Rock Canyon High School Ski Club member Ellen Eldridge negotiates a little powder near the Alpine Valley run on Peak 8 at the Breckenridge ski area on Feb. 4, 2012. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Where’s the best skiing in the country right now? Here in Colorado.

According to the web site “On the Snow,” which collects and posts daily snow reports across the country, Breckenridge has the most open terrain in the nation at 312 acres. Eight more Colorado resorts rank in the top 12 nationally as resorts gear up for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Other Colorado mountains in the top 12 are Monarch (279 acres), Keystone (230), Copper Mountain (146), Eldora (135), Arapahoe Basin (129), Loveland (108), Vail (91) and Winter Park (88).

Many of those numbers are bound to go up in the coming days, aided by a storm system that is forecast to deliver another 4 to 10 inches Thursday into Friday morning at many mountain locations. In Thursday morning’s snow reports, Loveland reported 6 inches of new snowfall and Eldora reported 5. Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek all reported 4.

Breckenridge will press its advantage on Saturday by opening the Mercury SuperChair and the Columbia trail on Peak 9, bringing its total acreage to 338. Keystone will open North Peak on Saturday, pushing its acreage above 250.

Steamboat will open its brand-new gondola on Saturday and will add the Heavenly Daze trail, bringing that resort to 70 acres. Loveland will open its beginner complex (Loveland Valley) on Friday with a lift and the magic carpet in operation.

The National Weather Service has mountain winter storm warnings in effect through 5 a.m. Friday for the San Juans, the West Elks, Grand Mesa and the Sawatch range.

Meanwhile Oregon’s Mount Bachelor has yet to open, and resort officials are planning a “Hopening Day” event the day after Thanksgiving with giveaways, family activities and scavenger hunts. “We’re optimistic for a Thanksgiving weekend opening,” said a report on the area’s web site, “but we need Mother Nature’s help!” Located on an extinct volcano in the eastern Cascade Range, it’s the fifth-largest ski area in the United States in terms of acreage.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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