Colorado Ski Season Starts with a Bang

Trevor Phipps

Now that 2024 has arrived many locals are starting to get the fever to hit the slopes, located not that far from their backyard.

After all, Colorado is the undisputed ski capital of the world.

Some ski resorts opened a little late this year, but by now nearly all of the state’s acclaimed mountain hubs are open for the winter, and many are sporting good snow depth numbers for this time of year.

Preliminary forecasts are indicating a good snow season, after a rough dry start due to an extended Indian summer and fall.  At the end of 2023, many places in Colorado were already experiencing high moisture numbers compared to previous years.

With one snow invasion in October, Colorado Springs beat the average amount of snowfall for the month. And snow totals locally have already surpassed what the area received last year. And recently, the ski mountains have gotten a good snow drilling.

So far this season, the northern part of the state has prevailed as the big winner for snowfall. As of last week, Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs had a mid-mountain depth of 34 inches, which was slightly more than Powderhorn at 33 inches.

The Steamboat Springs resort showed a mid-mountain snow depth of 30 inches last week. Snowmass measured a 32-inch mid-mountain depth while Winter Park reported a snow depth of 31 inches.

On a regular basis, and with the help of local sponsor 315 Survival, your prime local spot for skin tuning, equipment and needed advice, we will provide regular ski reports. Make sure to pay them (315) a visit, prior to your next trip to the mountain. 315 is located in the Safeway shopping center and sports unique outdoor equipment, and right now is doing some prime ski tuning.

TMJ News will publish reports, based on updates from leading online sources.  If anyone has any good ski stories, or tidbits to share with us, email us at

A couple of requirements: Don’t ever take any pointers from TMJ staff members. Rumor has it that TMJ Editor Rick Langenberg was fired years ago as a family tour guide after a lost sojourn into the back slopes of Snowmass that almost took on glimpses of Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” disaster.  Don’t believe anything Rick has to say, unless you want to lose a limb or two, or three.

Instead, talk to Eric and 315 Survival and then hit the slopes; tell your employers you are sick, as mid-week trips are the best.


Enjoy our many Power Days.

Ski Updates

The following is the most updated ski information as of last week, regarding some of our favorite mountains, based on the Colorado Ski Country and Colorado Ski Central websites, along with our own analysis.  Enjoy.

Monarch:  Snow Base-23 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 62, Percentage of Terrain Open 93

Comments: The locals’ favorite place for snow; shorter runs than most places, but very convenient.

Arapahoe Basin:  Snow Base-22 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 117, Percentage of Terrain Open 14

Comments:  Never a bad day at the Basin; parking sometimes a problem. Pick a day, though, with sun, as sometimes gets really cold.

Loveland: Snow Base-22 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 25, Percentage of Terrain Open 27

Comments:  Another great local gem, pounded with considerable snow and like A-Basin, stays open well longer than other mountains.

Breckenridge:  Snow Base-23 Inches variable conditions, Runs Open 96, Percentage of Terrain Open 51

Comments:  Call in sick during the week; try to avoid Breck on the weekend but can’t beat the close distance from Teller County and their local happenings.

Keystone: Snow Base-24 Inches machine groomed, Runs Open 73 Percentage of Terrain Open 52

Comments:  Ideal mountain for families and kids.  Underestimated for the great amount of tree runs.

Copper Mountain: Snow Base-27-26 Inches variable conditions, Runs Open 99, Percentage of Terrain Open 66

Comments:  Probably the best laid-out mountain; great back bowls, although access is sometimes tricky.

Ski Cooper: Snow Base-15-21 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 43, Percentage of Terrain Open 67

Comments: Secret gem for telemark skiing; and for advanced intermediates, check out the Snowcat tours. Can’t beat the small, family atmosphere, almost brings back memories of skiing before the big resorts.

Vail:  Snow Base-37 Inches machine groomed, Runs Open 240, Percentage of Terrain Open 81

Comments: Colorado’s biggest and most well-known mountain resort. Great, but try during the week due to the crowds.

Aspen (Aspen, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands):  Snow Base-22-34 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 282, Percentage of Terrain Open 77

Comments:  Check out Aspen Highlands for diversion and views from the top.   Snowmass probably the best mountain in state for blue skiers. Much better conditions reported at both the Highlands and Snowmass.

Crested Butte: Snow Base-31 Inches machine groomed, Runs Open 96, Percentage of Terrain Open 79

Comments:  The acclaimed T-Bars, access to the Butte’s Extreme Limits Terrain is now open.  Tours are often provided to this section, under guided supervision. Worth checking out, if you are an advanced intermediate-plus skier. Get your snow legs ready.

Telluride: Snow Base-24 Inches packed powder, Runs Open 82, Percentage of Terrain Open 56

Comments:  Their blacks are definite blacks, so Plunge down the Plunge run with care. No mountain in Colorado rivals the views at Telluride.

If anyone has any information they would like to submit for our ski reports, contact us at