Last week, Rob Linde, Eldora Mountain Resort spokesman, said that three days of below-freezing temperatures were needed to open on time. Four days before opening, the temperature at Eldora was 60 degrees in the daytime. Things were looking grim.
And then, on Tuesday, three days before opening, a cold spell dropped over the Nederland area and it didn’t let go. For three days, frigid weather brought icy winds, perfect for loading the snow guns and shooting powder over EMR trails.
On Friday morning at 9 a.m. the lifts began their relentless round-trip up the mountain, as planned. It was 10 degrees, but those in the lift line praised the cold. Snow guns blew white clouds over the base and conditions were ideal.
Marketing representative Tavid Bingham says, “Challenge/Cannonball lifts will serve top to bottom skiing on intermediate trails, Hornblower and International, on a 20” base of packed powder and machine-made snow.”
Continuing cold and snow is predicted for the next week and even more trails will be open for those who can’t wait to get on the slopes.
The usual race for first chair did not include the usual winners. Three unknowns grabbed the first chair title and for the first time, they were snowboarders, not skiers.
Jonathan Blair Ermer from Lake Tahoe said he came all the way just to catch the first ride. Pat Ryan of Boulder said he just happened to luck out by arriving early, and Oly Svenson of Boulder said he has been thinking of that first chair all year long.
Actually, the ski patrol takes the first ride up the mountain, and then EMR guests clamber aboard and whoop and holler as they are whisked up the hill, their yearning for zooming down the slope about to be satisfied.