Friday, November 18, 2011

Resort openings for Weekend for skiers and snowboarders prior to Thanksgiving holiday.

Oh how winter it settling in real nice for skiers and boarders coast to coast. The following is a quick reference on resort openings for Weekend prior to Thanksgiving holiday.

Park City is one of four areas in Utah that are starting up the lifts. It will operate three lifts and seven runs, as well as its all-season mountain coaster and zipline. Most base-area services will be open as well. Make sure to buy your discounted lift tickets in advance for Park City. Additional Utah resorts opening for the season this weekend include Alta, Snowbird - buy lift tickets in advance and save, and Brian Head.

Elsewhere in the Rockies, Vail and Eldora are set to go in Colorado, as are Sipapu in New Mexico and Crystal Mountain, Wash. Snowmass, Colo., opened last weekend, five days ahead of schedule to get the Aspen area going for the season. In Colorado Arapahoe Basin and Loveland have been open since the middle of October and Keystone, Breckenridge, Winter Park and Copper Mountain are all open as well.  Be sure to buy discount lift tickets in advance and take advantage of great lodging and travel deals as well.

Wolf Creek, Colo., another area that relies on natural snow, is the first area on the continent to be 100 percent open. It has a 43-50 inch base on 77 trails. They were the first ski area in Colorado to open this year.

Lookout Pass, on the Idaho-Montana border, will get an early start as well. The area received 21 inches of snow last weekend, with more in the forecast from today into weekend. The area will run top to bottom on at least 10 runs.

Recent cold temperatures and periods of heavy snowfall combined with a strong winter weather outlook have led Stevens Pass, Schweitzer, Mt. Hood Meadows, Mission Ridge, and Summit West at Snoqualmie to open Nov. 19.

Stevens Pass is reporting a base of 25-32 inches, and will have its third-earliest opening of the past 25 years. It kicks off daily operations with terrain offerings on the Daisy and Brooks chairlifts. Tickets are $25 due to the limited available terrain.

Mt. Hood Meadows will also open with limited operations. Two lifts are scheduled to run, but more may be added as additional snow—more than a foot—is forecast through today. The resort will announce scheduled lift operations and lift ticket pricing for Saturday by Friday afternoon. Meadows has a minimum base depth of 20 inches. Schweitzer ‘s opening is its earliest since the 198-/85 season, thanks to snowmaking and two feet of natural snowfall this season.

Schweitzer has converted 3.7 million gallons of water into snow, enough to amass 18 inches of snow on Midway and Happy Trails. Terrain will be available for all ability levels, with the Basin Express and Musical Chairs lifts open. Tickets will be $40. Some Nordic trails will be groomed as well. Schweitzer will close down midweek and reopen on Nov. 25 for the weekend, weather permitting.

Summit West, with two feet of base, will run the Pacific Crest, Little Thunder, Dodge Ridge and Julie's lifts through the weekend, close Monday and Tuesday, and reopen Wednesday. Mission Ridge will operate for the weekend, then reopen Nov. 25-27.

In California, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Heavenly both begin the season this year, as does China Peak. Other California areas open include: Mountain High, Mammoth, Boreal, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain

Eastern areas that are opening this weekend include Mount Snow, Okemo, Stowe, and Sugarbush, Vermont; Sugarloaf, Maine; Bretton Woods and Waterville Valley, N.H.; and Belleayre, N.Y.

Midwest areas now open include: Andes Tower Hills and Lutsen Mountains, Minn., join Ski Brule and Trollhaugen, which are reopening, and Wild Mountain.

In the Southeast, Appalachian Ski Mtn. is opening, while Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain resume weekend operations.

Sunshine Village headlines the list of Canadian areas that are poised to open. Sunshine cranks up Nov. 17, a day earlier than initially planned, thanks to a 16-inch snowfall, with more snow in the forecast. The area will operate four lifts on a 27-inch base. The other Banff-area resorts, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, both opened Nov. 5. Sun Peaks, B.C., Loch Lomond, Ont., and the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary are also opening this weekend.