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What it Takes to Be the 1st Ski Area Open this Season

Each season, Arapahoe Basin is typically one of the first ski areas to start spinning its lifts in North America. With a base elevation of 10,780 feet, A-Basin has ideal conditions to crank its snowmaking early and race to open way ahead of Thanksgiving Day, when many others plan their first day. A-Basin fired up its snow guns this week — practice to make sure everything is good to go when the temps drop.

The High Noon trail was the recipient of the snowmaking test run Tuesday, and the practice isn't only for the equipment, it's to get resort's team of 10 snowmakers ready, too. There are four rookies on the team this year, which is headed by A-Basin Snow Surfaces Manager Mark LaFlamme, who has 20 years in the business. Snowmaking has been going on at A-Basin since the 2002-03 season, making this the resort's 14th season with a little help from man-made snow.

Typically, snowmaking at A-Basin starts the first week of October and runs for between 10 to 14 days, with good weather, to get the first trail open: the intermediate section of High Noon. Last year, snowmaking started on Oct. 2, and the resort opened Oct. 17. There's still no opening date set for this season. Cross your fingers for some chilly nights next week!

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