The mercury dropped last week and a handful of resort snowmaking crews took advantage of the cold temps.
Loveland and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado began their annual race to open, each firing up snowguns on a few trails on Sunday. A third, and somewhat unlikely, player in the early snowmaking scene—Arizona Snowbowl—said it began throwing snow at 8 p.m. Saturday night, laying claim to be the first in the nation to do so. The resort said it plans to open Nov. 10.
While Arizona Snowbowl’s campaign lasted through Monday morning, Loveland and A-Basin were able to keep guns humming during the overnight hours through Tuesday. Last season, A-Basin first started making snow Oct. 3, and opened Oct. 21.
In a blog post Tuesday, A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth said, “Getting a September snowmaking start is good. The North facing slopes are still holding snow. The forecast for the week shows a bit of rain and snow. I suspect things will just get whiter as the week goes on.”
Coupled with a few helpings of natural snowfall at higher elevations, things are looking wintery out West. It’s still September, though, and anything can happen, weather-wise.
Regardless, each of these resorts is fueling the winter stoke as autumn sets in across ski country. It won’t be long now (knock on wood). Winter is coming.