Yes, the snow is good in Colorado’s High Country this year. Some places may even see new records

Courtesy Powerhorn Mountain Resort
A skier rides at Powerhorn Mountain Resort.

For ski areas across Colorado, this week’s fresh powder is extra icing on top of an already sweet winter. Despite a persistent drought across the West, Colorado’s mountains are seeing the most snow in years.

Steamboat Ski Resort has been one of the standouts, already receiving more snow this season than in all of last season. As of Tuesday morning, that number stood at 333 inches — closing in on Steamboat’s all-time record of 489 inches, set in the winter of 2007-2008. 

In her 15 years with Steamboat, spokesperson Loryn Duke has never seen snow like this, describing it like “free refills of champagne.” 

“I think a telling point is when you have an incredible day on the mountain, and you get done and you're like, 'That's the best day I've ever had!’ And then two days later you're like, 'No, that was the best day I've ever had!'” she said. “We just keep saying it day after day.”

According to Colorado Ski Country USA, a nonprofit trade organization representing most of the state’s resorts, this kind of excitement is being felt all over the state. Sarah Beatty, the group’s director of communications, said that each one of 21 member resorts, in all corners of Colorado’s mountains, is getting loads of powder.

Skiing is “always great,” she said, “but skiing is always better when you've got a fantastic powder year.”

Courtesy Steamboat Resort
A skier rides at Steamboat Resort.

She laughed as she described a type of picture she’s received over and over this season: people wearing snorkels as they ski through deep, fluffy snow. No one actually needs that to breathe, she explained, but people want to show how jazzed they are about this year’s bounty.

“I think it's just when you get powder that's as deep and prolific as it is this year, people are excited and they're feeling, you know, celebratory and a little goofy,” she said. 

That includes folks at the state’s smaller ski areas, as well. High on western Colorado’s Grand Mesa, Powderhorn Mountain Resort had its earliest opening day on record this season, November 25, thanks to early snowfall. Spokesperson Ryan Robinson is happy to report that since then, the mountain hasn’t gone more than six days without fresh snow. 

On Tuesday afternoon, he was skiing with his wife for Valentine’s Day as soft snow drifted down.

Robinson called it “absolutely wonderful conditions.”

“There’s something about fresh snow for a skier or snowboarder,” he said, explaining that it’s more than just the powder turns. “There’s the sentiment that the drive feels a shorter, burger tastes a little better, and your friends, a little closer. There’s a lot of that around Powderhorn this winter.” 

People can expect more powder days this week, as a storm moving through the state is forecast to bring snow to many mountain areas through Wednesday. The National Weather Service says the highest amounts will likely be in the San Juan Mountains, with some spots getting as much as several feet.