“Opening Day”

for the 2015 – 2016 snow season starts now!

No matter how good or bad the past season was, opening day means a clean slate. It brings a new sense of hope that this might be the year. With talks of a “Godzilla” El Nino, this could be the season talked about for years to come. It’s time to get out and stretch the legs and see if all that conditioning will pay off. If you love snow like we love snow, then this is the best time of year…this is opening day! Get out your gear and get ready. Resorts around North America are firing up the lifts and opening the doors. Don’t worry we got you covered. Here’s the list of opening dates.

Killington – The Beast in the East Open since October 18th

Killington - Image taken by Richard Schatzberger

Killington – Image taken by Richard Schatzberger

For those unaware, Killington is nicknamed the “Beast” for good reason. Situated over six peaks, with over 3,050 vertical feet and 212 runs it is an immense mountain. Killington is always pushing the boundaries to see how long they can stay open. This season is no different. In an hours’ time, Killington’s snowmaking system can pump more than 720,000 gallons of water to 240 snow guns, covering 80 acres with 12 inches of fresh snow. In fact, they are so good at what they do, they were able to open October 18th! The bad news, it was a little too early. The weather turned south and the base deteriorated rapidly from an onslaught of heavy rain. Don’t worry, crews are standing by and as soon as it gets cold again they’ll reopen the mountain in no time.

Image Courtesy - Natalia Radziejewska

Image Courtesy – Natalia Radziejewska

Loveland – Love for snow translates to early Turns

There are a lot of large ski resorts in Colorado, but year in and year out there are only two resorts that come close to opening first and one of them is the Loveland Ski Area. Situated right before the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 this place focuses on pure skiing/snowboarding without the extra fluff a lot of other resorts focus on. They may not have the fastest lifts but they make up for it with massive amounts of snow. In fact, their location on the continental divide allows them to get some of the most snow in Summit County. High altitude allows them to make snow way ahead of other resorts in the state. With a little help from Mother Nature and a lot of help from the snow guns they’ll be open first in the state again on Thursday October 29th.

Mt Rose – Tahoe’s first to open

Image taken by John Strickland "Stricks Pics"

Image taken by John Strickland “Stricks Pics”

If you haven’t noticed there is one thing all ski resorts that are opening first have in common… altitude and top of the line snowmaking equipment. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe has the highest base elevation in the area and now has dedicated itself to becoming the first ski resort in Tahoe to open by investing over a million dollars on their snowmaking system. Rumors have been flying around that they will be opening this week with a strip of snow and a couple of rails to ride for just 10 bucks. It may not be knee deep powder, but we will take it!

Mammoth… Always has its winter coat on and ready

Just like Killington, Mammoth has consistently one of the longest seasons in North America. With a high base elevation and north facing slopes Mammoth consistently opens up by November 11th. They are so consistent they even setup a weekend long party to celebrate their opening.

Ski Brule! Uhhh, Ski where?

Image taken by Brad Bergeron

Image taken by Brad Bergeron

As you can see from this short list, ski areas on both coasts are opening, or will be open soon. Don’t worry though, the Mid-West has a few options also. For those looking for turns in late October or early November then you are in luck! Ski Brule in Upper Peninsula Michigan is consistently one of the first resorts to open and one of the last to close.

Don’t believe us… check out these facts:

Season Start Date Closing Date
2014/15 Nov 7th Apr 20th
2013/14 Nov 8th Apr 20th
2012/13 Nov 9th Apr 7th
2011/12 Nov 12th Mar 23

Ski Brule Average Season:  164 Days
Ski Brule Record Opening:  October 24
Ski Brule Record Closing:  May 15

Manmade snow isn’t your thing? Waiting on the real thing? Be sure to check back because our next post will cover your best bet to find fresh pow early in the season.

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