Breckenridge, Vail open for skiing and snowboarding on Friday

Two more Colorado ski areas will open for the season on Friday, bringing the number of areas in operation to six.

Breckenridge and Vail will join four that opened in mid to late October: Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Wolf Creek. Winter Park is scheduled to open next Wednesday.

None of the areas that will be open this weekend have much terrain to offer. Vail will open two trails on the top of the mountain totaling roughly 70 acres. That’s a tiny fraction of the resort’s total area of 5,317 acres and 195 trails. Breckenridge will offer about 50 acres on two trails. When fully open, Breck’s total skiable terrain is 2,908 acres (187 trails).

Other resorts are reporting similar conditions. Keystone, which opened Oct. 22, has five trails representing 69 of its 3,148 total acres, but it’s one of the few areas offering top-to-bottom skiing and riding from the summit to the base. Resort officials are hoping to add another trail this weekend.

“We’re hoping to open several more trails, including Spring Dipper, sometime next week if conditions permit,” said Keystone spokeswoman Loryn Roberson.

Arapahoe Basin, which has been open since Oct. 17, opened its Lenawee lift to the summit on Sunday and is offering top-to-bottom skiing and riding, but only three intermediate trails and one terrain park.

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“We are currently working on Sundance and Wrangler, our green runs, and hope to get them open this weekend but it is not guaranteed,” Arapahoe Basin spokeswoman Katherine Fuller said Wednesday. “We should have a better idea of what this weekend will look like in the next 24-36 hours. Snowmaking is going exceptionally well. It all depends on what Mother Nature helps us out with over the next couple of days and nights.”

Loveland will have two lifts in operation, serving four trails, as of Thursday afternoon when they crank up Lift 2. The Chet’s Dream chair has been running since Loveland opened on Oct. 30.

“We are very close to opening more terrain off Chet’s Dream and hope to have more updates for everyone very soon,” Loveland spokesman John Sellers said.

Some resorts near the Interstate 70 corridor received 3-6 inches of snow Wednesday night, led by Winter Park at six. Another 2-6 inches is expected Thursday night.

Colorado resorts are blowing as much manmade snow as temperatures allow in anticipation of Thanksgiving weekend. Steamboat is scheduled to open on Nov. 20, followed by Copper Mountain (Nov. 22) and Beaver Creek (Nov. 24). Aspen and Snowmass are scheduled to open on Nov. 25.

Vail will open Friday at 9 a.m. Skiers and riders will take Gondola One out of Vail Village to Mid-Vail. From there they will take the Mountaintop Express to access the Swingsville and  Ramshorn trails at the top of the mountain. To return to Vail Village, they will have to download on the gondola.

At Breckenridge, which is marking its 60th anniversary season, the free BreckConnect Gondola from the parking lot in town to the Peak 8 base will begin running Friday at 8 a.m. At the base, the Colorado SuperChair and 5-Chair will begin loading at 8:30 a.m.

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