Here we go: Copper Mountain is the last Summit ski area to open for the season

The American Eagle Elevator, with the Main-Vein Trail below, is pictured on opening day Monday, November 22 at the Copper Mountain Resort.
Curtis DeVore / Copper Mountain Resort

It’s official: the mountains of Summit County are open for ski season. Copper Mountain Resort hosted the last opening day in the county on Monday, November 22.

Colin Thomas was standing at the Alpine Lot waiting for a bright and early shuttle on opening day. Thomas had come from Denver – where it has yet to snow – for his second opening day of the season after Winter Park opened last week.

“I haven’t been able to ride for the past two years because I had shoulder surgery, so I was finally able to come back and ride,” Thomas said.

The event was greeted with fanfare as eager skiers and snowboarders lined up for the American Eagle lift. Last year, the resort opened on a Monday due to pandemic concerns over crowds. This year, the station kept its opening on Mondays, which allowed for a more serene start to the season.

Queuing for American Eagle with his dad, Evan Cooper said he moved to Colorado a year ago and – although he had to work with his car in the parking lot – wanted to come to the day off. opening with his father, who often attends the festivities. The lack of COVID-19 restrictions like bookings is something Cooper is thrilled about this season.

Catching up with Fort Collins residents Chloe Boehm and Lilly Namie after a few runs, the two said Copper was their favorite mountain for skiing due to the terrain and lack of crowds.

“It’s nice to have fresh corduroy to ski,” Boehm said of opening day conditions.

“I had two turns on a little fresh snow, and it was beautiful,” added Namie. “It was fine, kind of what you would expect from a human made, but I think as it warms up it will mellow.”

Although Copper is the last ski area to open to the public, it initially opened on October 22 specifically for athletes.

The resort began to be called The Athlete’s Mountain this season as a nod to the competitions held in the mountain. As the mountain was open to some athletes ahead of its official opening day, spokesperson Taylor Prather said it was a special feeling to be completely open.

“It’s really exciting,” Prather said. “We’ve had ski racers here training last month, but it’s really something different, something special when we welcome the public.”

Prather said the resort’s snow crew worked “around the clock” to prepare the mountain for opening day, and although local ski areas struggled to cope with the weather. hot and dry lately, Prather said Copper was happy with the ground he was able to open. with, noting the new layer of snow received over the weekend. Copper opened with 70 acres of land for beginners and intermediates.

Prather added that the station is working hard to set up the 22-foot superpipe, which will be the focal point of the Olympic qualifying events the station hosts this season.

As for what excites the resort the most, Prather said this is the opportunity to start getting back to normal.

“Put people back on mountain skiing and snowboarding, having fun, less mask application, less parking restrictions – just to get back to what we all love to do, which is skiing and riding,” said Prather in reference to what she is looking forward to.

Many opening day visitors said they were relieved to drop most COVID-19 restrictions on the mountain this season, but others said they were eagerly awaiting the snow and were just coming back up the mountain.

Nik Mennemeier said he looks forward to learning new tricks on his skis this season, especially his back carving skills.


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