Snow Rocks the Rockies

Ripping five feet of spring powder at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

Boulder, CO, Nov. 22--Colorado's much anticipated first big snow of the season has finally arrived. Snow-filled clouds moved in over north central Colorado yesterday bringing with them much needed precipitation which is expected to continue through the night. Ski areas report several inches to three feet of new snow thus far.

Along the Front Range 18 inches fell just west of Colorado Springs and areas north of Denver received up to nine inches. Further up into the mountains a slow but steady snowfall persists.

Colorado's Eldora Mountain Resort reports up to one foot of new snow and counting. "This is a welcome snowstorm and should make for a fantastic powder day on our Nov. 24 opening," said Kari Strong, Eldora executive coordinator.

Farther west, Steamboat Ski Resort, CO reports the storm left up to 11 inches of snow at mid-mountain, with close to three feet at the summit, and predicts another three inches before it abates.

"Ski patroller Paul Grosi tried to reach the summit via Buddies Run in a snowmobile to check the avalanche status but got stuck in snow on the way and had to turn back," said Olivia Pennock, Steamboat's public relations coordinator. "Right now we have two powdery trails open and plan to open another seven tomorrow."

The storm left ten inches of snow on Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and now flurries hang in the air. "We were concerned about the warm weather but it looks as though the weather has changed," Said Gina Kroft, director of communications and special events for Crested Butte. "We're aiming for free freshies on our Nov. 24 opening."

Breckenridge, CO, now open, and Aspen Mountain, CO, which opens on Dec. 3 both claim six inches of snow on the measuring stick, and a steady flow keeps falling from the skies.

It shouldn't be long now before the ski season is in full swing.