Most pre-season pass deals at most resorts across North America are winding up this month. Many already have increased prices, at least from the lowest rate to a mid-point, with a final increase coming in November or the beginning of December.

So, if you are looking at buying a pass, and have not done so, we suggest you take action now.

The Labor Day and Columbus Day sales and ski/snowboard swaps have come and gone.

Snowmaking systems have been tested.

New groomers have joined fleets across the land.

Skiers and snowboarders are watching weather forecasts, checking weather reports, chattering about early snowfall in the Rockies, Sierra, and Wasatch Range of the American West, or the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Green Mountains of Vermont, Smokey Mountains of the Southeast, and elsewhere.

It is a time of delightful anticipation for snow sports enthusiasts, when fall is well along, the days are growing shorter, the air colder.

We are not immune to this sense of impending change, and enjoy as much as anyone the bite of cold on hands and face, the fact that breath now appears as a cloud of mist on morning walks, that a coat is needed often when leaving the house.

Winter's coming. Are you ready?