Last year was the second lowest snow season ever recorded, leaving skiers and snowboarders around North America heartbroken and longing for deep powder lines and face shots. But so far, there seems to be no need to fear for the 2012/2013 season, as this year is already looking to bounce back! Mama Winter has already visited several top mountains across North America and if history has anything to teach us, then this season is sure to get pumping soon. After the dismal 1976/77 and 1981/82 seasons, which saw record low snow and a dramatic decrease in mountain visitors, ski areas rebounded with snow love from mother nature and a 22% increase in ski area visits. Although it is still a bit early to tell, we have a feeling this season is going to be one to remember.
Here is a list of some of the top moutains who have reported first snow:
Stratton (Winhall, Vermont): October 8th marked the first snow of the season for this Vermont ski favorite, which was followed by another round of snowfall a few days later. The cold, snowy week had everyone dancing in their boots and prepping gear for a killer season.
Sugarloaf Mountain (Carrabassett Valley, Maine): One of the few mountains to report actual measurements, Sugarloaf claimed 1-2 inches of snow on October 8th. The mountain is scheduled to open on November 16th.
Mammoth (Mammoth Lakes, California): It was all smiles around Mammoth Lakes on October 11th as snow began to fall around the area. More snow is expected before their projected opening day, November 8th.
Winter Park (Winter Park, Colorado): The season’s first measurable snow graced Winter Park on October 12th. This year’s date is a just a few days after the record season date from a few years ago, which has locals glowing and itching to hit the slopes.
Mountain High (Wrightwood, California): Showcasing their $1 million renovations will be helped by a good, snowy season. October 12th sounded a great start with this year’s first storm.
Heavenly (South Lake Tahoe, California): October 12 had all the Tahoe folk in a stir as the first snow of the season blanketed the mountain. Currently, opening day is Novemeber 16th.
Park City (Park City, Utah): Park City locals woke up on October 13th to a welcoming sight. Snow! Though just a dusting, the season is looking up for this world famous mountain.
Aspen/Snowmass (Aspen, Colorado): There are 38 days until the lifts start moving and snow storms already visited all four mountains (Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass) on Saturday, October 13th. Though no exact measurements were reported, we have word that snowfall equaled a “substantial amount”.
Bear Moutain/Snow Summit (Big Bear Lake, California): These Southern California favorites also got their first dusting of the season. Jib Jedis already took to the slopes for the annual Hotdogs and Handrails contest on September 22nd, but natural snow is always the way to go. Opening day is projected to be in the middle of November.
Wild Mountain (Amador, Minnesota): Thanks to their snow making craftsmanship, Wild Mountain shattered their previous opening day record by welcoming their first crowd of the season on October 7th. Two terrain parks and several bunny hills were opened to the Minnesota faithful.
Sunday River (Newry, Maine): These snow makers are also hitting it hard, running their snow guns all weekend in preparation for the season. They plan to open their doors to the skiing public by the end of October.
Killington (Reading, Vermont): Following Wild Mountain, Killington was able to make enough snow to open on October 13th for pass holders only. The rocky, early season terrain may not be worth a long drive, but carving a turn sure is a great way to spend a Saturday.
Know where other snow storms have hit? Then let us know if we missed any! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and hit us up with any photos or tales of snowfall.