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Monday October 21, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Killington kicked off on Sunday after a bumper start to the season over in the west as two more resorts open in Colorado this weekend.

We're keeping a close eye on the snow and resort openings across North America, updating this report with the latest information.


Sunday 3rd November
Killington in Vermont started up its first lifts on Sunday and became the first ski area in the east in the USA to open.
It is the largest ski resort in the east of the United States.

The resort has had little natural snow, but the cold temperatures have allowed the cannons to go on.

"WE'RE OPENING TOMORROW (11/3/19), and the stoke is real!" said the resort on Saturday.

"Day 1 is reserved for Season Pass, Express Card, Beast 365 and Ikon Pass holders. The K-1 Express Gondola and North Ridge Quad will open at 11:00 a.m tomorrow and we'll open to the general public Monday, November 4 at 9:00 a.m."

"Snowshed Lift will spin at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for the final day of downhill mountain biking."

And here's what it looked like on opening day...

Killington, Vermont, USAKillington, Vermont, USA













Elsewhere in the USA resorts in Colorado are opening parts of their ski areas on a seemingly daily basis.

Winter Park opened on Saturday - it's earliest opening in 80 years.

Winter Park, Colorado, USAWinter Park, Colorado, USA













Here are the latest images and news as we have been posting over the autumn.

Eldora, Colorado, USAEldora, Colorado, USA














Eldora, Colorado, USAEldora, Colorado, USA















Eldora, Colorado, USAEldora, Colorado, USA















Now we should at this stage say that although all the pictures and videos look great it is early days.

A warm spell and snow drought might follow.

However it is a fabulous start to the winter and if you are thinking of heading to the USA then this season might be the one to do it.

Here at PlanetSKI we are taking a trip to Park City in Utah in January and will be skiing all the local resorts plus a few others in the state.

If time allows then we're heading to Colorado too.

We've already decided it is worth making the commitment to head to the USA in 2020 as it looks like it could be rather special.

Saturday 2nd November

Another resort has opened in Colorado.

Step forward Monarch Mountain.

Its lifts started spinning on Friday and we have just received these images.

Monarch Mountain, Colorado , USAMonarch Mountain, Colorado , USA

Monarch Mountain, Colorado , USAMonarch Mountain, Colorado , USA

Monarch Mountain, Colorado , USAMonarch Mountain, Colorado , USA

"We are off and running! Bluebird skies and pretty darn good conditions for November 1st. We have the most terrain open in the State on all natural snow. We have 22 trails open (1/3 of our trail total) open for skiing and riding. Come up and ski us!" said the resort on its blog.

And here's the evidence of those 22 runs open on the resort's grooming report.

Monarch Mountain, Colorado, USAMonarch Mountain, Colorado, USA


Also Arapahoe Basin has been able to open runs at the top of the resorts as the Lenawee Mountain lift swung into operation.

It was the earliest opening of the lift since 2013.

The resort now offers top to bottom skiing.

"We opened all the way to the top this afternoon and it was fantastic up there! You can now enjoy Humbug, Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch in addition to High Noon and Ramrod," said the resort.

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, USAArapahoe Basin, Colorado, USA















Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, USAArapahoe Basin, Colorado, USA















Friday 1st November

The snow continues to fall across Colorado.

The latest resort to announce an early opening is Winter Park.

It will fire up its first lifts on Saturday November 2nd - the earliest opening ever in its 80 seasons.

Winter Park has seen more than 1m fall.

Winter Park, Colorado, USAWinter Park, Colorado, USA 




















"We're OPENING EARLY! The snow is here and conditions are great, so we're kicking off the 19/20 ski season this Saturday, Nov. 2! The Arrow starts spinning at 8:30am," said the resort.

The runs open are Parkway, Sorensen and its terrain park, Porcupine and Lower Village Way.

Aspen, Colorado, USAAspen, Colorado, USA




















Aspen has received 90 cm in October with 62cm of it coming in the past week.

There is talk of the resort opening early, but no decision has been taken by the resort authorities.

"It's definitely on our minds but too early to pin down a day," said resort spokesman, Jeff Hanle. "I think we have 10 days to two weeks" before a decision is made.

