Which Ski Resorts Will Open First in the USA This Season?

Robin Azer |
Killington, VT on October 18th, 2015. photo: killington
Killington, VT on October 18th, 2015. photo: killington

Winter is coming! As snow falls out west and snow-guns fire up in the east the annual race to open first, bragging rights on the line, is underway. Wax up your skis and check your fitness for opening day is just around the bend.

Last year opening day honors went to Killington in Vermont on October 18th 2015, but with snow already falling out west, it’s still a horse race.

Month of the average first accumulating (0.1 inch or greater) snowfall of the season, according to 30-year average statistics. Credit: NOAA/NWS
Month of the average first accumulating (0.1 inch or greater) snowfall of the season, according to 30-year average statistics.
Credit: NOAA/NWS

Killington is slated to host the Women’s World Cup in late November. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate, but they have the snow-guns already up and running to hedge their bets. Which Ski Resorts will open first? The projected dates are shown below.

“Keep in mind, these are averages of seasons that include early and late snowfalls. Any given season can produce the season’s first snowfall either very early or very late, depending on the weather pattern at the time.”

John Erdman, Weather Channel

video of Killington firing up the snow guns on North Ridge on Monday

BACK EAST: where the snow guns blaze!

  • Total Resorts in Region:  50
  • Average Snowfall in Region:   179″
  • Resort with the Longest Season:  Killington, VT
  • Resort with Most Snow:   Jay Peak – 324″
  • Largest Vertical:   Whiteface Mountain – 3,430′
  • Largest Resort by acreage:  Sugarloaf – 1,056 acres

Projected Opening Dates: East

  • Killington               Late October/Early November
  • Jay Peak                  Mid-November
  • Sunday River         November 17
  • Sugarbush               November 19
  • Mad River Glen     November 19
  • Sugarloaf                 November 19
  • Stowe                        November 25
  • Smuggler’s Notch November 19
  • Whiteface                November 27
October 9, 2016 Credit: Arapahoe Basin Facebook
October 9, 2016
Credit: Arapahoe Basin Facebook

OUT WEST: where the snow is deep and the sunshine plentiful!

  • Total Resorts in Region:  152
  • Average Snowfall in Region:  310″
  • Resort with Most Snow:   Mt. Baker Ski Area, WA – 644″
  • Largest Vertical:  Revelstoke, B.C. – 5,620′
  • Largest Resort by acreage:  Whistler, B.C. – 8,171 acres

Projected Opening Dates: West

  • Loveland, CO:                  October 27
  • Arapohoe Basin, CO:    October 27
  • Keystone:                          November 4
  • Mammouth                       November 10
  • Squaw Valley/Alpine    November 11-18
  • Breckenridge                   November 11
  • Alta                                      November 18
  • Vail                                      November 18
  • Grand Targhee                November 18
  • Whistler                             November 24
  • Jackson Hole                    November 26

Killington, VT on November 16th, 2015. photo: kiliington

Killington, VT on November 16th, 2015. photo: kiliington


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