Ski Cooper Still Waiting For Enough Snow To Open

LEADVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – Several Colorado ski resorts are wishing for more snow this Christmas.

After a November and December full of snow in 2010, precipitation for resorts in the state’s central mountains for those two months in 2011 has not packed the same punch.

Ski Cooper near Leadville was open before Thanksgiving last year but so far this year it remains closed. The small ski area doesn’t have any snowmaking guns and relies completely on natural snow. They have seen some snowfall, but not enough to fire up their lifts.

“I’ve been here for about 15 years and, you know, this is the first time I remember not opening at the middle of December at the latest,” ski area president Clinton Yant said.

Yant says they only need a few more inches to open up.

“If we could just get 4 inches — something we can push with a (snowcat) — we would go for it,” he said.

There is a group of employees of the resort who are working part time to make sure everything is ready for the ski season but dozens of others had to be told not to come to work until opening day.

“Finally we just had to send everybody home and say as soon as we get snow you’ll all be back,” Yant said.

RELATED: Colorado Snowpack Map On December 19

  • Joe

    So people are losing their jobs because these clowns have something against making their own snow? Idiots.

    • Ernie Zippreplat

      its a real small resort, they rely on natural snow. There are others just like it in colorado.

    • coskibum

      I’ve lived in Leadville years ago. Cooper is a very small ski area and usually doesn’t need snowmakers since they’re near the continental divide. Freak stuff happens. Also, they don’t want to create environmental havok by employing snowmakers all over the place. You are an idiot, plain and simple.

    • Kyle

      Don’t be an idiot. It’s a smaller ski resort and can’t afford it.

      • Sgt. Schultz

        maybe it’s the owners who are the idiots, and should sell it to someone who CAN afford snowguns. Or maybe one would have to be an idiot to even buy a ski resort in bum-fuk Leadville.

      • Phil

        Sgt. Schultz you are a moron. Ever been to Colorado or Leadville? It is about 20 minutes from Copper mountain and a little over 30 to Vail. Ski Cooper was opened in the 40’s by the US Army to train the 10th mountain division ski troopers. After the war the site was opened to the public and has remained a small family oriented ski resort. EACH snow gun costs about $30,000 and generally for mountains that make snow it amounts to %10-20 or their total operating budget. So yea it’s not exactly an easy task to make snow. I have many other reasons as well so why don’t you Keep your incompetent spewings to yourself.

      • garyinco

        And does Ski Cooper even have rights to extract the mega amounts of water it takes to operate snow guns? A small family owned operation is not the DeathStar(Vail Associates).

      • John

        Here’s an idea… invest capital to make capital. Spend money on snowmakers and voila!! You can open earlier!

    • xroads

      Bottom line for snow making is not the price of snow guns. It is water. For those folks commenting here not from Colorado you have no idea how hard it is to get water for something as major as snow making. Not just snow making but ranching farming, or anything what-so-ever to do with water. You can’t just hook your snow gun up to a faucet and make snow. Here in Colorado if you want to do anything that concerns water you have to (A) have very, very, deep pockets and more importantly (B) have very good political connections.

  • beaker55

    Couldn’t we all just blame global warming… er, climate change? Meanwhile, west coast ski resorts opened early! It’s such a challenge keeping up with Mother Nature.

    • Dogula

      What west coast resorts are YOU talking about? I live at Tahoe and we don’t have an inch of snow on the ground. I’ve heard Mammoth got some, but they’re 4 hours south. Don’t talk about stuff you don’t know.

  • Michael L

    Somehow, I blame rich Wall Street bankers. And Tea Party conservatives. Or something. And yeah, let’s throw in Global Warming, too.

    • Marc W

      You forgot Bush…

      • Scudbuster

        And Bush Sr. – Reagan – Nixon –

      • ruggerfool

        And Halliburton

      • Bubba

        And Obama

  • Rickbrad

    West coast is skunked as well. 20 years and we have learned that average is a bunch of extremes put together to create something that will never happen. Hope is does not wait till March like 1991. Look up “Miracle March” in Tahoe.

  • Quirt

    We should have kept the canal and given them Colorado!