Aspen, Colorado, USAAspen, Colorado, USA




















Aspen, Colorado, USAAspen, Colorado, USA



















Snow records are breaking across Colorado.

Breckenridge has seen 1.22m, topping the previous record of 1.16m set in 2006.

At Keystone the resorts has seen 1.1m of snow so far this month, breaking its 1.11m record from the same year.

Keystone had enough early season snow to open October 12th earlier than it had in decades.

Half of its total snow for October - 56cms - fell in the past week.

Wednesday 30th October

Colorado is in the middle of its fourth snowstorm of the season and it's still only October.

Some of the state's ski resorts are on course to for their highest October natural snowfall.

Keystone, which opened on 12th October, has had a metre already.

It has managed to open its North Peak for top-to-bottom skiing weeks earlier than is usual.

Keystone, ColoradoKeystone, Colorado















Breckenridge, which is not due to open until 8th November has had more than a metre and might start its season early.

"It's just incredible that it looks like mid-winter conditions, Keystone and Breckenridge spokeswoman Sara Lococo told The Denver Post.

"The weather has been great, and the temperatures have been great, so our snowmakers have been out in full force."

Monarch Mountain is planning its earliest opening since 1969, running three lifts serving 20 trails on Fridays to Sundays from this Friday, 1st November.

It had originally planned to get its season underway on 22nd November but the ski area, which has no snowmaking, has had more than 50cm of natural snow this month.

Monarch Mountain, ColoradoMonarch Mountain, Colorado




















Wolf Creek is also set to open.

Loveland, which opened less than a week ago has had a top up, as has Arapahoe Basin, which opened some of its slopes on 11th October.

A-Basin is hoping top-to-bottom skiing can get under way this weekend.

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado
















A-Basin, along with other resorts in Colorado including Aspen, Steamboat, Eldora and Copper, is on the IKON PASS.

Eldora is another Colorado resort to announce it's opening earlier than planned - it will kick off its season this Friday 1st November.

Expect more to follow.

Steamboat Resort is not due to open until 23rd November but it has had a massive 134cm of snow so far - a record for October.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado













Copper Mountain will start up for the winter on 8th November.

It's already covered in a blanket of white.

Copper Mountain, ColoradoCopper Mountain, Colorado


















Tuesday 29th October

Another snowstorm is hitting Colorado.

Here is the scene on Tuesday in downtown Denver as 16cm has fallen.

Loveland (Colorado) and Mt Rose (California) are now open.

Loveland opened ahead of the weekend.

"Our snowmaking team has been working around the clock to get the mountain ready and all of their hard work is about to pay off," said CEO Rob Goodell last week.

"Mother Nature chipped in with almost a foot of snow during this last storm cycle and that was the boost we needed. Winter is officially here and we can't wait to celebrate the start of another season."

Chet's Dream started spinning at 9:00am on Friday and offers access to one full top-to-bottom run covered from tree-to-tree with an 18 inch base.

The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run made up this Opening Day run which is over a mile in length and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

The conditions were the best of an early opening day at any of the Continental Divide ski areas in at least five years.

"The conditions were firing," said one rider.

"It was perfect. Loveland is just a fun environment where I go to get that old school feeling of being a kid again, to not focus as much on performance snowboarding. It brings you back to your roots."

Loveland Ski Area opened on 20th October last season.

Loveland's snowmakers will continue to make snow on Home Run and around the base of Chet's Dream this week before moving on to opening additional terrain.

Loveland Ski Area will be open seven days a week until Closing Day in early May.

Loveland, Colorado, USALoveland, Colorado, USA

Loveland, Colorado, USALoveland, Colorado





But who needs lifts to run anyway?

Here is the latest image we have from Jackson Hole in Wyoming after some riders hiked up to make their first turns of winter after 40cm fell.

First powder day in Jackson HoleFirst powder day in Jackson Hole
















Jackson Hole is a special favourite of ours at PlanetSKI and we passed through a few years back on one of our legendary ski road trips:

Jackson Hole, WyomingPlanetSKI in Jackson Hole
















Jackson Hole, WyomingJackson Hole, Wyoming
















Jackson is now on the IKON Pass.

