Early Openings For Many
SAM Magazine--November 16, 2005--The ski and snowboard season kicked off, as it does most years, at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado on October 14. Two weeks later, Killington kicked off its season on October 29 after almost two feet of snow fell in Vermont. Warmer temperatures after the Halloween weekend forced the area to close with a reopening planned for this coming weekend, November 19. Waterville Valley in New Hampshire is also planning on a November 19 start to it season, but Bretton Woods was the first New Hampshire area to open on November 12. Sugarloaf in Maine is set to open on November 18.
Heading out to the Midwest, Wild Mountain will open tomorrow, November 17 and hopes to have four to eight runs by the weekend.
Mother Nature has been kind to the Pacific Northwest after last season's debacle. 49 Degrees North in Washington and Lookout Pass in Idaho logged their earliest opening ever on November 11. Steven's Pass, Wash., opened with three chairs on November 9, showing skiers and riders that the 2005/06 season will indeed be different. Mt. Baker, Ore., opened on November 8, the earliest it's opened in a decade and the deepest snow on opening day in the ski area's history (27 inches at the time). Also in Oregon, Mt. Hood Meadows opened its doors on November 11 and Ski Anthony Lakes is planning to open on November 19. Up at Timberline, thanks to good snow, the ski area opened November 5 and they are in full operation now.
In California, Mammoth kicked off the state's season with 12 to 18 inches on November 10. The area hosted 2,400 riders that day.
In Colorado, recent snows have allowed Breckenridge and Keystone to open on Veteran's Day, November 11. Steamboat is planning on a November 23 opening and Crested Butte will welcome riders on November 18 with one lift and two conveyors.
Moving north, the snow just isn't falling for Utah. As of today, no resorts were open and the forecasts were not hopeful. Still, several areas remain optimistic about a Thanksgiving opening.
In Montana, Big Sky opened for one day on November 13 with 44 inches of snow. Full operations will commence on Thanksgiving day. Lost Trail Powder Mountain is looking at turning chairs this weekend and Big Mountain will also open on Saturday, November 19.
In Canada, Blackcomb opened on November 5 with a weekend schedule. Marmot Basin is looking at November 25 for its opening day and Sun Peaks and Lake Louise opened today, November 16.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, much of the industry has a lot to give thanks for so far this season.