Dust 'em off, wax 'em up. Here we go. Loveland Ski Area, high atop Interstate 70 at Loveland Pass in the Colorado Rockies, opened for skiers and riders at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. It is the earliest Opening Day at the legendary early bird ski area since 1969. The opening is a week earlier than last year.

The ski area staff began making snow in early September, taking advantage of cold temperatures. The early start obviously paid off as 1,000 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing and boarding was available via Chair 1. Catwalk, Mambo, and Homerun trails combined for a mile-long run. That's pretty exciting for early October high above the Mile High City.

Loveland's Rob Goodell told media the base depth on the first day was 18 inches and extends tree to tree. Loveland plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekends and designated holidays. Mountain managers will soon move equipment to open other trails as quickly as possible.

The weather is, of course, fickle this time of year, so be sure to check the OnTheSnow.com daily condition reports as the winter parade of openings begin. On your mark, get set, slide.