When the sound of autumn leaves crunching underfoot changes to packed snow, you can’t help but imagine fresh tracks on your favorite mountain. Even if you’re in an area that won’t see storms for weeks (or months), there are reminders that opening days are dropping: sports shop tune-up clinics, local gear swaps, and sweet deals popping up. Whether you’re unpacking your ski sweaters or hustling for passes, it’s time to start planning for ski season 2017-18.
If you can make it to Colorado, you can ski right now. Arapahoe Basin led the charge with first chair on Friday, October 13th, with Loveland joining in a week later. Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, Vail and Winter Park are next in line for this western state. But Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Canada, Alaska and even Arizona aren’t waiting for the west to get dumped on. Snowmakers cranking, they’re aiming to open as early as October 27th (Nevada’s Mount Rose), November 4th (California’s Boreal), and November 10th from Banff to Flagstaff.
The east coast is doing a bit more waiting, with Mother Nature’s secret plans dictating the dates. But resorts in New England are firing it up as early as November 19th (Maine’s Sugarloaf), 20th (New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods) and Thanksgiving weekend for others in those states and many across Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and even Pennsylvania.
Others in New England join the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, switching on from mid-November through the remainder of the year. North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain is eyeing November 12th, while West Virginia’s Snowshoe and Michigan’s Alpine Valley have their sites on November 22nd.
We’ve assembled the list of opening dates for the 2017-2018 snow sports season to help you get planning. Please check in with the ski resorts before you set your dates in stone, as weather plays a critical role in true openings. Each resort is aiming to be running as soon as possible, but things can (and often do) shift.
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