A perfect powder day was how Colorado skiers and riders welcomed the first day of winter.
Starting with Steamboat, the resort had nearly two feet in two days, which helped open more terrain and give locals an early powder day before the Christmas and New Year's visitors arrived.
Santa skied Loveland while humming the tune, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Nearly 100% of Loveland is open thanks to so many recent snowstorms along the I-70 corridor.
In the Aspen area, skiers enjoyed the powder at Snowmass, in this photo taken by Jeremy Swanson. Snowmass has had nearly eight feet of snow in December alone. This is more than twice the monthly average for December. And there is still time for more to fall.
"This has been a December like none I can remember," said Rich Burkley, vice president of mountain operations, Aspen Skiing Company.
After the holidays, Aspen/Snowmass gears up for ESPN Winter X Games 12, Jan.24-27, 2008.