Ski season is officially underway in Colorado and Arapahoe Basin couldn’t have asked for better conditions on opening day. “The Legend” opened this morning to temperatures you expect in February, but as the day went on, the sun came out and it was nothing but bluebird skies and good times. About an inch of natural snow fell on top of an 18 inch base on the High Noon trail. Despite chilly conditions, the A-Basin faithful were out in force, the lift line was packed with eager skiers as early as 8 a.m.

“Our snowmaking crew has really been hard at work, but last night’s natural snowfall helped us out a little bit, softened things up,” said Adrienne Saia Isaac, Marketing and Communications Manager at A-Basin. “It was real windy last night too. They were clocking winds at ninety on top of the pass and luckily it calmed down today, the sun came out and if we see a little bit more snow tonight, it couldn’t hurt.”

Conditions were better than expected for October 17; there was no sign of the infamous opening day “white ribbon of death.” High Noon was great, thanks to the man-made base and additional natural snowfall, there was plenty of hard pack to go around. There were even some built up snow pockets on the sides, if you knew where to look. The High Divide terrain park, situated on the skier’s right of High Noon, kept more than a few occupied, while others chose the Bacon Bloody Mary at the 6th Alley Bar to keep busy. 

After less than optimal snowfall in Summit County last season and a brutally hot summer in 2012, it was hard to find a face lacking a smile on the hill today. Summit County and the rest of Colorado are hoping that today is a sign of things to come for the 2012/2013 season. 

Check back for more coverage of opening day at A-Basin tomorrow—including a photo gallery and video.