Many Resorts Opening Early
SAM Magazine—Dover, Vt., Nov. 10, 2017—By Sunday morning, the number of ski areas open for skiing and riding in North America will just about triple, according to snocountry.com, thanks in large part to consistent cold weather and powerful snowmaking systems.
Starting in the East, where chilly nighttime temps have allowed several resorts to begin making snow in earnest, Killington, Vt., opened on Wednesday for passholders, and then opened to the public Thursday with two lifts serving two trails.
Just to the south, Okemo plans to open Saturday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. And south of there, Mount Snow also plans to begin daily operations on Saturday, marking one of the earliest openings in the resort’s history. Getting an early start to the season was one of the goals of the recently completed $30 million snowmaking project that new general manager Erik Barnes said he’s “excited to show what it can do.”
Over in New Hampshire, Bretton Woods expects to open today starting at 1 p.m., with one trail served by one lift. Tickets this weekend will be $25, and veterans ski free both Saturday and Sunday. The resort plans to suspend operations midweek. Wildcat has been making snow since early in the week and will open Saturday with top-to-bottom skiing and riding. Veterans can also ski for free over the weekend.
In Maine, Sunday River plans to open on Saturday, and is hoping for top-to-bottom terrain on as many as six runs. Its sister resort Sugarloaf is slated to open Sunday.
In Pennsylvania, Ski Roundtop said it plans to open a hike-only park with five to six features on Saturday. Tickets will be $20.
The Midwest today will see the addition of Ski Brule, Mich., which kicked things off with two lifts providing access to two trails sporting a base depth up to 36 inches. Afton Alps, Minn., plans to open today at 3 p.m. Andes Tower Hills’ (Minn.) website says it’s open this morning with two trails and two lifts. By tomorrow morning, the region will have more options for skiers and riders, at least for the weekend. In Wisconsin, Hyland Hills plans to operate Saturday and Sunday, and Powder Ridge plans to open for the weekend with two trails served by three lifts.
After more than doubling its snowmaking capacity in the off season, Granite Peak in Michigan said it plans to open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with about 25 percent of its terrain served by two lifts, and then suspend operations until the 17th.
In Colorado, Breckenridge and Keystone both opened today with two trails each. Keystone did a bunch of giveaways and raffles, plus handed out free coffee, hot chocolate, and donut holes to early risers. Copper Mountain also kicked things off this morning, with three trails served by one lift. All are reporting an 18-inch base. Wolf Creek plans to open tomorrow for weekend operations, starting with three lifts serving seven trails. Great Divide in Montana also plans to open Saturday.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe opened for daily operations on Nov. 7, and today has three trails open with a coat of 2-4 inches of snow in the past 48 hours served by one lift. Boreal Mountain Resort became the first ski area in California to open when it spun one lift serving a small park on Nov. 8, which remains its current operating status. Mammoth Mountain opened on the 9th, and today has three trails open served by one lift.
Lookout Pass, Idaho re-opened today for weekend operations with 10 trails covering 180 acres of terrain served by two lifts. Timberline Lodge, Ore., also plans to re-open today, but for daily operations. And 49 Degrees North, Wash., plans to open Saturday for weekend operations.
Up in Canada, Alberta skiers and riders have by far the most options as of now. Lake Louise opened on Tuesday and currently has 48 trails open served by four lifts. Neighboring Banff Sunshine also opened Tuesday, and today has 25 trails available with seven lifts spinning. Marmot Basin opened today with 18 groomed runs, according to its website.
In British Columbia, Panorama's website says it was the first ski area in the province to open today, but the snow report claims one lift is serving zero trails. Cypress Mountain's website says it opened today with four trails and two lifts. Grouse Mountain near Vancouver also opened, starting at 3 p.m. two trails and two lifts.
Mont Saint Sauveur looks to be the first ski area in Quebec to open for the season tomorrow.