  • wrol1776

    Most on here are too uninformed and too closed minded to actually investigate what the government has admitted that they’ve been doing with chemtrails for 15 years. you ever noticed all of those jets in the air crossing back and forth leaving chemtrails that do not dissipate like contrails (ice crystals in the atmosphere from jet exhaust which melt and fade away), but rather stay in the atmosphere, spread, and very often turn what radar shows as a cloudless day into a completely cloudy one.

    The Feds are playing god and messing with out entire freakin’ ecosystem and our atmosphere to the degree that they are increasing the temperature and have altered the PH balance of the soil, as well as increasing male infertility.

    • coskibum

      I hear tin foil hats will be 1/2 off the day after Christmas. I suggest strongly that you buy a $hitload of them.

    • CO_Native

      Yikes! Maybe it’s all the pot you are smoking. Puff, puff, pass

    • Libby

      well now I have heard EVERYTHING!

      1 year to go till the end of the world right?

      Littler green men ailen probed you too?

      You played catch with the Yeti and ate some Jack links too?

      No wait, your a pregnant virgin!

      • AzDebi

        Your reply is ignorant and uninformed! Paid “Troll”? Probably! Sit down, shut up and let the ADULTS handle the problems!

    • AzDebi

      Yours is the most intelligent post on this article! They are ruining our weather here in the Sonoran Desert…”they” think they are God…Don’t believe us? Search “What In The World Are They Spraying” (on You Tube…) Ger informed and help take our precious Country back! Geo Engineering is BIG MONEY! BIG, REALLY BIG! AND, it is CRIMINAL! AND, they spray nano particles! Hum…You trust them enough to breath this stuff? It is making many people very sick to say nothing of causing extreme weather patterns all over this country! Oh, while you are at it, google search “HAARP”…who needs nuclear weapons when you can capture that kind of energy? Mankind is foolish and God is weeping!

      • steamboat

        Yawn… go back to watching Sponge Bob !

  • jpo2269

    Of all the places I have skied in Colorado/out west, Cooper still remains my favorite.. Too bad to hear about the late opening this year.

    • Keith

      Been skiing in Colorado several times. Always stay in Leadville and ski my first two days at Ski Cooper just to loosen up. Love the area. btw, Ski Cooper has great rental skis at very reasonable prices.

  • Wilbur Post

    Combine the IQs of “Joe” and “Sgt. Schultz” and they wouldn’t equal room temperature. They must not get out of Mama’s basement very often.

  • HTuttle

    Welcome to the late 70’s dudes! Now go out and buy a few snow guns.

  • Snow Keeper

    Hast thou not sacrificed and prayed to thy Obamessiah?

    • Libby

      Once a story goes drudge, the nut jobs follow……….You Snow Keeper have lost your friggen mind dude!

      This is about SNOW……………..only a insane person would make a political statement about the lack of snow.

      You really need to take a time out from the internet before you kill your own family

      • wrol1776

        Send us your address and I’ll send you a proctology coupon for 50% off on an anal cranial inversion removal procedure so you can once again see the sunshine and smell fresh air.

  • Dogula

    Boo! I love Ski Cooper. It has an AWESOME historical significance, and the nicest family feel of any ski resort I’ve been to in a long time! Hope they get snow soon so they can survive. It’s WORTHY!

  • motgew

    They started skiing in Washington before Thanksgiving.If it’s cold enough to freeze in Colorado and you have not bought a snow gun , you are a fool.

  • Sanity

    Get a clue…. Your God “Mother Nature” will do what it wants. Go buy a snow gun stupid with no water or juice to run it. You have to have water and electricity. Next you have to have the ski volume to justify the expense. Every year is what
    God gives us, not what you watch on TV.

  • Brotha Brades

    It’s a bummer. We have a place in Leadville and I’ve been skiing at Cooper for 21 years. I love it: minimal crowds even on a peak day (compared to 30 miles down at Copper); great atmosphere; beautiful views of the Sawatch Range. Can’t beat it. I’ll take this place for under $50 a full-day ANY day over Breck, Vail, Aspen, Copper, Steamboat. And snow guns? This is the first time I haven’t seen it open by now… and I only record 21 years back… I think they’ll take their chances. Obviously they can afford to do what they’re doing, so the ignorant can stay ignorant and with that please stay in the front range.

  • Jeff

    And denver thinks they can plan on hosting a winter olympic games?

    Frankly it’s a better shot at hosting a summer games.

