Wolf Creek Opens With 3 Feet on October 8, 2011

It is always a treat to ride in October. Rarely do resorts open that early and almost never do they open that early with natural snow. But today was no ordinary early season opening day. La Niña dumped 3 feet earlier in the week, plus another 4 to 8 inches fell last night.

A last minute 5-hour road trip came and went and I was one of a few hundred diehards skeptically awaiting opening bell. At 8 a.m. we were lined up with about 100 people for the first chair of Wolf Creek's 2011-12 winter season.

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9 a.m. came and went and the 300 or so diehards became agitated. Obsenities were shouted when the ops guy told us "10 more minutes." But then it happened. Out of place as it reached my summer conditioned ears, the unmistakable rumble of an avi bomb rolled down the mountain. The diehards became quiet. A revelation was had. It wasn't going to be the white ribbon of death, it was going to be ride anywhere you want. And as the Treasure lift ascended the final steep pitch on that first ride up it became evident that it's October 8, 2011 and it's  a full blown powder day.

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Today was a tough day to comprehend. But my legs and lungs knew exactly what was going on. It was like a mid-winter time warp. Every person on the hill seemed to have a half guilty, half shocked look on their face. Was today real? Did we really just shred top to bottom powder runs in October?
Yes we did. And that was one hell of a way to kick off the 2011-12 winter season.

But the question remains, will Wolf Creek stay open continuously for the rest of the season? The resort recently posted this: "Wolf Creek will remain open through Columbus Day, and then reopen for Saturday and Sunday, the 15th and 16th, after not operating Tuesday through Friday." So does today really count as the first day of the season? For myself and everyone else at Wolf Creek today none of that matters. We just rode powder on quite possibly the best opening day ever.

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