SUMMIT COUNTY – It is a cool morning, with clouds hovering over the grass covered slopes of Copper Mountain.
Not the kind of day most people like. Mike Looney and his snowmaking crew would be the exception.
"Getting real close, getting an itchy finger," said Looney.
Summer is winding down bringing shorter days and cooler temperatures, the kind of weather Looney and other snowmakers have been dreaming about.
"Last Friday we had our first snow of the year and everyone is extremely excited," said Looney.
It means the Copper snowmaking crew will start getting busy, setting up snowguns and blowing the manmade stuff in a little more than two weeks.
Traditionally, Copper Mountain is the first ski area to make snow. They will not open until November 2, but one run will be ready for race teams to train on by October 20.
At the base area, Copper Mountain Spokesperson Lauren Pelletreau says the dusting of natural snow last week, mixed with the impending conclusion to summer, has been driving up season pass sales.
One reason is that just before the season starts, skiers and snowboarders can find good deals on season passes.
"Now is the time when folks can get the best deals on those products too," said Pelletreau.
The people at the ski areas are thinking about snow and are hoping that the rest of Colorado will start thinking about it too.
"Even if it's warm on the Front Range, you have to start thinking about winter," said Pelletreau.
You can bet Looney and his crew are thinking snow and how much they will start making just as soon as they can.
"It's time, whether we like it or not," he said.