Early snow means timely ski season opener

Nov 23, 2010

For the region’s ski areas, this week’s snowfall may be too much of a good thing. More ski lifts are starting up soon, but lowland snow (in Portland, the Seattle area, etc.) could keep urban skiers at home. 

Some ski resorts, including Crystal Mountain, Mount Baker, 49 Degrees North and Mount Hood Meadows, got enough early snow to open last week.

With more snow in the forecast, Mount Bachelor plans to open Wednesday. Sun Valley opens on Thanksgiving and Silver Mountain and Schweitzer in north Idaho aim for Friday. Scott Kaden directs the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association, which supports the northwest ski resort industry.

“This is about an average opening. Most operators do like to get open the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday period because that is such a busy period,” said Kaden.

If you’re headed into the mountains, the ski operators say to expect early season conditions with occasional rocks and bare patches.

Kaden said ski centers are expecting a good year despite the down economy. He says some families are choosing trips to local or regional resorts instead of flying to Colorado or British Columbia.