See here for further details about the multi-resort lift pass.

Here is what the Jackson web cams show us:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USAJackson Hole, Wyoming, USA












Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USAJackson Hole, Wyoming, USA













Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USAJackson Hole, Wyoming, USA













There has been 35cm of fresh snow in Utah.

The resorts may not have opened, but that didn't stop people putting on skins and hiking up.

Mount Rose Ski in Tahoe, California, also opened for skiers and snowboarders on Friday, October 25th.

However it is all on man-made snow.

Currently just one lift servicing two beginner runs is operating.

It is open only at the weekend.

Here is an image from local media, the Reno Gazette Journal.

Mt Rose, Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaMt Rose, Lake Tahoe, California

While there haven't been any significant snow storms yet this season, overnight temperatures have dropped near freezing for an extended period which has allowed snow to be made.

Mount Rose, Tahoe, CaliforniaMount Rose, Tahoe, California














Mount Rose, Tahoe, CaliforniaMount Rose, Tahoe, California















Mount Rose, Tahoe, CaliforniaMount Rose, Tahoe, California










Timberline Lodge in Oregon USA opened a couple of runs after some recent snow.

Pucci and Bruno's lifts were spinning from 10am to 3pm.

However it was a one-off and the ski area has now closed.

"Thank you to everyone who was at the Timberline pre-season opener today," said the resort.

"The ski area is now closed until further notice. Weather and snow conditions will be evaluated daily with the goal of reopening and the seeing everyone soon. Pray for snow!"

Timberline, Oregon, USATimberline, Oregon, USA

















Timberline, Oregon, USATimberline, Oregon, USA

















In Canada the Nakiska Ski Area, near Kananaskis, in Alberta has announced it is opening some slopes on Saturday 26th October.

It is the earliest the ski area has opened in its 31-year history.

More than 30 cm of snow fell in September and man-made snow is being pumped out.

The resort's general manager Jan Sekerak told CBC News the resort is making the most of the prolonged period of cold weather and using the colder temperatures to make snow.

"Man made snow is now alpha and omega of skiing in this area," he said to the TV network.

Nakiska, Alberta, CanadaNakiska, Alberta, Canada

And what is Nakiska like?

We were last there on a PlanetSKI road trip in Alberta a few years back.
And in other parts of Alberta, Lake Louise saw some fresh snow at the weekend.
Now the cats are out in Lake Louise.

Lake Louise, Alberta, CanadaLake Louise, Alberta, Canada

And if you are thinking of skiing in Canada this coming winter then you may want to check out our special PlanetSKI guide here:
Meanwhile back in the USA Arapahoe Basin in Colorado was the first resort in the USA to open with Keystone next out of the blocks.

See here for our report from earlier this month:
Currently there are two lifts and three trails open at Keystone, and one lift, one trail, and one terrain park are open at Arapahoe Basin.

Elsewhere there has been snow in Utah, but no resort openings.

Here is Snowbird.

Snowbird, Utah, USASnowbird, Utah, USA 

Here are some tentative opening dates for other resorts in the USA:

Mt. Rose Ski Area in Tahoe plans to be the first ski area to open in California this year, with a targeted opening day of October 25th, 2019.

Wolf Creek in Colorado may have been the first to open last year, but this year the resort has tentatively set its opening day for November 1st, 2019, depending on weather.

The weekend of November 8th-10th, 2019, will be a big one for skiiers and snowboarders, with a number of popular resorts kicking off their seasons.

Copper Mountain in Colorado plans to start its 2019/2020 winter season on November 8th.

Breckenridge, also in Colorado, has tentatively set its opening day for November 8th.

Ski Brule, in Northern Michigan, has announced that it will start making snow as soon as temperatures get cold enough and expects to open on November 8th.

Mammoth Mountain, in California, is well known for its long ski seasons (the resort operated until July 28th this year) and plans to start this season on November 9th.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. The resort plans to open November 15th.

Heavenly Lake Tahoe and Northstar California, both in the Tahoe area.  November 22nd is the date.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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