News Headlines     |     


Wednesday October 11, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Loveland in Colorado has opened a week after its rival Arapahoe Basin won the battle to open first. Winter is coming to the US! UPDATED



It kicked off in Loveland on Friday 20th October.

Lift 1 runs were open giving skiers and snowboarders one top-to-bottom run covered with an 18 inch base.

The runs Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run were open giving  a mile of slopes and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

"It's great to have you back on the mountain. Lots of smiles and good times today. Thanks for sharing Opening Day with us. Here's to a great 2017-2018 Season," said a staement from the resort.

And here is what it looked like:

Ahead of the opening day it looked rather good in the resort.

Loveland, ColoradoLoveland, Colorado














Loveland, ColoradoLoveland, Colorado














Loveland, ColoradoLoveland, Colorado












Winter is coming!Winter is coming!














Friday 13th October

Under a blue sky and with a chill in the air the ski season of 2017/18 officially got underway in Colorado and in the USA as a whole.

The resort has an annual battle with nearby Loveland to see which resort can open first.

There has been skiing in the USA with people hiking up, ski parolllers making a few turns and some makeshift terrain parks opening.

But this is the first resort in the USA to open a main lift with top to bottom skiing.

The decision followed weeks of both natural snowfall and artificial snowmaking.

And here is the first chair rolling:

And more images of the lucky ones:

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado














Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado














Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado

















Photos c/o Dave Camara

"Thanks to two feet of natural snowfall in the month of October and an incredible start to snowmaking, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area was able to open its High Noon run to several thousand excited skiers and snowboarders today, Friday, October 13, 2017," said a statement form the resort.

"Snowmakers have already begun work on the next trail to open, Ramrod, and everyone is doing their snow dances in hopes that Mother Nature will bring the powder!" the resort added.

The Black Mountain Express lift started turning at 9:00 a.m. and will run seven days a week into June 2018, when the ski area is scheduled to close.

Arapahoe Basin has the longest ski season in Colorado and one of the earliest opening dates in North America.

Arapahoe Basin is often one of the first ski areas to open in the whole of North America and has been the first in Colorado every season since 2011-2012, tying with Loveland in 2015.

Loveland has accepted defeat in the race for this season, posting earlier on Facebook:

"Congratulations to our friends and neighbors at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on their Opening Day announcement! We are almost there, but will not be opening on Friday. Our snowmaking team is working hard to put the finishing touches on Home Run and we hope to have an announcement of our own very soon."

Last year A-Basin opened on 21st October.

The resort was worried another resort might jump the gun.

"As far as we can tell we will be the first ski area to open in North America for the 17-18 season, well, at least the first to announce opening. Hope it stays that way until Friday!" said the director of marketing for A-Basin, Leigh Hierholzer, to PlanetSKI on Wednesday.

Her worries proved to be unfounded.

A-Basin offered skiing down to the base station and does not just open a small area and claim skiing has started.

Skiing to the base of the resortSkiing to the base of the resort















In Europe some of the glacier resorts are already and this weekend Kitzbuehel in Austria becomes the first non-glacier resort in the Alps to fire up some lifts.

There has been some skiing already in the USA but only small areas or with people hiking up.

A Basin opening 2017It's official














Timberline in Oregon has received around 40cm of snow in recent days and has  ecided to open two lifts over the next few days -- pending snow conditions.

Pucci was open on Friday from 9 to 3.

Palmer will open Saturday and Sunday, from 9 to 3.

Lift tickets for the early-season offering are $39, all ages.

The resort urged skiers, snowboarders and others headed to the mountain to check the website or other sources before making the trip.

"These are early-season conditions," the resort said. "We can't encourage people enough to check the conditions before driving."

The snow began to fall on ski areas in Colorado and other North American resorts in September and many received a big dump at the start of October.

"Mother Nature has been kind to the Basin," said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin's Chief Operating Officer.

"It's exciting to kick off the ski season earlier than usual, and welcome winter back to Colorado."

Snowmaking at Arapahoe BasinOvernight snowmaking at A-Basin this week
















So, what is the skiing like at A-Basin?

The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, passed through on his 4-week North America road trip last season.

He loved the place! See his account at the end of this blog post:

This Friday ski and board rental services will be available from day one, as will private lessons.

Some mountain restaurants and bars will be open for business.

A-Basin's website had this message:


So, if Arapahoe Basin is to be the first in Colorado then what about the others?
  • Loveland: October 20th
  • Copper Mountain: November 10th
  • Vail: November 17th
  • Beaver Creek: November 17th
  • Eldora: November 17th
  • Steamboat Ski Area: November 22ns
  • Telluride Ski Resort: November 23rd
  • Crested Butte: November 23rd
  • Aspen Mountain: November 23rd
  • Aspen Snowmass: November 23rd
  • Buttermilk: December 9th
  • Powderhorn: December 15th

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

Related Articles

007 CENTRE OPENED IN SOELDEN (Monday July 16, 2018)
ANDORRA TRIES TO REASSURE (Wednesday July 11, 2018)
WOODSY IN WHISTLER (Monday July 9, 2018)
GUNS & SUN ARE BLAZING DOWN UNDER (Thursday June 28, 2018)
THAT'S ALL FOLKS (Tuesday June 19, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners