CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo — Across Colorado, alarm clocks started to beep well before sunrise.
Those who hit the road at or before 4:30 AM may have spared themselves hours of gridlock on westbound I-70.
Loveland ski instructor Chelsea Carter hit the road in Denver at 4:30 on the nose and made it to Loveland Ski Area in an hour.
"I was the first person here this morning," she told 9NEWS as she waited to be among the first on Lift 3.
"I've been waiting for about 45 minutes-ish. We have people waiting here since 8 AM," she said.
As Carter celebrated the opening of the lift, hopeful skiers and snowboarders waited in the parking lot of I-70 westbound.
By 11:30 AM, westbound traffic was backed up to Georgetown.
Joe Benjamin was only an hour behind Carter but his drive took more than four times as long.
The Florida native spent the morning repeating the mantra that the powder would be worth the wait.
The latest storm dumped 37 inches on Loveland Ski Area in 48 hours.
On Friday, Loveland was unable to open due to high winds.
RELATED: Strong winds close Loveland Ski Area
To the delight of skiers and snowboarders, all but one lift opened on Saturday.
The totals explain why Daniel Langemann told 9NEWS he's "never seen it this busy before."
Langemann urged fellow snowboarders and skiers to not let the crowds or traffic deter them.
Benjamin took a different approach, advising others to stay home, "Don't come. Don't do it."
9NEWS asked if that suggestion was for his own good or the good of his audience.
"Both. Selfish," he joked.
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