An early season snowstorm that swept across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula this past week helped reinforce a couple of ski areas that had already opened and allowed a couple more to open this weekend. More plan to open next weekend over the holidays.

[R500R, Wild Mountain Ski & Snowboard Area] and [R370R, Ski Brule] have opened for the season and continue to make snow as fast as possible. Wild hopes to be 100-percent open by Thanksgiving Weekend. At Brule, Log Jam and Bunny are currently open and they anticipate opening Bambi, Gentle Ben, Otterslide and possibly Big Bear for the holiday weekend.

[R2R, Afton Alps], near the Twin Cities, and [R481R, Tyrol Basin], in southeastern Wisconsin, have also opened this weekend. [R89R, Buck Hill] is opening today (Monday), will close on Thanksgiving Day, and reopening on Friday through the weekend. Lift tickets through Wednesday are $15.

Several ski areas are poised to open Thanksgiving Weekend. [R221R, Lutsen Mountains], along Minnesota's Arrowhead, [R338R, Granite Peak Ski Area], in central Wisconsin, [R107R, Chestnut Mountain Resort], near Galena, Ill., and [R187R, Indianhead Mountain] in Michigan's UP, all plan to open over the holiday weekend with Mother Nature's cooperation.

Lower Michigan hasn't seen that cooperation yet. Temperatures haven't been conducive for long periods of snowmaking yet. Most resorts have fired up the snowguns, but haven't been able to make enough snow to open. At press time none anticipate being able to open over the Thanksgiving Weekend.

Most ski areas across the Lower Midwest don't plan on opening until early December.