Colorado’s 2018-19 ski season has arrived.
Wolf Creek Ski Area for now will continue to open for weekends only after kicking off the season last Saturday, but Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas will begin operating daily.
A-Basin’s Black Mountain Express lift is set to start turning at 9 a.m. Friday, taking skiers and riders to the top of the intermediate High Noon trail.
Chet’s Dream, Loveland’s first high-speed quad, will host its first passengers at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Three runs will be available: Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run.
In a news release, Loveland CEO Rob Goodell considered opening day “even more special” this year. Chet’s Dream, honoring Loveland pioneer “Chet” Upham, “will provide our guests with quicker and more reliable access to some of our most popular terrain,” Goodell said in the release. The lift is the ski area’s single most expensive capital improvement project.
At A-Basin, 2 feet of natural snow along with low temperatures and snowmaking have allowed for a high-quality base,” CEO Alan Henceroth said in a news release said. Goodell credited the same conditions and snow total this month. Snowmaking will continue as usual in the attempt to open more terrain.
A-Basin’s regulars have spent the off-season dreaming about fresh lines in the 468 acres opening this season. Accessed by a new lift, the Beavers and Steep Gullies promise intermediate groomers and some of the best backcountry adventure the area has ever offered.
The hope is to open that terrain by late December, about the time the Pali and Montezuma bowls become available, said A-Basin’s spokeswoman.
A-Basin and Loveland are typically the first areas in North America to welcome skiers and riders. For the first time since 2011, Wolf Creek enjoyed bragging rights this year, thanks to a storm last week that dumped 30 inches of snow. The area ran three lifts last Saturday and Sunday.
A-Basin day passes at the window will be $85 for adults (ages 19-69), $70 for youths (15-18) and $41 for kids (6-14). The rental shop will be open. Loveland’s walk-up prices are $65 for adults, $31 for children.