The countdown to the ski season can begin


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The Trail Ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park was closed due to winter driving conditions on Monday, and northern Colorado ski resorts were dusted with snow overnight, two days before the official arrival of the fall.

Conditions on Trail Ridge included snowdrifts and snowdrifts of 2-3 feet, according to a tweet from Rocky Mountain National Park. Cameras from the mountain snow pickets in Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Winter Park appeared to show less than an inch of snow. The top half of Mount Werner at the Steamboat Resort received 3-4 inches, according to meteorologist Joel Gratz of OpenSnow, a mountain snow forecast and reporting service.

“This could be the last widespread snowfall we saw in September, as I don’t see any cold storms in the 10-day forecast,” Gratz wrote in his report Monday morning. “In terms of precipitation, look for mostly dry weather until around September 26 with a higher probability of showers (rain) after that time.”

Still, for skiers and snowboarders, the sight of fresh snow meant the unofficial countdown to ski season could begin.

“It was nice to show up for work today and see the mountains covered,” said Loveland spokesperson Dustin Schaefer. “We’re about 10 days away from lighting the snow cannons.”

Loveland’s famous mascot Parker the Snow Dog must have taken a peek at the new snow for himself.

“He likes the cooler temperatures and he liked playing in the snow this morning,” Schaefer said. “It’s a reminder that the ski season is fast approaching. “

Front Range rivals Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone will look to become Colorado’s first resort to open for the season, although they could be overshadowed by Wolf Creek in southern Colorado. All hope to open in October.

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