  • BigBoa

    After this long, and some STILL don’t have the succession of fault down correctly…… Pay attention…

    It’s BUSH’S fault… If not..
    It’s Cheney’s fault… If not….
    It’s Haliburton’s fault….if not….
    It’s Rove’s fault,,,,if not…
    It’s the “GOP’s” fault…if not….
    It’s Palin’s fault,,,, if not….
    It’s the “Tea Party’s” fault…if not….
    It’s “Fox News'” fault…if not….
    It’s “Big Oil’s” fault…if not…
    It’s “Big Business'” fault…if not…..
    It’s the “Evil Banker’s” fault….if not…
    It’s the “Evil CEO’s” fault…if not….
    It’s “the Jew’s” fault….if not….
    It’s the “taxpayer’s” fault….if not….
    It’s “the public’s” fault…

    • glenp

      you forgot “It’s teh 1%ers fault”

    • Libby

      Once again, a story about snow and the lack of it causes a nut job drudge follower to lose their mind through the wonders of the internet.

      Lets explain it like this to you BigBoa(Actually you are a little maggot), you have LOST YOUR MIND!

      This is YOUR FAULT! Everything in your life sucks! You are telling us all that when you type that man.

      You really need to turn off the internet, go find anyone on this earth that can stand to spend more than 5 minutes in a room with you, and get into the real world.

      This is YOUR FAULT for spewing your hate over and over, day after day, typing away your same old tired rants and the people that follow you where drudge takes you to do the same. Its your fault this country is where its at…….You can act like like a normal person, its always negative BS in your life and it spreads to your venting on a story like this…………………A story about SNOW and you make a political statement? You lost your mind diude, you know it!

      • Harper223

        I think you missed his point Lib Lib. Sounds like you need to take a couple of Benadryl and lay down for a while.

      • Woodsman

        I didn’t see an hate in Boa’s post. But calling someone a nut job, and a little maggot sure is hateful. Project much, Libby?

  • Woodsman

    Ski Cooper is one of Colorado’s hidden gems. Like Sunlight, Loveland, and Eldora. Great little family mountains where people go to ski and board without the hassle and expense of a big destination resort.

    • Flatlander

      Couldn’t agree more. Less than half the price of the big resorts and none of the crowds. I taught both my daughters to ski there when they were 4 (my father lived in Leadville at the time) and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Hope it snows soon, I;m sure it’s cold enough!

  • datDood

    I wonder how Libby plans on ‘turning off the Internet’?

  • Nook

    I lived in Leadville for six years and Cooper is all I skiied. In fact, it would have been hard to afford to ski elsewhere. Most of us don’t mind when cooper can’t open due to the weather, because, well, IT’S THE WEATHER! Snow guns would change the atmosphere, and rakes the price. Its a unique thing to ski on natural snow anymore, and I enjoy it. Read Downhill Slide to find ou tmore about how the machines like intrawest and vail Corp do as much harm to the ecology as they do good to the economy.

  • Robert Germanovich

    so like out west, some of your ski resorts (in the year 2011) dont have snow making equipment? that’s kinda stone-age of ya. They have been making snow in Pennsylvania since two weeks ago at all our ski resorts. Come to the Poconos!

  • Rudolf

    I live in the area. Fact is that the last few years winter has come later but then lasted well into June. We still got a foot of snow in the last week of June this year and personally I am not complaining that winter waits a bit. Other fact is, these kind of situations can literally change overnight and you get hit with 3 feet at a time. So no worries.

  • Blake Helgoth

    Why make fake snow, can’t you buy a contraption to let you “ski” in your living room these days? Then you could save yourselve the trouble of invading our state and our mountains to ski on “fake” snow. Instead, you could stay home and use all of the water that the politicians have stole form Colorado through the convulution of water rights (the real reason that water is so expensive here). I think it is funny that the people that want fake snow are telling other people to live in the real world!

  • AZHawkeye


    Send us your address and I’ll send you a proctology coupon for 50% off on an anal cranial inversion removal procedure so you can once again see the sunshine and smell fresh air.

    The diagnosis is called octorectitus. It’s when the rectum is connected to the eyes giving one a full time sh%^ty outlook.

  • Bozo

    A few ski resorts don’t have enough snow and we think the sky is not falling enough? Sheesh. Next subject.

  • BlownfuelCoupe

    I doubt that my Lawn Mower contributes to “Global Warming”, but massive Chem Trails might.

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