Ski resorts battle for earliest opening day; Timberline in the lead

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 28, 2010 3:37 pm

Skiers and snowboarders looking to predict the first U.S. ski resort to open each year usually find themselves considering two options: Loveland or Arapahoe Basin. The duo from Colorado have typically battled neck and neck each fall to claim the ultimate bragging rights as the first ski area to officially usher in a new winter season.

For years, Loveland was the perennial favorite. But in more recent time, the two have mostly traded victories or tied, with last year’s honors going to Loveland after a solid October 7th opening.

However, a dark horse has emerged for 2010. Despite Loveland already cranking the snowmaking guns at least once this year, the victor may not even be from “The Centennial State.”

Get ready skiers and riders… this Friday, October 1st will mark the opening of the ski and snowboard season at Mt. Hood’s Timberline!

The Oregon ski area’s late spring storms and dedicated summer maintenance of the Palmer Snowfield have provided a great level of snow above 7,000 feet.

Timberline will be operating the Magic Mile and Palmer Chairs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October – weather permitting, of course. All 2010-11 Timberline Full Winter Season Passes, including the Mt. Hood Fusion Pass, will be valid starting October 1st. Daily lift tickets will also be available at reduced pricing until more lifts start running.

The news should not come as a total shock; the current La Nina forecast predicts an especially snowy winter for the Pacific Northwest. In fact, Windells Academy has been running the only on-snow terrain park in North America for weeks at Timberline; the catch is that it’s been only available for private use.

While some purists might claim Timberline is more of a glacier, and thus should be considered exempt from the ‘first to open’ category, it’s clear the 2010-11 ski and snowboard season can’t be too far behind.