Early Season Fun in the Sun

Summit County may not have had that monster dump yet, but the mountain is open and it’s time for some fun under high mountain blue bird skies. After all, if we don’t have powder yet, it might as well be warm and sunny. Read a local perspective on Copper Mountain opening day and early season conditions.

With the first chair busting through the banner and a cheer from the crowd, opening day of Copper’s 40th season was upon us.  As I stood in the short lift line, I saw “Team Frank”, sporting yellow beanies and scarves, load some chairs ahead of me.  Apparently Frank was turning 90 years young and celebrating at Copper Mountain.  Go Frank!  The Redbull truck was spinning tunes at the base and there wasn’t a soul on the lift without a smile on their face.  Opening day snow conditions came to me as a delightful surprise.  Half expecting the mountain to be a skating rink due to a lack of natural snowfall, I was surprised to find the mountain soft with even large stretches that were reminiscent of real powder.  The Copper Mountain snowmaking team had obviously put in some overtime leading into opening.  Opening Day was a blast.  I left with a grin and free Copper Mountain can koozie. 

On a warm and sunny Saturday morning in mid-November, Savana and I went through our almost ritualistic preparation for a day of riding.  Opting not take the shuttle, we decided to use the convenience of Lot B in Copper Mountain Center Village.  The skies were blue bird and sun warm.  It nearly felt like spring skiing, minus the corn.  The lift lines were a little longer due to the approaching holiday week and the multitude of mountain enthusiasts funneling down to American Eagle.  However, the wait was still shorter than that of other mountains in the Summit County, which we won’t mention.  The Excelerator lift line was even shorter and brought us to Ptarmigan.  There we found some great little kickers to launch if one were so inclined.  The snow was fast hardpack but not icy, which I’m sure the alpine ski teams enjoyed.  They were out in force sporting full regalia.  The terrain park looked to be in primo shape for early season, but I’m not exactly a park-guy.  I have too many broken bones to risk further damage and get my kicks chasing powder these days.  Although there was no fresh to be had, our spirits were high as we left for home.  For everyone in Summit County, do your snow dance or beg Ullr to bring us some new pow. 

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