Breckenridge Pre-Opening Day 2010
In North America Sunday River in Maine was the first resort to open, last Friday, joining the year-round skiing at Mt Hood in Oregon. Subsequently Loveland opened on Sunday and Arapahoe Bain on Monday - so there are now four centres open in the US.
Keystone and Copper Mountain, the latter already open for race training camps only, are scheduled to join them on November 5th.
Most ski areas in Colorado, open or not, have had at least 30cm (a foot) of new snow this week. At Steamboat 14.5 inches (36cm) of snow fell at Thunderhead, the resort's mid-mountain location at 9,080 feet, which opens November 24th.
"Mother Nature showed just how fast she can go from fall to full winter and reminded all of us that it's never too early to make sure your equipment is waxed up, season passes are in hand and you're getting into shape for a fantastic season," said Rob Perlman, senior vice president of marketing & sales for Steamboat.
"Meteorologists are calling for a La Niña weather cycle this winter, which bodes very well for Steamboat," said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat. "The last La Niña took place during the winter of 2007/08, when the Steamboat Ski Area recorded 489 inches of snow at mid-mountain before it was all said and done."
Elsewhere in the state, snow continues to accumulate through Summit County and the Vail Valley. Monday's storm dumped more than 18 inches of snow at Keystone Resort's North Peak. Weather forecasts are predicting the snow to continue as temperatures dip into the low teens Fahrenheit.
With Keystone Resort opening on November 5, 2010 this winter storm promises great conditions on opening day for all Colorado Resorts. Breckenridge Resort's opening day follows on November 12, 2010. November 19, 2010 marks Vail and Heavenly opening day, with Beaver Creek opening on November 24, 2010.
In Caifornia Squaw Valley USA received the first snowfall of the 2010-11 winter season with 2-4 inches of snow, the result of a low pressure system moving east across California and Nevada from the Pacific coast.
North of the border Whistler has reported a big pre-season snowfall. A heavy Pacific storm hit the resort at the start of the week, dropping between 25-30cm of snow at higher elevations. The freezing level is expected to remain steady with more periods of snow forecast for this week.
Meteorologists are calling for a La Niña weather cycle for the Pacific Northwest, meaning cooler temperatures and more snow than Whistler Blackcomb's annual average of 34 feet/10.25m.
Nakiska, which had hoped to open early on October 30th, is now looking at a November 6th opening, however there have been no reports so far that Mt Norquay has any plans to delay its opening on October 30th - this Saturday.