2008-09 Ski Season Progress Report as of November 21, 2008

October was mostly average, with small amounts of snow in many regions but nothing that will impact the season. At the end of the month a major storm hit the West Coast, but snow levels averaged 9,000 feet, so only Mammoth was able to open some natural terrain from it. The storm moved on to Utah, where the Cottonwood Canyon resorts received nearly 4 feet of snow, allowing Snowbird to open Nov. 7. The storm continued into Colorado, but the snowfall there averaged about a foot. There was scattered snow during the second week of November but very little last week. Therefore most areas are slightly behind schedule and Thankgiving skiing will be marginal. It's still too early to predict materially above or below average conditions for the Christmas holidays.

California: Mammoth received 21 inches of snow near its base and opened a run Nov. 2. But much more fell on the upper mountain, which opened Nov. 7. Total snow after a smaller storm Nov. 8 is 38 inches. The solid upper mountain base remains, but after unseasonably warm weather most of it has been through a melt/freeze. Mammoth is about 30% open with good conditions on the open groomed runs. Total snow at Tahoe has been about 2 feet at 8,000+ feet, but mostly rain at lower elevations.

Pacific Northwest: There have been 37 inches snow in the Whistler alpine, but it is sticking with its scheduled Nov. 27 opening. Mt. Bachelor has had 48.5 inches of snow, but must also have had rain because its base area has only an 8-inch base. No one in the region has as much as a foot at base elevation yet, though a storm is predicted for some areas this weekend.

Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: Lake Louise opened a run on snowmaking Nov. 8 and is now 3% open on 25 inches November snow. Sunshine opened Nov. 15 and has had 36 inches in November. 31 inches at upper elevations of Kicking Horse and 40 inches at upper elevations of Revelstoke.

U. S. Northern Rockies: November snowfall 40 at Jackson and 48 inches at Targhee, which will open tomorrow. Just 7 inches at Whitefish.

Utah: Snowbird opened Nov. 7 after a storm of nearly 4 feet. After more snow the next week, all 4 Cottonwood areas were open for the weekend of Nov. 15-16 (ranging from 39% at Alta to 11% at Solitude). Season snow 69 inches Alta, 59 inches Snowbird, 42 inches Solitude. Surface conditions are variable after a week of warm weather, and Park City delayed opening because it was too warm to make snow.

Northern and Central Colorado: Loveland and A-Basin opened their first snowmaking runs Oct. 15. Loveland is currently 10% open and A-Basin 6%. Copper (6%) and Breckenridge (4%) are also open on snowmaking since Nov. 8. Vail and Winter Park (both 2%) just opened. Below average snowfalls since Nov. 1: Loveland 19, Breckenridge 18, Copper 18, Vail 18, Steamboat 27, Winter Park 26. The pace will need to pick up to get most terrain open by Christmas.

Southern and Western Colorado: Aspen has had 19 inches in November. Wolf Creek has opened, but it's somewhat marginal on 25 inches total snow. These are also below average, and much advanced terrain is unlikely to be open by Christmas unless there is another big December like last year.

Northeast: Natural snow in late October totalled 11 inches at Stowe and Jay Peak. Sunday River opened Oct. 31 and Killington opened Nov. 2 on snowmaking. Weather then turned warm and rainy, so Killington closed after 5 days while Sunday River has maintained marginal operation on weekends. This past week has been good for snowmaking, so several eastern areas have opened a few runs: Killington 9%, Sunday River 7%, Hunter 24%, Tremblant 11%. Stowe and Sugarbush will open tomorrow. Season snow Killington 31, Stowe 19, Cannon 11.

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