Breckenridge ski area in Colorado, which operates some of the highest lifts and ski runs in the world including the world’s highest chairlift, has extended its season to the last Monday in May, a public holiday in the US.

It’s the first time the resort has stayed open this late in the season until the 1990s and it  seems to have chosen a good season to do it, with snowfall totals currently at 1,092cm   and locals saying some of the snowfalls this winter were the biggest in living memory, with some claiming falls on that scale have not been recorded for 120 years – according to the resort’s marketing department.

But the extended season is not a one off due to a particularly snowy season, but, owners Vail Resorts say, a permanent move to extend the season every winter to the end of May.  As they’ve also committed to opening another of their ski areas in Colorado, Keystone, early in the season each October, it means holders of their signature Epic season pass should be able to ski or board at Vail’s Colorado resorts from early October to Late May – more than 7 months of the year.

For this extended portion of this season, skiers and snowboarders have approximately 1,000 acres of terrain on Breckenridge’s Peaks 6, 7 and 8 still available with access to intermediate, advanced and expert level terrain via the Independence SuperChair, T-Bar, 6-Chair, Imperial Express, Zendo and Kensho chairs.  To access all open terrain, resort buses will continuously loop between Breck Station and Peak 7 throughout the day during resort hours.

Snow depths are reported to be just over 2 metres (nearly 7 feet) and there has been fresh snow in the past week, particularly heavy before the weekend when skiers posting online reported mid-winter powder on empty slopes with no lift queues.

A winter storm warning is in place today with up to 15cm (6 inches) of snow expected.

The resort is one of three currently still open in Colorado with Winter Park re-opening its Mary Jane slopes for its final weekend of the season this coming Friday and Arapahoe Basin saying it plans to open daily through to at least June 2nd.