A bluebird day. Clear and not too cold. A couple of feet of snow underfoot. Groomers all corduroy’ed up. And the lifts a-turnin’.

What better way to greet the new season?

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Blue skies and soft snow made for a great first day of skiing and riding at Brighton. Photo by Jesse Anderson. Courtesy of Brighton Resort.

At the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Resort welcomed several hundred eager skiers and riders for the opening of the 2011/2012 season in Utah on Thursday. At 8:30 a.m. a half-dozen cars cozied up to the base area, as Majestic, Crest and Explorer chairlifts warmed up. By 8:50 a.m., a couple of rows of vehicles were parked, and about 150 folks stood in line for the first chair. The morning sun drew sharp shadows across the groomers under Majestic. Snowcats finished up their final grooming on a dozen runs that would be open. Patrolmen staked out ropes, and liftees assumed their positions.

Opening day: So familiar, yet so fresh, so exciting.

 

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Celebrating it's 75th year, Brighton kicked off the season on Nov. 10. Photo by Jesse Anderson. Courtesy of Brighton Resort.

At 9 a.m. sharp, the ropes dropped and the first skiers and snowboarders of the new season climbed aboard the Majestic lift. The valley echoed with the rumble of lift motors, clanks of the season’s first footrests falling, and the "yeehaw" shouts of joy. At 9:11 a.m., three snowboarders and a skier disembarked at the top of Majestic—the first to hit these slopes—and the season had officially begun at Brighton.

To check out more from opening day, click here.