21 November 2016 — From rags to riches…that’s how a lot of mountain ops teams are feeling today, starting with Sugar Mountain North Carolina, kicking off the southern season this morning spinning the Summit Express with skiing on Northridge, Switchback, Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes. The beginner’s magic carpet area is also open at Sugar…Steamboat CO, over a foot of fresh this weekend. They’ll be opening Thursday 24h, but also offering their usual “Scholarship Day” pre-opening on Wednesday. That’s a Steamboat tradition wherein everybody buys a ticket (even passholders) for benefit of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Scholarship Fund, which has raised almost a million dollars in scholarships over the years…California’s Squaw Valley reporting 7″ new snow, photo above taken early this morning at sister resort Alpine Meadows. They’re opening Wednesday, but I’m not sure how much and where. If you look at the right side of the photo, you can see Alpine had a groomer pushing stuff around, so that’s promising…looking east to Hunter Mountain NY, cranking one of the world’s most powerful snowmaking systems on Hellgate, The Cliff, Kennedy, Fifth Ave, The Battery, Seventh Ave, 42nd Street, Central Park North and Grammercy Park trails. Whew. Now that’s in addtion to a foot of fresh that fell over the weekend, and so Hunter is opening Friday November 25th…really the bad news in all of this is from the Wasatch, where yes it is snowing. However too little too late: Alta now moving back opening day to December 2nd. They were originally calling for Turkey day but ain’t gonna make it…better news in Vermont, where Mount Snow got 7″ last night and right now has over 150 guns cranking. Sneaux has decided they’re now gonna move opening day back up to Wednesday; originally targeting Thursday/Friday. Kudos to Kelly Pawlak & company, she’s gotta be one of the sharpest GMs in the biz. Mount Sneaux fights yo-yo weather, terrible crowds, clunky ASC lifts and Vermont’s finest bureaucrats to continually deliver great skiing…slightly north, Okemo saying they’ll spin Wednesday, confirmed…north a bit, back country types earning their turns at Mad River Glen VT after the spine of the Green Mountains got up to a foot of pow in some spots…across the Connecticut River, Cannon making snow on seven trails, Wildcat now blowing snow down at the base areas, should be soon…looking at Michigan, huzzah! Guns are on at Caberfae and it’s quite a show of snowmaking power. They’re about 50/50 for opening this coming holiday weekend, admit they have a lot of ground to cover…back to North Carolina, Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock will open tomorrow, and biggie Beech will spin ’em Friday.
Photo above courtesy Alpine Meadows