The first big snow of the season pounded Telluride with nine new inches, leaving a snow depth of more than a foot at the top of Gold Hill. The snowstorm blanketed the entire valley. Jeff Proteau, with Telluride's mountain operations, says the snow is a great pre-season indicator. "The resort has also upgraded snowmaking and grooming capacities this year, so this snow is helping to build on a great base for opening." The resort has allocated more than $1.35 million to new and improved snowcats and snowmaking. Telluride Ski Resort is also opening Black Iron Bowl this year, adding eight runs of backcountry-style terrain adjacent to the breathtaking Prospect Bowl. Telluride is scheduled to open Nov. 22. Donation Day will be the day before, though, with all proceeds going to the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club.