The lifts are turning this morning at Vail Mountain! That’s right, opening day for the 2011-2012 season is upon us and, as expected, Vail is kicking off the season with a bang! In addition to the 52 inches of total snow already covering the resort, Vail Snow Squad member Beth Hartman is reporting that visitors are in for a host of opening day festivities including, free hot chocolate, $1 breakfast burritos and gear giveaways from Helly Hansen!
Early snowfall signals this is going to be another epic season, so it was no surprise to learn that skiers and snowboarders lined up to get first chair this morning at 5:45am. “I have a passion for skiing unlike anything else in my life,” lifetime local Cesar Hermosillo said. Hermosillo ranked 7th on the EpicMix leaderboard with 157 ski days.
With 10 trails plus the terrain park on Born Free already open, Vail is well on its way to another incredible season. According to local meteorologist, Joel Gratz, La Niña will definitely be back this year — but, exactly how much snowfall she will bring is hard to predict.
“This season should be similar to last season, but no two winters are alike” said Gratz, “Snowfall patterns will definitely shift a bit this year. A weaker La Niña — during its second year — can lead to less snow, but more accurately it just leads to less confidence in a seasonal snow forecast” said Gratz. “The stronger the La Niña, the more confident the snow forecast. The weaker the La Niña, the less confident the forecast.”
Not a bad forecast to kick of the year…so grab your gear and hit the slopes!