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US ski resorts re-open
Monday June 27, 2011 - Email this article to a friend

After the record snowfalls of last winter a few resorts are opening up for Independence Day on 4th July. Ten resorts in five States have so far said they will be open as there is still some snow on the slopes. Some of them never closed.

Mammoth Mountain in California, at 3,370m, is often open for skiing on 4th July.  It is nothing like mid-winter but there are a few runs open and it attracts hundreds of people.  Many do it for the novelty factor.

The resort has been open since the first day of the season back in November. We have a video of the opening day at the bottom of this article so if you need a snow fix check it out.

This year though it is being joined by a host of other resorts that had record-breaking amounts of snow last winter and are keen to open up and capitalise on the remaining snow.

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Timberline and Mt Bachelor in Oregon, Snowbird in Utah, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl in California plus a few other resorts will be firing up a few lifts so skiers and snowboarders can indulge their passion on July 4th.

Squaw Valley had over 20m of snowfall last winter and some of it is still there.

"It is certainly uncommon to be able ski July but it is truly unheard of to be operating at the capacity that we will be operating on July 4th Weekend," said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley's Chief Executive Officer, to the US media.

Five lifts will be open and there will be live music, parties and much else besides.  The resort is billing it as "The Ultimate Independence Day Weekend."

Other resorts are following suit and it is not just skiing and snowboarding on offer as they have live music, BBQ's, children's activities, competitions and a series of fun events.

Arapahoe Basin has been open on July 4th four times in its history. The last time was back in 1997. It made its announcement when the snow looked like this.

Some resorts saw others opening up so they looked at their own slopes and simply thought, "Others are doing it so why not us?" 

It is, after all, good PR too and re-enforces a message that the resort in question is snow-sure.

In Squaw Valley the resort will also hold the annual Lake Cushing Crossing. It is now in its 21st year as people try to cross the water in a variety of ways and in a wide selection of costumes.

Check out the video below. Hilarious!

Meanwhile if you are an American in Europe and want to celebrate the 4th July out on the snow there are a few glacier resorts open.

A team from PlanetSKI will be in Les 2 Alpes this weekend and there is skiing and snowboarding on offer in Tignes,  Zermatt, Hintertux and several other Austrian resorts.

We had a report from Tignes as the resort open for summer skiing in the middle of June.

Back in North America two Canadian resorts will be opening on Canada Day, on Friday 1st July.

Whistler will be open as usual along with Mount Washington on Vancouver Island. It is the first time that Mount Washington has been able to open on Canada Day and it hopes to attract people from Vancouver.

"It's going to be a great winter this summer! If we can't open the Bike Park due to the snow depths on the mountain, then we'll open up the mountain for skiing," said the Director of Business Operations at the resort, Don Sharpe.

A third Canadian ski area, Sunshine resort in Alberta, had hoped to open but has now said it won't. It cites legal and "operational problems".

If all this talk of skiing has made you yearn for the mountains and powder then check out the videos below of what it was like last winter in some of the US resorts and why they are now able to open. 

They simply had record breaking amounts of snow and some of it is still there.

First up is a video on the opening day of Mammoth Mountain back on November 11th 2010.

Then there was Vail in January.....

A team from PlanetSKI was in Vail and a few other Colorado resorts the following month and we can confirm that it got even better as you can see in this story from the time.

Aspen was OK in February too....

Then there was Snowbird last month.....

We will be bringing you reports here on PlanetSKI from some of the resorts open, so do check back for those next week.

For the spirit of the mountains

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