Snow guns fire at the base of Steamboat Ski Area on Sunday morning as a winter storm moves through the area. The recent snowstorm and colder temperatures have allowed the ski area to resume snowmaking after a warm, dry week.

Photo by Scott Franz

Snow guns fire at the base of Steamboat Ski Area on Sunday morning as a winter storm moves through the area. The recent snowstorm and colder temperatures have allowed the ski area to resume snowmaking after a warm, dry week.

Weather forecast has Steamboat Ski Area more optimistic about Opening Day

Cold temperatures allow snowmaking to resume

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— The recent snowstorm over Northwest Colorado and a much colder forecast this week has Steamboat Ski Area more optimistic about Opening Day on Mount Werner.

The storm dropped 6 inches of snow at mid-mountain Saturday and allowed the ski area to resume snowmaking following a week hiatus.

“Right now, they're fired up from Christie Peak all the way down to the base area,” ski area spokesman Mike Lane said Sunday afternoon about the snow guns.

He said after the warm and dry weather stopped the guns last week, the resumed snowmaking efforts now are focused on the Stampede, Vogue and Sitz runs and soon would shift to Heavenly Daze.

Still, what Opening Day will look like and offer skiers still largely depends on Mother Nature.

“It's way too early to tell,” Lane said when asked what terrain the ski area is expecting to have open starting Nov. 21. “A lot changes in a pretty quick time period when you get cold temperatures and snowmaking. It all varies. We've opened some years with a ton of terrain, and others with just a little bit. It just depends on Mother Nature.”

Last year, Mount Werner opened on Scholarship Day with skiing from the top of the gondola to the bottom of the mountain. Skiers were able to take three lifts serving 23 trails on about 250 acres.

This week's forecast, with overnight lows below freezing and highs in the 40s, should allow the ski area to continue snowmaking efforts.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction also is forecasting another winter storm to arrive this weekend, though it currently is not expected to be as significant as the most recent storm that dropped several inches of snow on Steamboat.

“The forecast looks very promising,” Lane said. “The cold temps will definitely keep our snowmakers busy.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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