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Whiteout: Sun and fun at Colorado resorts this weekend, plus cat-skiing on the Continental Divide

Whiteout: Sun and fun at Colorado resorts this weekend, plus cat-skiing on the Continental Divide


The never-ending cycle of storminess in January Colorado's mountains experienced is taking a break from the action going into the first weekend of February.


A skier jumps in fresh snow Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort in Summit County, Colorado. Arapahoe Basin reported seven new inches of snow over a 24-hour period and its snowpack is at 106% of seasonal average.

The last day of January left a few more inches of snow, setting up incredible bases at every resort statewide. And while the sun will be the prominent feature the rest of the week and weekend, a new storm looks to flow into Colorado Sunday night and Monday.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model shows light snow accumulations in the northwest corner of the state mid-morning Monday, however, the model might change as the storm nears Colorado, but shows between 3 and 6 inches falling onto the slopes. The northern and central mountains look to receive the most amounts of snow with next week's storm.

Monday, Feb. 6 forecast model

A forecast model shows the potential accumulation levels of water-equivalent precipitation as of 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6, for Colorado. Depending on the density of the snow, one inch of water is equivalent to 10 inches of snow based on a common rule of thumb ratio of 10:1.

Colorado's statewide snowpack is above average in all but one river basin — the Arkansas River — as February starts. Skiers and riders at Steamboat enjoyed 12 days of six to 10 inches of fresh snow, four days in double digits, and only seven total days of no measured snow for the entire month of January.

Winter 2022-23 has been full of surprises, and lots of snow, for the northern resorts.

Feb. 1 2023 Snowpack

Colorado river basin snowpack levels from the NRCS Snow Survey Program as of Feb. 1, 2023. Colorado snowpack statewide is at 131% of average.


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Arapahoe Basin opened some runs in the Steep Gullies on Jan. 29, and Loveland is launching its Snowcat Tours this weekend.

"We have been working closely with the US Forest Service to expand our skier services, and we can't wait to introduce our fellow snow sports enthusiasts to this area," COO of Loveland Ski Area Rod Goodell said via email.  "This is really fun terrain, and our guides will make sure that everyone has a great time with us in Dry Gulch."


Snowcat on top of Loveland Ski Area in Clear Creek County, Colorado.

Upcoming festivals: February begins with two great festivals to check out in Colorado's high country. Ice climbers take to the frozen falls at The Lake City Ice Festival and the second race of the Leadville Winter MTB series will have riders pedaling in the snow on real climbs with real descents for real fun. 

Howelsen Hill FREE Sunday: Sunday Funday is taken to an entirely new level as Howelsen Hill hosts Free Skiing every Sunday throughout the winter season. Take your Ski Free ticket to Mountain Tap Brewer and enjoy a free pint or popcorn, plus Tube Howelsen is a new and exciting option for those that want another way to slide.

Reservations are not required for ski Free Sundays, just visit the ticket office and pick up your free ticket before hitting the slopes.


Below are conditions for all Colorado resorts as of Wednesday afternoon.

Digital Producer

A 10-year Colorado journalist, Jonathan Ingraham started in photojournalism and photo editing in magazines with Mountain Magazine. After a 3-year stint in Twin Falls, Idaho, he returned to the Front Range to produce digital content in his home state.

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