In most places, the middle of October means baseball playoffs, football games and colored leaves fall from trees. But in Colorado it means the start of the ski and snowboard season. And today was Opening Day, baby!
Skiing in October is a Colorado phenomenon and a rite of passage for many of the diehards who live here. If you just couldnâ€™t wait to break in your shiny new season pass or new gear or whatever, it meant you either called in sick, showed up late or just plain blew off work, school, family and various other responsibilities in order to get back on snow. A-Basin and Loveland opened at 8:30 a.m. with throngs of skiers and snowboarders eager to make some turns.
Snowboarder Forrest Williams and skiers Luca Baccega and Jeremy Parsons were the first ones in line for the Challenger lift at A-Basin, having blown off classes at Cherry Creek High School and driving up from Denver at 5:30 a.m. to make a few turns. â€œItâ€™s an unexcused absence,â€ said Baccega, 18. â€œBut I told all of my teachers yesterday, and theyâ€™re cool with it. They said itâ€™s on me, and Iâ€™ll be fine. Iâ€™d much rather be here.â€
But it was Pete Drummond, 46, Tony Marzelli, 25, and Jeff Carlson, 28, who snagged the first chair ride up the mountain (the first chair was dedicated to A-Basin co-founder Edna Dercum) and took the maiden voyage down over the soft, 18-inch base on the High Noon trail. They all work at the Colorado Freeride shop in Breckenridge, so their skis were tuned to a T. â€œIt was like velvet. It was creamy and we let her rip,â€ Drummond said after making the first run of the season. â€œTodayâ€™s the start of another great winter.â€