Every year, we venture out to Colorado for our first turns of the season. We like to hit up the resorts' opening weekend to enjoy some of the fanfare (and to boast a little). This year, we were a week late due to the amazing snow conditions. That's not a complaint, either. We got more than we bargained for, and I can say that it's the best season opener I've ever had. Why? POWDER. That's why.
When you go to a resort within the first few weeks of being open, you expect to ski ice on the White Ribbon of Death. This just wasn't true at Loveland on November 12th and 14th. On our first day skiing for the 2010-2011 season, we got some decent packed-pow snow. The groomers had been busy at Loveland, and from what I can tell, most of the groomer runs there were open and in great shape. But the real prize was a little run under Chair 2: a short little run loaded with fresh, untouched pow. Ski patrol was loitering around the area, so we kept a keen eye to watch for the area to open. And our dilligence paid off: ski patrol opened the run and we were treated to about 15 turns of shin-deep pow pow. That's a first-time thing for opening weekend.
We lapped that short run until it was tracked out, and then took nice, soft groomer runs until our legs burned. We called it a day and headed home, fully satisified with our pow runs.
Then, on Sunday, we returned to find Loveland not nearly as crowded as we expected. The wind was moving pretty good, but the runs were still soft, and the small accumulations of snow over the past 48 hours helped fill in some of the groomers with soft ankle-deep snow. We lapped a long, lazy groomer off of chair 6 that had plenty of fresh snow on it. Little poofs of chop pow flew behind us for the next few hours as we got our fairwell CO turns in before heading to the airport.
Overall, it appears that a large majority of Loveland's groomers are opened. There appears to be enough snow for a lot more terrain to open, but I'm sure Loveland is playing it cool and not opening it too soon so it doesn't get tracked and exposed. Loveland definetly moved up the ranks in my books, and I didn't even get into the good stuff on this trip. You can bet I'll be back.