The 2003-04 ski season is off to a promising start over most of the West. Utah is particularly outstanding with about double normal snowfall so far, and the Northwest and Northern Rockies have had major dumps over the past 2 weeks.
California: From Halloween through mid-November there were several small storms totalling 3-4 feet. Boreal, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood are about 40% open. Mammoth is 47% open with 49 inches snowfall. Squaw has had 42 inches snowfall, and it and most other Tahoe areas are 20-30% open. Substantially more snow is needed for advanced terrain, and the recent dry spell is expected to continue for at least a week. See Current California Ski Conditions for more details on Southern California and Mammoth.
Pacific Northwest: There was little snow for the first half of the month, but this region has been pounded over the last 2 weeks. Whistler has had 70 inches new and is 30% open. Washington and Oregon have had even more snow, and most areas were in majority to full operation for Thanksgiving with base depths ranging from 28-56 inches, topped by Mt. Baker's 75-86 inch base.
Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: Lake Louise is 80% open, after this week's storm brings total snow to 66 inches, far above average. Sunshine is also 80% open. Big White is 43% open and Silver Star 95%. Fernie has had 72 inches snow and is 44% open.
U. S. Northern Rockies: Targhee is 100% open on a 28-45 inch base and 97 inches snowfall so far, and Jackson has had 86 inches of snow, so it is on track for a strong early December opening. There have been 67 inches snow so far at Big Mountain, which is 35% open. Sun Valley is 25% open on mostly snowmaking, with only 21 inches natural.
Utah: Alta has had 141 inches snowfall so far and is 95% open on a 60 inch base. Only the most extreme terrain in the 4 Cottonwood Canyon areas is not open. A significant sign of the strong start to Utah's season is that Park City and the Canyons are about 2/3 open, including the advanced runs in Jupiter Bowl and 9,990. Overall Utah has had an outstanding start, with 8-9 feet of snowfall at the upper elevations of the Park City areas and 10-12 feet throughout the Cottonwood Canyons.
Northern and Central Colorado: Snowfall has been slightly above average in November at most areas. Steamboat leads the way with 77 inches snowfall and 47% of terrain open. Winter Park has had 72 inches and is 37% open. Vail is 24% open on 65 inches snowfall and Loveland is 21% open on 54 inches snowfall. The Summit County areas are 11-29% open on 3-4 feet snowfall plus snowmaking.
Southern and Western Colorado: Wolf Creek was once again North America's early season leader. It reached full operation Nov. 15 and currently has a 54-65 inch base with 110 inches total snowfall. The rest of the region has had average (south) to above average (north) snowfall with 77 inches at the top of Snowmass, which is 31% open. Aspen, Durango and Telluride are 15-20% open
Northeast: With a warm late October and change in Killington's early season strategy, no Eastern area opened before November 9. Though snowfall has been normal (42 inches at Stowe), ongoing rain and warm weather has delayed opening of terrain. Percents of area open: Mt. Ste. Anne 12%, Mt. Tremblant 13%, Sunday River 11%, Killington 10%, Okemo 15%, Hunter 8%. I strongly recommend checking First Tracks Online Ski Magazine No-Bull Ski Reports for up to date information in this region, where both weather and surface conditions can change so rapidly.
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