In Utah, let the winter games begin.
Brighton Resort cranked up two of its lifts at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, to become the first ski and snowboard area in the Wasatch Mountains to open for the season.
A series of late October and early November storms, plus nighttime temperatures in the teens, put enough of the white stuff down to ensure the first turns of the year would be smooth and safe, spokesman Jared Winkler told OnTheSnow.
"The upper elevations of the mountain are in good shape, " Winkler said. "There's 27-30 inches of natural snow up there."
The resort had two lifts open, the lower Majestic quad and the upper Snake Creek quad, to greet an enthusiastic opening-day crowd, Winkler said. Runs off the Snake Creek chairlift were likely in the best condition, including Pioneer, Deer Park, and Sunshine trails.
One the early arrivals, Jessica Kunzer of Ski Utah, told OnTheSnow that a "couple of hundred" people were in line for the first chair, and several had arrived as early as 5 a.m. to assure themselves the first tracks of the year.
The resort at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon has gotten 48 inches of snowfall so far, Winkler said, with a settled mid-mountain base in the high 20s. Brighton typically is among the earliest Utah resorts to open.
Solitude Mountain Resort, also in Big Cottonwood Canyon, was slated to start running on Friday, Nov. 12, and officials at Snowbird Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon have bumped their opening date up a week to Saturday, Nov. 13. Solitude's Nick Como told OnTheSnow they expected to have Moonbeam, Link, and Apex lifts operating with limited terrain. Snowbird announced that the Aerial Tram, Gadzoom chairlift, and Chickadee lift will be in operation on Saturday at 9 a.m.