ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA, Colo. (CBS4) – Skiers and snowboarders on Colorado’s Front Range might not have been thinking about hitting the slopes with temperatures that averaged well above normal this week, but the ski season starts on Friday.
Arapahoe Basin is the first Colorado resort to open once again this year, and the finishing touches were being placed on the trails (or to be specific — “trail”) on Thursday.
Photo Gallery: A-Basin Kicks Off The Ski Season
“Tomorrow is going to be big. I mean, opening day! People are excited,” said resort spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac. “There (will be) a few thousand people up here skiing and riding.”
The High Noon run has an 18 inch base from mid-mountain to the bottom.
“It just took a little bit of help from Mother Nature and a lot of good work from our mountain ops to get here,” Isaac said.
In the parking lot on Thursday, a familiar face was already set up and ready to go.
“Just anticipating a good start to the season, waiting in line like other people should be,” said Nate Dogggg. “I got here yesterday, so Wednesday at 11 a.m.”
This will be Nate Dogggg’s 19th consecutive opening day, and the competition for getting on that first chair has gotten so heated that he told CBS4 he was planning to sleep underneath the lift on Thursday night to guarantee his streak.
The mountain says it’s excited about a weekend opening, but that wasn’t their goal.
“It’s cool when we can have a weekend and more people can come up and enjoy the skiing and riding, but we open as soon as we can every season,” Isaac said.
“They’ve opened on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Sundays before,” Nate Dogggg said. “We’ve been on the big screen of a Broncos game saying ‘Oh yeah! Ski season has started!’ So it changes every year. I think people want to get it open. It doesn’t matter what day it is.”
Nate Dogggg predicts the snow will be best early this year on the slopes.
“There’s a lot of talk about El Nino, La Nina, the whole thing. I think we’re going to have a great early season and then it’s going to fall off. Get it while you can, as soon as you can,” he said.
When the chairlifts start up again at A Basin on Friday, it will only have been 116 days since the end of last season.
“The summer is short up at A Basin,” Isaac said.
Check the status of trails & lifts at Colorado ski resorts in the CBSDenver.com Ski Report section.
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