Northeast Ski Areas Aim for Early Openings

By AlpineZone News |
Oct 27 2004 - 12:40 PM

WATERTOWN, CT ??” Despite a lack of sustained cold weather in the Northeastern United States so far this fall, many ski areas are still aiming to open in November and early December.

Obviously, projected opening dates are weather-dependent. In fact, Killington, perhaps the most well-known player in the early season game indicates “early November” for their opening.

Alex Kaufman of the Killington News Bureau said, “we are trying to open as early as possible with a quality product. Thus, the arrival of snowmaking temperatures is what will decide opening day.”

Air temperature below 28?В° Fahrenheit and low relative humidity are both needed for effective snowmaking, but a mix of cold weather and low humidity is not the only weather factor. Too much wind can hamper snowmaking efforts just as much as warm temperatures or high humidity.

“If it is really windy that can delay an opening because 30% or more of the snow we make can drift off the trail and into the trees,” said Ski Butternut Marketing Director, Matt Sawyer.

So it’s really up to Mother Nature to determine when those in the Northeast can begin making turns. Last year Belleayre Mountain in New York and Woodbury Ski Area in Connecticut were first in the Northeastern United States to open on November 9. Right now skiers and riders can only hope that the ski areas meet or beat that date this season.

Here are the projected opening dates as of October 27, 2004.

November 5
Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

November 6
Belleayre Mountain, New York
Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, New Hampshire

November 12
Sunday River Ski Resort, Maine

November 19
Sugarloaf/USA, Maine
Windham Mountain, New York

November 20
Hunter Mountain, New York
Jay Peak Resort, Vermont
Saddleback, Maine
Sugarbush Resort, Vermont
Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire

November 24
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont
Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia

November 25
Mount Snow, Vermont

November 26
Attitash, New Hampshire
Bolton Valley Resort, Vermont
Cannon Mountain Ski Area, New Hampshire
Crotched Mountain Ski Area, New Hampshire
Holiday Valley Resort, New York
Mohawk Mountain Ski Area, Connecticut
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire
Roundtop, Pennsylvania
Ski Butternut, Massachusetts
Swain Ski & Snowboard Center, New York
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Massachusetts
Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire

November 27
Wintergreen Resort, Virginia
Ski Ward Hill, Massachusetts

December 3
Liberty Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania
Massanutten, Virginia

December 4
Berkshire East Ski Area, Massachusetts
Catamount Ski Area, Massachusetts
Plattekill, New York
Sawmill Family Resort, Pennsylvania