Flurry of Openings, Killington gets the Green Light

Ski resorts are jumping into the season like ants at a picnic…Windham New York opening Saturday, this is their earliest since 2004. The northern Catskill powerhouse is mixing it up a little bit this year, dropping ropes on their East Peak ahead of the original area. Photo above this morning shows the effort going into this, and you can kind of trace the white ribbon of death they’ll be serving up on Why Not (up high to the left) and What’s Next (novice trail going diagonally from upper left in photo to lower right). Windham, in case you weren’t aware, has all but a couple trail names begin with the letter W…off the backside of the hill and across the valley we expect neighbor Hunter Mountain to open Saturday as well, no word yet on exactly what. Hunter plans to open for skiing and riding this Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 AM – 4 PM, close Monday and Tuesday and hopefully reopen Wednesday for the season…turning to Killington Vermont, we have great news from FIS World Cup officials who sent out an announcement this morning in their usual stilted fashion:

This is to inform you that the ladies’ Audi FIS Ski World Cup races in Killington (USA) are confirmed following the official snow control from today 15th November 2018. As scheduled, the races will take place on 24th-25th November 2018.

…down in eastern Pennsylvania, Ski Shawnee has their snowmaking cranked up, looking for something by next weekend…and further up the Delaware River, Ski Big Bear in Masthope, PA will be hosting a ski swap this weekend Saturday, November 17, 2018 9am – 5pm and Sunday, November 18 2018 9am – 3pm…back to New England, it’s confirmed that Loon Mountain NH will open tomorrow…Central Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort going to spin the Valley House quad tomorrow for passholders, then open Saturday for the unwashed masses. Mr. Smith is promising the Snowball and Spring Fling slopes, but I have a hunch they’ll expand that roster by Saturday…turning to the midwest, shout out to our friends at Grand Geneva Resort, home of the Mountain Top ski & snowboard area in Wisconsin. They’ve already got some natural snow and tested the snowmaking for the season, although the lifts won’t spin until December 15. For our lost area buffs and history fans, this was the former Playboy ski area back in the late 1960s and through the 1970s. Although the trail names and general atmosphere is a lot more gentrified these days, it’s still just about the best skiing close to Chicago…Otsego Michigan’s Bittersweet Resort opened this morning, kind of a surprise. They’re spinning three lifts and will be open through Sunday; unsure after that…Arizona Snowbowl GM J.R. Murray sez they’re gonna open tomorrow, that’s the earliest opening for the Flagstaff ski area I can recall. Murray reports that chairlifts will serve up four intermediate trails including Midway Catwalk, Logjam, Wild Turkey, and Round Up, plus three terrain park features. Snowbowl will also run the Little Spruce conveyor lift for some beginner terrain…Snowbowl’s sister resort Purgatory in Colorado will also open this weekend, they’re going to be offering top-to-bottom terrain starting Saturday…happy to report that not everything in Southern California is burning, in fact Snow Summit ski resort in Big Bear Lake plans to open daily starting tomorrow — also earliest for that resort in my semi-foggy memory. Snow Summit will have chairs 1 and 8 going. Bear Mountain will open Nov. 23 on weekends, then start daily operations Dec. 7. The guns have also been running at Mountain High in Wrightwood; they’re hoping to drop ropes next weekend…and finally, a belated happy birthday to Team USA World Cup technical skier Resi Stiegler. Resi-rhymes-with-crazy turned 33 yesterday. She’s long been an international favorite on the circuit for her positive outlook and refusal to give up despite a career plagued by injuries. If Resi does well next weekend, the crowd will go absolutely nuts.

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