Fickle weather had many Pacific Northwest resorts covered top-to-bottom with crisp snow by early November to only see it melt away with a rainy backslap of soupy weather. Cooling temperatures, however, were expected to plummet the thermometer enough to start up the snow guns and crank up lifts for Thanksgiving weekend.
Most Washington resorts traditionally open in early December, but a handful shoot for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Crystal Mountain Resort, Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, and Mt. Baker Ski Area hope to be operating for the holiday weekend, but their exact opening dates are pending snowfall.
Two Idaho resorts have set opening dates. Sun Valley Resort plans to maintain its tradition of starting up the lifts for the season on Thanksgiving Day. Silver Mountain is aiming for Nov. 26 with lifts running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Dec. 17 when the resort opens for daily skiing, riding, and tubing.
Oregon is unique: skiers and riders can almost guarantee finding the lifts turning for Thanksgiving at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, barring a closure for weather. The resort runs lifts year round, with the exception of September when the lifts receive maintenance. Mt. Hood Ski Bowl and Mt. Bachelor hope to open prior to Thanksgiving Day, but will announce their specific plans as more snow accumulates.
British Columbia began to pop open the weekend before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday with Whistler Blackcomb opening first. Whistler Mountain opened last Friday while Blackcomb Mountain plans to follow Nov. 25. Sun Peaks Resort is open, with lifts scheduled to run daily for the season. [R364R,] Silver Star Mountain groomed their Nordic trails in time to start up their annual cross-country ski camps Nov. 22 with the goal of cranking up their chairlifts Nov. 26. Whitewater Ski Resort is aiming to open Nov. 27-28, but not starting daily operations until Dec. 10.
Conditions can change fast. Resorts aiming to open may be forced into postponements while those fortunate enough to see a boon of snow may start up early. Bottom line? Check here at OnTheSnow to see that they are open before you drive up.