2010-11 Ski Season Progress Report as of November 26, 2010

October snowfall was above average, with a widespread storm through the Northwest and much of the Rockies during its last week. The base from this storm at some areas contributed to a handful of areas advancing their opening dates. Mid-November snow was abundant in Utah's Cottonwood Canyons and Front Range Colorado and followed up by a major storm in the Sierra that also pushed into the Rockies. Since I began keeping detailed records 14 years ago only 1996-97 had as many areas with Thanksgiving conditions this good.

California: October's snow was just a few inches, not material to the season. After about a foot in early November the Sierra had a 4 day storm last week of 5-10 feet. Season snow totals and percents open: Kirkwood 168 and 88%, Squaw (8,200) 106 and 41%, Northstar 86 and 63%, Mammoth 79 and 88%, Mt. Rose 68 and 60%. Sugar Bowl is 92% open, Heavenly 47% and Sierra at Tahoe 80%. Base depths of 3-7 feet should hold up into the holidays even if December is drier than normal. See Current California Ski Conditions for more details on Southern California and Mammoth.

Pacific Northwest: Whistler is 16% open on 66 inches snowfall, Crystal is 70% open on 65 inches snowfall and Mt. Hood Meadows is 60% open on a 46 inch base. 97 inches so far at Mt. Bachelor, which is 28% open but should open more soon with its 40+ inch base. Oregon is off to a strong start while Washington State and Whistler need more snow to improve base depths of less than 3 feet.

Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: Season to date 59 inches snow at Whitewater, 37 at Revelstoke, 52 at Kicking Horse and 65 at Fernie, all average or better but most of these areas won't open until December. Lake Louise is 5% open on 23 inches snowfall plus snowmaking. Sunshine is 38% open on 35 inches snowfall. Base depths under 3 feet are about average.

U. S. Northern Rockies: 46 inches at Whitefish and 39 at Jackson Hole in October. The big November storms did reach the Tetons, with 72 inches at Targhee (now 100% open) and 67 at Jackson, which will open 86% tomorrow. Big Sky is 13% open and Sun Valley 12% open (26 inches snowfall).

Utah: There has been new snow 4 of the 5 weeks since late October in the Cottonwood Canyons, totalling 118 inches at Alta, 115 at Snowbird, 114 at Brighton/Solitude. Alta is 78% open, Brighton 91%, Snowbird 50% and Solitude 83%. These areas have 4-6 foot bases and the rest of their lifts and terrain will open by early December. Snowbasin is 46% open on 66 inches snowfall and Park City 14% open on 63 inches snowfall. Base depths are in the 3 foot range so these areas still need more snow despite the good start.

Northern and Central Colorado: This region is off to a great start with snow every week since late October. Loveland and A-Basin opened their first snowmaking runs about a week later than usual but were helped by the late October storm. Season snow totals: Beaver Creek 66, Breckenridge 106, Copper 85, Keystone 74, Loveland 96, Steamboat 91, Vail 97, Winter Park 65. For Thanksgiving Loveland is 43% open, A-Basin 35%, Breckenridge 56%, Copper 52%, Keystone 56%, Steamboat 45%, Vail 52%, Winter Park 56%. These are the highest Thanksgiving percents open in the 22 years of data I have for Breckenridge and Copper and 2nd highest for Vail. The other areas are all at least in the top quarter of early seasons.

Southern and Western Colorado: The Gothic Snow Lab between Crested Butte and Aspen (snowier climate than either) had 42 inches in October and another 42 so far in November. Aspen is about half open and Snowmass 25%. Crested Butte is 8% open but base depths there are also an above average 3 feet. Farther south snowfall has been average or below. Wolf Creek has had 64 inches of snow and is in full operation but with a below average 3 foot base. Telluride and Taos are only 4% open and Purgatory 11%.

Northeast: There was natural snow in mid-October, 25 inches at Stowe and 16 at Killington. November has been warmer than normal in the Northeast with little now snow. Snowmaking leaders Sunday River and Killington are 13% open but other Northeast areas open for Thanksgiving are under 10%.

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