Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching, and you what that means — it’s time to break out the boards.
And this year, Mother Nature is cooperating in big way to ensure that you work up an appetite for the 2019-20 skiing and snowboarding season.
Already more than 70 resorts in the United States — and another 10 in Canada — are spinning their lifts thanks to optimal mid-autumn temps for snowmaking and/or copious amounts of early-season natural stuff. And with a couple of eagerly awaited storms in West expecting to dump up to four feet of snow in some locales by the end of the holiday weekend, we can expect the number of openings to increase significantly.
Who’s open already
For the nonce, you can hit the slopes — generally in a limited fashion — in just about every region of the U.S.
Colorado has several resorts up and running, including Arapahoe Basin, Aspen, Beaver Creek and Steamboat, while neighboring Utah has at least two — Park City and Brighton — in operation. Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and Mt. Rose in the Sierra are in operation, as is Mountain High in Southern California. There’s even riding to had in the Southwest at Sipapu (New Mexico) and Arizona Snowbowl (where else?).
Across the upper Midwest, you’ll find Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota and Boyne Mountain in Michigan among those resorts in operation, and in the Southeast is represented, among others, by Snowshoe in West Virginia.
About a quarter of the U.S. resorts in current operation are in the Northeast, including Killington, Mt. Snow, Okemo and Stowe in Vermont; Gore, Hunter Mountain and Whiteface in New York; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, and Sugarloaf in Maine.
Get ready for more
As for this weekend …
There are big changes expected by the time you’ve worked off all that turkey, stuffing, apple pie and other goodies you consumed on Thanksgiving Day. Two major storm systems are expected to wallop the West over the next several days, with the first to make a major impact on pre-holiday traffic in the Sierra and Front Ranges and the next to top off the holiday powder with a generous portion of seconds.
The prognosticators are calling for up to four feet of snow in the Sierra by late Sunday, and a foot or so less than that in the Basin Ranges and the Rockies.
All this will enable such resorts as Alta and Snowbird in Utah, Kirkwood, Northstar and Sugar Bowl in California, Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Big Sky in Montana and Schweitzer in Idaho to open their doors for the Thanksgiving weekend.