The annual battle to be the first ski area in the USA, and usually North America too, is underway.

Most ski areas in the West of the continent from Colorado up to BC in Canada reported some natural snowfall over the past 24 hours or so but in Colorado resorts that have a reputation for opening in October have also fired up their snow cannons.

“The natural snowfall mostly stopped by early evening yesterday. The temperature dropped with an overnight wet bulb low of 15 F. The snowmakers had all the fan guns spinning. Most of the guns are still running now. We are not sure how warm the day will be, but tonight looks cold again. Our earlier snowmaking efforts were mostly for testing and training. Last night was the real deal,” said Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth.  The resort is pictured below today.

Loveland ski area (pictured top) also started its snowmaking systems last night, posting pictures and video on social media and saying, “Loveland Ski Area is now making snow for the 2020/21 season. Get ready!”

Arapahoe Basin Monday

Both areas are among the world’s 10 highest with their ski areas more than two miles (three kilometres) above sea-level.

The forecast is for mostly clear skies now for the coming week but with overnight temperatures falling away well below freezing, so nightime snowmaking should be able to continue.

It is not always Colorado ski areas opening first for the season in North America, although most autumns it is.

The only ski area to name a definite target opening date in October in North America is Nakiska up near Calgary in Alberta which expects to open for the final weekend of the month.

Copper mid-mountain