West vs. East, Round 1
6 posts
5 users
Roger Z
November 17, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Ok, folks, near as I can tell, this is how things are shaping up nationwide for "opening day":

Pacific Northwest: they have been blitzed with a lot of early storms, and Crystal and Stephens are off to their earliest start in a while. Baker is (or was) skiing on a six foot plus base. So it looks like Washington is the hands-down winner for getting the season going this year.

In Montana and Idaho, the snow has been coming down as well and Big Mountain is slated to open on the 19th, six days ahead of schedule. Schweitzer- the other mountain I check regularly- has yet to make any announcements.

Central Rockies: limited snow and warm temps is a big change from the last two years. Both of those seasons, Alta was already approaching the 100 inch mark by Thanksgiving. Despite having 30 plus inches so far, there just hasn't been enough cold air and the snow is packing down while they can't run their snowguns enough to get their bases opened. Consequently, ski resorts in Utah at least are reporting delays in the opening, with Park City falling back to November 23rd at best and Alta proclaiming the season on hold until the next storm, which at this point looks like it's more than a week.

(apologies for skipping the midwest, though I think this weeks' lake effect snow is gonna play out well for the UP of Michigan, in particular Indianhead and Mount Bohemia (the original Moonshine Mountain))

Which brings us here to the Mid-Atlantic. Despite having one of the warmest autumns that I can remember, it appears the cold weather has chosen it's entry point wisely and everyone has the snowguns fired up, including Snowmakers in Covington. So I'm betting that a) for the first time in years, we will see several resorts open on time for Thanksgiving and b) a number of resorts will be open before Utah.

Whoo hoo!

On a personal note, my trip to Utah isn't until March, so I see this weather pattern as potentially being great. These patterns tend to reverse themselves mid-winter, so hopefully what that means is plenty of great skiing here in the mid-atlantic through January or February and heavy snow out west starting sometime in the same period.
November 17, 2005
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
274 posts
big sky, montana was open last weekend, looks like they will have lifts running this weekend also. grand targhee (near jackson wyo) is opening tomorrow, apparently. however jackson hole saying they wont open until dec3 for some reason. looks like they should already be open to me:


looks like bushwackerinpa has been doing some hiking there.
November 17, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,551 posts

however jackson hole saying they wont open until dec3 for some reason.

Per a friend whose parents live in Jackson, not enough tourists with $$ show up before then.
November 17, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,551 posts
I believe Colorado has had a pretty decent early season. Vail opens tomorrow, but Loveland, A-Basin, Wolf Creek, Copper, Breck and all have been open for a bit.
November 17, 2005
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
93 posts
Let me give you a first-hand experience of A-Basin. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was sweet! It was right before Copper and Winter Park opened so there was a line to get up the lift but did not feel crowded on the slopes at all. Only two runs were open but it was in the form of an X (High Noon and Ramrod) so there were four distinct ways down the mountain.

The snow? Freakin' awesome! It seriously had to be compared to the best day in the Mid-A as it was that day. I was a little shaky since it was my first day on the slopes this season (and still the only day so far, boooo - stupid final exams) but that will change this weekend!

Happy thoughts for you guys from Denver!
November 18, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Think of it this way: two rides on the lift at Alta and you will have gotten in more actual ski time than an entire morning spent at Timberline.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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