And just like that, Summit County’s four ski areas have opened for the 2022-23 ski and touring season. After patiently watching Summit County’s three other ski areas host opening days for the past few weeks, Copper Mountain Resort kicked off its 50th anniversary season on Monday, November 14.
Despite being the last resort to open for the season in Summit County, excitement for Copper’s season couldn’t be higher as people waited for the American Eagle Chair to start running for the first time this season.
Leading the way were several extraordinary first chairs, including Darren “Disco Darren” Droge and Ski Funk. The duo missed the first chair at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Opening Day in October, but managed to get the first chair at Copper.
Joining Droge and Ski Funk was Leadville resident Cameron Carpenter, who had been queuing with his friends since 10 a.m. Sunday.
Kicking off a 50th anniversary season is exciting enough, but skiers and boarders got even more excited for the season when they saw Copper received 4-5 inches of fresh snowfall overnight.
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“It was great because we had a bit of snow last night and it always adds to the energy,” said Copper President and CEO Dustin Lyman. “It’s so much fun to open to the public because now we’re doing the same thing every day until April. We’re really looking forward to it. It’s the 50th year, it’s a big year for us. It’s going to be fun.
Once at the top of the American Eagle lift, skiers and snowboarders were treated to a plethora of open terrain and a mountaintop terrain park. With American Eagle, Excelerator, EZ Rider and Pitchfork lifts all in operation for opening day, guests of all skill levels had options when it came to powder.
John Marshall of Denver was one of the first dozen chairs on the mountain and was especially looking forward to the powder on a day off.
“It’s the first day of the season,” Marshall said of why he made the early morning drive from Denver to Copper. “They got 4 inches of fresh snow. It’s a beautiful day and I’m not working.
Marshall came with his family to Copper’s opening day for their first day of skiing of the 2022-23 season.
“It’s our first day of the season,” Marshall said. “We’re coming to Copper, we have a spot here and we wanted to be here for day one, especially since it’s the 50th anniversary.”
With a new season underway, Marshall and his family were eager to slice through the few inches of fresh snow.
“I just want to float in powder,” Marshall said.
Carpenter was blown away by the quality of the opening day snow as he descended back to the center of the village.
“It was awesome.” said Charpentier. “We couldn’t really have asked for better snow on the first day. It started snowing when we settled in and woke up to a nice layer of powder on us. It’s great to do the new turns there. First chair of the day. It was totally worth it.
Carpenter hopes powder days will be common throughout the season.
“With the amount of rain we’ve had this summer, I’m just hoping for powder days,” Carpenter said. “Based on the snow we’ve had so far, I think it’s going to be a very good year. This is what I look forward to the most and get out as much as possible.
For Copper, Opening Day is just the start of a long season of events to celebrate the ski resort’s 50th anniversary.
“We’re hosting more events this year than ever before,” Lyman said. “Almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday we are going to have live music in the center of the village. We are having a big party for our 50th anniversary on December 3rd. We also have Snowsation, Sunsation, US Grand Prix and Dew Tour. All our big events are coming back.
Copper will host its first festival of the winter season — Snowsation — from Saturday, November 19 through Sunday, November 20. The festival will include live music, games and good times in the center of the village.
To purchase lift tickets or view the full schedule of events, visit CopperColorado.com.