ColoradoHeavy annual snowfall, high elevations, and majestic, sloping mountains make Colorado home to some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding — and also some of the country’s earliest opening ski resorts.
LovelandOctober 20th is Loveland's projected opening date. One of Colorado’s highest ski areas, the mountain tops out at over 13,000 feet. The area averages 400 inches of annual snowfall, and although the first snow has yet to fall this year, last year it dumped in October around this time. Regardless, the resort boasts snowmaking on 240 acres.
Arapahoe BasinLike Loveland, October 20th is Arapahoe Basin’s projected opening date. “The Legend” also towers above 13,000 feet, offering some of the highest skier and rider accessible terrain in the country. More than half of the mountain sits above the tree line, increasing the likelihood for accumulating some of the season’s earliest snow. Last year it snowed two inches on October 21st, and although it has yet to snow this year, you can feel the snowflakes on their way.
The NortheastAlthough the Northeast is often forgotten when listed among the formidable Western behemoths, the area boasts some of the season’s earliest opening ski resorts. What it lacks in elevation, it makes up for in long ski seasons and proximity to much of the United States’ population, including the “Big Apple”.
Killington, VermontNovember 7th is Killington’s projecting opening date. Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains construe much of the resort’s diverse terrain, ranging from gentle groomers to steep mogul runs. Historically, Killington receives its first snowfall in mid November and also boasts snow making on 600 acres.
Sunday River, MaineNovember 10th is Sunday River’s projected opening date. The resort sprawls across eight different peaks, including White Cap, Locke Mountain, Barker Mountain, Spruce Peak, North Peak, South Ridge, Aurora Peak and Oz. Although it sits at an elevation below 4,000 feet, 95% of the terrain features snowmaking. Its season is short but it does start early, so if you’re not picky about artificial versus natural snow, this resort is worth checking out.
UtahThe state of Utah is home to the “Greatest Snow on Earth”. It’s famous for its champagne powder, thanks to lake effect snow and the microclimate of Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons.
SnowbasinNovember 21st is Snowbasin’s projected opening date. Although sometimes overlooked due to Park City’s proximity, Snowbasin is a treasure to behold. With a summit topping out below 10,000 feet and 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, there’s plenty to satiate your appetite — whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned pro.
Park CityPark City is projected to open on the same date as Snowbasin — November 21st. This makes Utah home to two early season treasures — both less than an hour outside of Salt Lake City. Park City looms above Snowbasin in elevation, topping out at almost exactly 10,000 feet. The area boasts an impressive 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, thirteen bowls, and eight terrain parks.
Early Season PreparationIf you followed our tips on storing your ski gear in summer, you won’t have much to do to get ready for ski season. Your skis will be tuned, waxed, and looking as sharp as ever. If you turned down your DINS last year, we hope you remember your settings for ease of snapping your bindings back into place. If you need new gear and you put off purchasing through the summer, brand new products for the 2018-19 season are now available at UtahSkis. There are tons of deals and sale items, too. Looking for a new pair of skis for the season? Check out the men’s Volkl Mantra M5 model for this year — listed at 15% off. For women, the Salomon QST Lumen 99 skis for 2018-19 are currently discounted 17%.
Do you need to fill some accessory gaps? Brand new jackets, gloves, pants, and helmets are also on sale. Get what you need before ski season is in full swing — soon you’ll be too busy seeking out the best fresh powder to spend any time indoors, never mind burdened with shopping.