Skiing is believing: Powderhorn opens Dec. 16

Members of the Ski Patrol perform training exercises on a lift Thursday at Powderhorn Ski Resort. Resort officials announced a Dec. 16 opening date for the resort.

It won’t be long before snow lovers are pulling on their snow pants and lacing up their snowboarding boots. Powderhorn Ski Resort announced Thursday it will open for the season in less than a month, on Dec. 16.

If weather permits (read: lots of fluffy snow), the resort could open a week earlier, Powderhorn Ski Resort spokeswoman Sarah Allen said.

“Tell everybody to do a snow dance and we’ll open on the 9th,” she said.

Having an official opening date on Dec. 16 is a bit late in the year compared with years past, but it’s better than announcing an earlier opening date and having to push it back, Allen said.

Opening at a later date also should give the mountain more time to accumulate snow and offer skiers a better experience, she said.

Crews have been busy making snow recently after temperatures dipped to a consistent 25 degrees at night.

The resort this season will have two new features in its terrain park that were built from aspen trees that needed to be thinned because of bark beetles, Allen said.

Chances for a repeat of last year’s snowy wonderland on Grand Mesa are pretty good.

According to meteorologist Jim Pringle of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, the Grand Valley has been receiving most of its yearly precipitation during the month of January.

“That bodes well for the ski resorts,” he said. “We’re being very optimistic.”

Longer range forecasts call for above-normal precipitation in northwestern Colorado and less than normal amounts of precipitation for southwestern Colorado, he said. Grand Mesa’s snowfall is expected to be about average, and Powderhorn Ski Resort lists its average yearly snowfall at 250 inches.

“If we get average amounts of precipitation, we’ll do well,” Pringle said.


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