Ski resorts open earlier than ever before

Posted By: Steve Bellamy on November 26, 2009 7:35 am

In addition to giving thanks for all that our military, police, fire, doctors, parents, et al have done for us, we folks in the ski industry are looking at the most robust Thanksgiving for open ski resorts since record keeping began.  There are great stories everywhere.  Mt Baker has actually gotten 190 inches of snow in the past 20 days?  There are resorts open in all the major ski states and it is not just the one major thoroughfare that is service by the lift outside the main lodge.  Ski Resorts in Utah, Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and the East Coast all have resorts with substantive quanties of great runs open.

Various spots of cold weather have made for some incredible early season snow making opportunities.  One thing that is unique about this winter is that it has been spread out a little.  It is not just like the upper Northeast has cold temperatures and the rest of the country doesn’t.  There are cold temperatures scattered throughout. 

On the Mother Nature side, there have been more 24 inch stories this year than ever in October and November.  Crested Butte just got pounded like Buster Douglass (naw, that’s too obscure.)  Crested Butte just got pounded like fries on K-feds plate (hmmm – maybe 18 months ago.)  Crested Butte just got pounded like a pitcher of water in Gary Busy’s house the morning after…  You get the picture.  There is a crapload of snow out there.

One nice thing about modern day skiing is that half pipes can really open up a mountain for a lot of riders in the early season.  It takes a lot of snow, but it doesn’t require covering nearly the acreage of downhill runs.  So you have a lot of ski resorts that are on the light side of snow, still putting up a formitable half pipe product early in the season that many skiers and boarders can enjoy.  You didn’t have that 10 years ago. 

Mammoth Mountain has been a daily party with great snow conditions and a lot of riders.  The Ski Channel just spent 3 days with the US Ski Team in Copper Mountain training and there was tons of coverage for Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, et al to get their knuckles to the buckles.  A ton of East Coast resorts are open.

So while you are pounding your tofurky today, give thanks to mother nature, half pipes and all the ski resort staffers providing you the ability to shred fall lines, steeps, mogul runs, groomers and terrain features.