Lots of happy faces in Western Maine this morning, as Sugarloaf got their first “skiable” snow this season. Now we don’t know that anyone actually skied it, as the ‘loaf sent a photo of a nice young lady carrying skis on a sketchy slope…on the other side of New England, photo above taken this morning at Killington, where their snowmaking team already has the guns on atop Superstar. That’s how they get that required depth for the World Cup events scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend….we mentioned snow at Northern Michigan’s Ski Brule yesterday; they’re targeting a November 9 opening…speaking of the midwest, Windy City Ski & Snowboard Show coming up this weekend in Schaumburg, Illinois. Hours are Friday October 19th – 3pm to 10pm, Saturday October 20th – 10am to 8pm, and Sunday October 21st – 11am to 4pm. That’s at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, out near O’hare…circling back to “new stuff” you can expect this season, the new “Zephyr” gondy at Winter Park certainly has to rank up there among the most significant. The new bubble is said to be ten passenger, with just a scant five minute ride to the top. Winter Park hopes to have it open sometime in December…sister resort Copper Mountain has kicked off their snowmaking efforts for the year, they’re expected to drop the ropes on a new 6-pack plus a “chondola” this season…back in New England, Stratton Mountain in VT working on a new high speed lift for their snow bowl section. They’re shipping the old fixed grip lift from that locale to neighbor Magic Mountain, where it will replace the ghastly black chair that has given management fits over the years. Not sure Magic will have that running this season, but they are scheduled to spin the decades-delayed green chair. Now I’ll need to eat my hat because I didn’t think there was any way this long unfinished lift was ever going to be used for anything besides scrap iron…move to Washington State, 49 Degrees North set to install a couple of lifts, one detach and one fixed, both quads. If you’re in the neighborhood, the 49 Degrees North ski patrol is hosting their annual ski swap on Saturday, 9:30am-3:00pm at the NE Washington Fairgrounds, on Highway 395 in Colville WA.