Winter Season Starts


Resorts across North America have opened or are opening this week, from Mont Saint-Sauveur, Quebec to Breckenridge, Colo. Some are launching daily operations, while others will shut down midweek. Among the recent and imminent openings:

Sunday River opened Nov. 6, and is offering top-to bottom downhilling (three trails, 19 acres) off the Locke triple thanks to $1 million in snowmaking investments in the recent past. More terrain and a second lift may open on the weekend. The parks crew plans to have four features for Friday and possibly six by the weekend.

Mont Saint-Sauveur opened Nov. 7, making it the first resort in Quebec to open its doors. One trail, one lift, with possibly a second trail for the weekend if the weather allows it.

In the Midwest, Trollhaugen, Wisc., opened Nov. 7, and currently has 12 -24-inch base on three trails.

Okemo opened Nov. 8, two weeks ahead of schedule, with four trails at the top of the mountain. The area lists a 10-18-inch base and 13 acres of terrain. Neighbor Killington also opened earlier this week, with skiing and riding on advanced terrain only—the Upper Great Northern and Rime trails—providing roughly 600 vertical feet of terrain.

In Western Canada, 18 inches of fresh snow in 48 hours have enabled Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Area to open their slopes to skiers and snowboarders on Nov. 9. Sunshine offered a “pre-opening” bonus for a few lucky guests on Nov. 8.

Breckenridge opens for its 51st season on Nov. 9, with approximately 40 acres of skiable terrain and two chairlifts on Peak 8. Opening day draws include free parking in the gondola lots and the area’s new, hot and fresh signature cinnamon rolls, free to the first 2,000 guests on the Ski Hill Grill patio. There will be opportunities to win prizes throughout the day from on-site promotions as well.

Several Eastern areas are planning weekend openings. Sugarloaf will kick off its 62nd season on Nov. 9, a week ahead of schedule and its earliest opening since 2007.
As with sister resort Sunday River, Sugarloaf crews deployed $1 million worth of new snow guns (in this case low-energy HKD units). Skiing and riding will be on Boardwalk and Lower Winter’s Way, served by the Double Runner East lift. The resort will operate through Sunday, then close for the midweek period. Weather permitting, Sugarloaf will initiate daily operations on Nov. 16.

Mount Snow, too, plans to open for the weekend. The area fired up 108 of its 253 high output snowmaking fan guns early in the week, and will have one trail with terrain park features serviced by one lift on Nov. 9. The resort will remain open through Sunday, weather permitting. All proceeds from lift ticket sales ($10 per person) are dedicated to relief effors in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Jiminy Peak, spurred by cold temperatures and natural snowfall, is opening for the Nov. 10-11 weekend, with 6 trails, 22 acres and two lifts ready to go. The area will donate 25 percent of this weekend’s ticket proceeds to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund to benefit those affected by Superstorm Sandy, and it is encouraging passholders to make donations.

In California, Mammoth opened this week, with skiing on three trails, and with snow in the forecast for the weekend.

Last but not least: Boreal, Calif., which opened Oct. 26-31 after a major snowstorm, hopes to reopen Nov. 10. Cold weather at Donner Summit has allowed Boreal to resume snowmaking operations, and the forecast calls for 4 to 9 inches of natural snow through Friday.

Get those skis and boards waxed now for the Winter season!!