Some ski areas in Europe and North America are gearing up for the start of the 2018-19 ski season already with a number of Colorado ski areas announcing their target opening dates in early November – now less than 100 days away.
Colorado has some of the world’s highest ski areas and is home to some of the earliest opening ski areas on the planet, with the temperatures often low enough to begin snow making at some in late September some years and mid-late October opening also a possibility if the weather complies.
Arapahoe Basin (pictured) and Loveland are usually the first in the state (and the first in North America if you exclude the year-round Timberline snowfield on Mt Hood in Oregon) to open but don’t usually give a fixed predicted opening day – it’s just as soon as possible and normally in October.
However some larger destination resorts do give target dates and Breckenridge and Keystone have announced they plan to open on November 9th whilst nearby Copper Mountain has targeted a week later, November 16th.
All will be hoping for a better season than 2017-18 last winter which had one of the worst first-halves for many years.
In Europe a number of glacier resorts are already open for the 18-19 season (Molltal and Saas Fee) whilst Hintertux and Zermatt are open year round, however about 10 more glacier resorts usually open from mid-September to mid-October depending on snow cover.
Of the non-glacier resorts Kitzbuhel in Austria and Ruka in Finland (above) are usually the first to open, in early October, using snow stored from the previous season and spread back out on the slopes.