Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced Wednesday that the Colorado resort plans to open the backside of the mountain, known as Montezuma Bowl, during the late morning on Friday for the first time this ski season. The terrain could have a coating of fresh powder with 3 to 6 inches predicted for Thursday night by meteorologist Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch from 6 p.m. MST Thursday to 6 a.m. MST Saturday.
Reflecting a solid early-season of snowfall in Colorado, the Jan. 10 opening will easily beat last season's opening of just two trails in Montezuma Bowl on Feb. 13, 2013. The opening will be the earliest since the 2010-11 season.
Montezuma Bowl Opening Dates
- 2013-14: Jan. 10, 2014 (projected)
- 2012-13: Feb. 13, 2013
- 2011-12: Feb. 24, 2012
- 2010-11: Dec. 18, 2010
Open runs in Montezuma Bowl will include the intermediate trails Columbine, Larkspur and Independence. Columbine and Larkspur will be groomed top-to-bottom. With the ski area reporting a base of 40 inches on Wednesday, this season’s snow coverage will also allow the area to open some tree-skiing terrain such as Miner’s Glade.
When fully open, Montezuma Bowl includes 400 acres of skiable terrain. When the bowl became part of the ski area in the 2007-08 season, the expansion increased the ski area's acreage by 80 percent.