A ski resort in Colorado has announced it will open for the 2018-19 ski season on Saturday, 13th October, 2018.
The decision by Wolf Creek ski area follows heavy snowfall in Western North America which saw some ski areas report as much as 70cm of snow in 72 hours during the week. Wold creek says it has had 69cm. A blue sky day is expected on Saturday, although with temperatures still low.
“Wolf Creek received 10 inches in the last 24 hours and 27 inches in 72 hours. The all-natural settled base is 21 inches at the midway with 27 inches year-to-date this season,” a resort spokesperson said, adding, “Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova lifts will also be operating with very early season conditions and obstacles.”
Wolf Creek, which had originally planned to open in early November, currently looks like it will therefore be the first ski area to open in North America. The centre plans to run three lifts at weekends through the rest of the month.
Two other Colorado ski areas, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland (above), both among the 20 highest in the world, had been snowmaking since September and seemed likely to open first, but appear to have ruled out doing so.
“Regarding opening, it is still a little too early to call. The forecast is very encouraging. When you start seeing snowcats on the hill, that is a good sign we are getting close. As soon as I know when we are going to open, I will let you guys when we are going to open,” Arapashoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth said yesterday. In 2017 Arapahoe Basin was the only area that managed to open in October.
Snow has been falling across the Western US and may reach as far south as Texas. Resorts in Utah, including Snowbird pictured below, also reported big snowfalls and at Aspen (pictured above) there was heavy snow down at resort level.