Old 16-08-10, 12:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Hoe snow safe is mid december in CO?

We are wondering about a family trip to Steamboat, Winter Park or Aspen/Snowmass (we haven't been to the latter area yet) and given the investment, whether the week before christmas is reasonably snow safe - that means that the full mountain should be open. Or is one resort safer than the others (Steamboat and WP boast with their snow compared to other CO resorts, but climate tables almost seem to favor Aspen)? And any input about Aspen is welcome anyways...
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Old 16-08-10, 01:19 AM   #2
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It's really impossible to forecast because you never know which one is going to get the early snow. By Christmas they should all be OK unless it's an unusually dry year.

Aspen is a wonderful town and has a few different resorts in the area (Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass). This could be beneficial because it's common for resorts which are near each other to have substantial differences in snow pack early in the season.

The town of Aspen is quite special, thus it's reputation. It's definitely worth checking out if you have already been to Steamboat and Winter Park.

One thing to keep in mind is the base elevation of the resorts because there is usually more snow up high early in the season.

Steamboat = 6,900
Aspen = 8,000
Winter Park = 9,000

I recall being in Aspen at Thanksgiving in the past and having to take the Gondola to the top of the mountain and then ski at the top and take the gondola back down. I suspect the other resorts do something similar since they have to find solutions to get their clients on the slopes.

To answer your question, it's impossible to tell how the early season snow will be but by the third week in December they have been blowing a lot of snow to help out and build the base. If you are lucky, it will be great, if you are unlucky you will be skiing only at the top and if it's mediocre it will probably be alright.
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