Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Al always wins.
The race to claim the coveted "First Resort Open" belt came to a head this past weekend when, on early Friday morning, Keystone announced they'd be opening Saturday, October 12th. After an offseason which saw the long-standing relationship between Arapahoe Basin and Vail Resorts finally splinter for good, A-Basin appeared to finally not get the seasonal first tracks they had been mostly dominating the past 20 years.
However, Keystone forgot one thing... they may be able to buy a s*** ton of new snow making equipment, but they still aren't A-Basin. After hours of silence and anticipation following Keystone's announcement, the man-made snow cleared with nothing left but a big ol' middle finger from A-Basin:
"we will open Black Mountain Express today, Friday, October 11, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM."
We here at Telemark Colorado don't ski shame. You want to ski the big resorts? Sure, have fun! You only enjoy the small, mom-and-pop hills? Sounds great. Can we join? You don't like paying for potential energy and instead enjoy grinding uphill in the backcountry? Awesome! We'll be the ones sucking wind behind you. You even, God forbid, want to strap on something other than telemark gear? We'll throw you a begrudging smile.
But even the most enthusiastic big resort skier or staunchest supporter of Big Skiing can't help but crack a smile at Vail taking a body blow from the plucky "once-again" little guy. In the current battle between the two Big Skiing titans, it's good to see the king knocked down every once in a while. Or, at least, it is fun to see the their feathers get a little ruffled.
Regardless, at the end of the day it gave one of our co-founders an excuse to leave work early on Friday, and begin a new ski season once again. And isn't that what it is all about?