Living in Colorado means there’s plenty to do when ski season isn’t active. You can mountain bike, hike, visit one of the many national parks, ride scenic trains, play disc golf, climb, and so, so much more. I, however, choose to spend my off season sitting on the couch watching ski movies while crying at the sight of greenery in the mountains.
Fortunately, the warmer months are coming to an end, and as of today, October 23rd, I’m no longer forced to try to relive memories of skiing from 5 months ago. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the Colorado ski season has begun. Arapahoe Basin became the first Colorado ski resort to open for the 2022/23 season when its’ lifts started spinning at 8:30 a.m. on this beautiful and snowy Sunday.
This year’s opening day marks the third latest opening day for the mountain in the past 9 years, with the 2015/16 season beginning on October 29th and the 2020/21 season beginning on November 9th. Last season, Arapahoe Basin opened to visitors on October 17th.
Today was an early morning for me. I was up at 5 a.m. and out the door by 5:30. For some reason, I was terrified that if I left any later, the parking lots would be full, or at least the lower parking lot. That was nowhere near the case, but the early arrival was still appreciated. My buddy and I were among the first several rows in line (probably like the 10th row) when we had managed to strap on all our gear and find our spot. Some people had apparently camped out in line since 8 p.m. Saturday night to ensure a spot as far up as possible. I was 100% fine with our place.
Yes, we got in line at around 7:15, meaning we had to wait an hour and fifteen minutes before we’d start moving, but it was well worth it. The amazing staff at Arapahoe Basin handed out donuts, free coffee tickets, and some incredible Arapahoe Basin branded duct tape.
The skiing itself, despite being a single, rather short run, was quite nice. The trail did get pretty crowded at times, but it was never anything too bad. The line at the only open lift ran smoothly and I don’t think I waited for more than five minutes while trying to board (except for that first time, of course). The snow was solid. Nothing incredible, but almost certainly not terrible. Definitely a lot better than I expected.
Unfortunately, despite spending all summer saying that I’d go for some runs, do some squats, and just generally stay in shape, I failed to do all of that, meaning my legs ran out of power quite quickly while on the mountain. So, just like how I was up early, I was done early. But, you know what, for the first day of the season, I felt great and I think I did pretty well. I’ll be back soon enough Arapahoe Basin, and next time, I’ll be a lot more prepared.
Image Credit: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area via Instagram