Arapahoe Basin is almost always one of the first few resorts to start running lifts in Colorado. With a base altitude of 10,520 feet and a peak altitude of 13,050 feet, it’s easy to understand why they’re usually so quick to build a base of snow. In 2009, they opened their doors on October 9th, just three days away from the day I’m writing this. This year, however, on October 6th, Arapahoe Basin hasn’t even begun snowmaking.
Copper Mountain began snowmaking on October 4th, Loveland began snowmaking on October 5th, and Beech Mountain in North Carolina began snowmaking in the early morning of October 5th, so why in the world hasn’t Arapahoe Basin started?
Well, fortunately, we have Al’s Blog to answer questions like that. If you don’t know about Al’s Blog, there’s a good chance you don’t ski Arapahoe Basin that often. Al refers to Alan Henceroth, Chief Operating Officer of Arapahoe Basin and a bit of a legend. The blog gives us a ton of updates surrounding what’s going on at the mountain, including snow reports, event reports, and lift upgrades. Basically, if there’s something you need to know about Arapahoe Basin, that’s where you should go.
So why hasn’t Arapahoe Basin started snowmaking? As Al explains, the temperatures just aren’t quite where they need to be. Yes, the mountain has already seen natural snow. Yes, temperatures have dropped darn close to where snowmaking would be possible. Unfortunately, the temperatures just haven’t gotten low enough and they haven’t stayed consistent.
“Loveland and Copper Mountain had a nice jump on snowmaking Tuesday night. We kind of just kissed the right temperature, but didn’t really get cold enough for a meaningful effort. As always this time of year, we will be watching the weather every single night. When the temps say go, you can be sure that we will be making snow.” – Alan Henceroth via Al’s Blog
Image Credit: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area via Facebook