Most seasons, January still tends to feel like early season skiing at a large number of resorts throughout North America. While more and more terrain usually opens up throughout the month, it often takes until February for resorts to hit that 100% open mark, allowing skiers and snowboarders to take full advantage of the lift access terrain. In Summit County, Colorado, however, two resorts have already opened every inch of their terrain.
According to Summit Daily, Keystone Resort dropped their final ropes on Friday, January 20th, with the opening of Starfire. Copper Mountain reached the milestone just two days earlier, opening all 154 trails by January 18th. Last year, at Keystone, 100% of the terrain wasn’t open to skiers and riders until Valentines Day, February 14th, while, in 2021, the entire resort wasn’t open until March 23.
“Consistent snowfall certainly helps, but it takes a lot more than just snowfall to open up terrain. It takes teamwork across our mountain operations departments. Some trails require additional snowmaking and grooming to open for the public, other sections of our mountain require a deeper snowpack and extensive avalanche mitigation work from our ski patrol teams. Our teams work in unison to open up each trail, and their efforts and coordination are what made this milestone possible.” – Maxwell Winter, communications manager at Keystone Resort
Breckenridge is close behind with, according to their own terrain status report, just one trail remaining closed. Arapahoe Basin is a bit further behind, with three trails closed on the backside and the entire East Wall and East Wall hiking areas blocked off (that’s not to say either of these mountains have less snow or less ability to open terrain).