It wasn’t much of a publicized race, as it’s been in past seasons, but Wolf Creek edged out Arapahoe Basin by a day to win the title of first ski resort to start spinning lifts for the 2021-’22 ski season, opening on a sunny Saturday in mid-October.
Enjoying the spoils of an early-season storm that dropped over a foot of snow on the slopes, Wolf Creek opened for weekends with several lifts offering a good variety of terrain. (Though snow conditions determines what stays open for upcoming weekend. Check the grooming report for updates.)
A Basin followed suit the next day, spinning a single lift serving one intermediate run on Sunday, Oct. 17. Still, plenty of people showed up.
(Photo: Ian Zinner/Arapahoe Basin)
Doesn’t sound fun? Well, you don’t go skiing on opening day for the skiing. You go because you’re jonesing for turns, eager to slope-test new equipment, to celebrate the start of a more normal (well, not-quite-as-pandemic) season, or just to say you went. And because it’s A Basin, arguably home to one of the best down-home vibes and a rocking beach parking-lot scene.
According to the resort, a few hundred people came out to ride the only operating lift, the Black Mountain Express quad, and schuss down High Noon, the only open run, a groomed intermediate. There were skiers in costume, grills smoking in the parking lot, and people once again taking advantage of the ski area’s Mug Club, which earns you discounted drinks at the 6th Alley Bar & Grill and the mug to take home at the end of the season.