Five Wyoming ski areas will kick-start the ski and snowboard season this week when they load first chairs over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But it’s a bittersweet start to the season. One more Wyoming ski area folded this fall, dropping the state’s number of ski areas to six.
[R495R, White Pine Ski Area] closed up shop for this year. The area, frequented mostly by Sublette County locals, was operated last winter on an interim basis due to the efforts of Citizens to Save White Pine. Sublette County turned down the purchase of the ski area, and without another solution, the citizen committee closed the ski area for this winter.

Meanwhile, [R157R, Grand Targhee Resort], [R410R, Snowy Range], and [R2902R, Sleeping Giant Ski Area] are poised to launch their ski and snowboard seasons on Friday, Nov. 25.

Grand Targhee picked up 21 inches of snow over last weekend, knocking the base up to almost three feet. More snow trickled in this week, shooting the total for the season to 6.5 feet. Opening day could be a powder day. First chairs depart at 9 a.m.

To add to the opening weekend celebration, Grand Targhee is bringing in Salem, a band that has played at the X-Games and other large ski events. The weekend of live music at the Trap bar will cap off Friday and Saturday with a rocking après ski.

Returning Snowy Range fans will find new updates in the lodge. A new ski and snowboard rental area now features a computer program designed to streamline the check-in process. The lodge also sports a new bar for après ski and a new coffee bar for getting on the buzz.

Jackson Hole before 2011 opening

A ski patroller skis a powder run this week at Jackson Hole in preparation for opening day. Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

[R191R, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort], which is launching its season with more than six feet of snowfall so far, jumps into operation on Saturday, Nov. 26. With more than 30 inches of snow falling in the storm last weekend, the resort will see one of its biggest openings in the history of the mountain with six lifts running and 3,000 feet of vertical.

The Bridger Gondola will start up at 9 a.m. along with Thunder, Casper, Après Vous and Teewinot chairlifts. The new Marmot Lift will also be running on opening day. The Tram usually begins operation by mid-December.

[R176R, Hogadon Ski Area] slated Nov. 26 as opening day. The ski hill’s lifts run 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays plus holidays.

Sleeping Giant got a leap on the season last Sunday when it ran the Bighorn Chair and the Cub Tow for a four-hour season preview. After its Nov. 25 opening, the ski area will run its lifts Fridays through Sundays until the Christmas holidays when it shifts to daily operations.

[R012R, Snow King Mountain] aims to open Dec. 10.

For the Wyoming resorts opening this weekend, check out what lifts are running for opening day and current conditions here: Grand Targhee, Jackson Hole, Snowy Range, Hogadon, Sleeping Giant.