skier and boarder’s paradise.
Now it’s completely open. Check back for discounted lift tickets to all of Summit’s ski areas. You just have to pick which one.