Good Skiing And A White Christmas Are Expected For Colorado’s Mountains

Avalanche Dangers
Brennan Linsley/AP Photo
A skier rides the lift on Corona Bowl, known for its extreme skiing, at Eldora Mountain Resort, near Nederland, Colo., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

While it would take a Christmas miracle to get new snow on the ground on the Front Range before the holiday, given predictions of nearly spring-like conditions, there's a much higher likelihood in the mountains.

Meteorologist Joel Gratz with OpenSnow said the southern mountains could get 5-10 inches starting on Tuesday.

"It looks like snow will arrive in the southern mountains — Wolf Creek, Purgatory, Silverton, maybe Telluride — the day of Christmas Eve, and continue Tuesday night into Wednesday, Christmas morning," Gratz said. "And while the snow will probably fall most heavily in the southern mountains, all mountains should see at least a few flakes."

Gratz expects skiers like him will flock to Colorado's hills this weekend and enjoy the kinds of sunny conditions that ski area marketers love to see.

"The good news is that most mountains in Colorado are about two thirds or more open, with the terrain that they have offered," he said.

But a word of caution: Avalanche danger is considered "moderate" throughout the central mountains. A backcountry skier died December 8 in an area northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. And avalanches happened in-bounds at Copper Mountain and Steamboat Resort last weekend.

If you do go to the mountains this week, look out for holiday-themed activities. Nearly every resort has something planned, but Steamboat is the only one announcing on Colorado Ski Country USA that it will have Santa riding down the slopes on horseback.