In The Spotlight
A powerful weather system delivers heavy snow across the West through Friday, then leads to lake effect snow during the weekend for the East.
Western U.S. & Canada
An ongoing storm will greet us Thursday with heavy snow and wind, continuing Friday as it slides east. The Sierra Nevada will get heavy snow above 7,000 feet elevation Thursday with total accumulations of 12-36” and up to 48”! Heads up, Mammoth and Mt. Rose!
Up to 16” will fall in the higher elevations of Idaho. Wyoming’s Tetons will receive 12-24” Thursday into Friday and Colorado is set for 6-12” with locally higher amounts.
A break will give us time to enjoy the new snow Saturday and Sunday before another, weaker system arrives Monday. The next storm will be Wednesday, so keep an eye out for that one!
Midwest, Eastern U.S. & Canada
Cold and *some* snow is the forecast through Wednesday the 22nd. A quick storm Thursday night will give parts of the Northeast a shot of snow with accumulations of 2-6” by Friday for Bretton Woods and Sugarloaf.
The West weather system will arrive in the East Saturday and Sunday with rain turning to snow. Lake effect snow will fall along the southern/eastern edges of the Great Lakes Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday as colder air sets in. In fact, this cold front may bring light accumulation all the way down to parts of West Virginia late Sunday.
It will remain cold enough for snowmaking operations for most of the time too, especially Sunday to Wednesday.
So you want to be a ski bum? Get a job at a resort, find a place to live, and get a pass for free. All sounds cool -- except for the “cost of living” thing.
Resort towns typically burst at the seams with short-term rentals, aimed at filling up with paying customers. Often, year-round owners put their homes or condos up for rent and leave town. That puts a crimp in the season-long rental market, leading to a shortage of supply and higher rents.
Most resort towns have ample bus service, often for free. But seasonal wages typically remain close to minimum wage, although several resorts like Taos Ski Valley and Mount Rose Ski Tahoe have recently jumped that up. So if you are still determined to be a ski bum, here’s some factors to consider, and resorts to look into:
There’s more subsidized employee housing going up every year as resorts seek to offset low wages. Most Vail Resorts properties and resorts like Jackson Hole and Steamboat are among many that manage employee housing. But they fill up quickly on a first-come first-served basis.
Ski bums working at resorts near “real” towns have a larger choice. Odgen, Utah, boasts affordable rents for workers jobs at Powder Mountain and Snowbasin a half-hour away. Taos Ski Valley sits 20 minutes for a historic town that has all manner of rentals at decent prices.
South Lake Tahoe has as much private housing for workers at Heavenly as any resort. Schweitzer is just up the hill from Sandpoint, Idaho, where rentals can be hard to find but affordable. The town of North Conway and Cranmore jointly help workers search for affordable places to stay.
Sugarbush has joined Jackson and Stevens Pass by giving homeowners vouchers, cheap season passes and other perks to get rental rates down.
Check HR departments at each resort. Coolworks covers much of these options all across the country.
The first high-speed chairlift on Eldora Mountain will debut this season, as the Colorado commuter mountain settles in under new ownership.
Utah-based Powdr Co. bought Eldora last year and opened its wallet to begin bringing the venerable local ski area up to date with some $11 million in improvements.
Central to the upgrade is the new Alpenglow six seater. Replacing a side-by-side pair of 1970-era fixed grip chairs Challenge and Cannonball, the new $6 million chair loads up at the main base area, between the Indian Peaks and Timbers lodges, and rises 1,000 vertical feet to the summit of Challenge Mountain. The trip will take 4-1/2 minutes – much shorter than before – and can carry up to 3,600 skiers and riders an hour.
Eldora management expects the new lift to shorten lift lines and spread skiers and snowboarders around the mountain’s 680 acres – including getting them to the expert terrain off Indian Peaks and Corona lifts.
Eldora is the closest mountain to the Denver-Boulder metroplex less than an hour’s drive away. Powdr Co.’s Rocky Mountain Pass includes Eldora, Copper Mountain and Winter Park – all popular Front Range winter destinations.
Also new at Eldora will be a partnership with outdoor dealer REI. Guides from the retailer will lead snowshoeing, fat biking and winter hikes – plus host a few social gatherings as well.
The new Alpenglow six-pack is one of six chairlifts installed over the summer in Colorado.
Winter has arrived across the upper Midwest and is even allowing some ski areas in the lower Heartland to fire up and test the snowguns. It’s some of the earliest openings in 20 years.
Warmer temperatures that spread over the Heartland on Sunday have most closing midweek, but planning to reopen this weekend when more seasonal-like temperatures settle back across the area. A cold snap gathering in Canada is supposed to hit the area next week, according to long range weather forecasts, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Despite the hiccup in the weather pattern, it’s been one of the best starts to the ski season in 20 years, according to Boyne spokesperson Erin Ernst. Both Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands opened on Sunday. They are closing midweek and hope to reopen next weekend and for Thanksgiving.
Open this past weekend and planning to reopen next weekend: Granite Peak, Nordic Mountain, Christie Mountain and Sunburst in Wisconsin; Ski Brule, Nubs Nob, Caberfae Peaks and Marquette Mountain in Michigan; Hyland Hills, Afton Alps, Powder Ridge, Giants Ridge in Minnesota.
Lutsen Mountains and Spirit Mountain in Minnesota also plan on opening this next weekend. Lutsen is offering two day lift and lodging packages from $96 per person for opening weekend and free skiing and riding on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
For those that might want to get a start on race training for the coming snowsports season both Wild Mountain and Ski Brule are offering Thanksgiving race training programs. It’s the 27th year in a row for the Brule program, and there’s half price lodging on Wednesday when you stay four nights.
Experience Deer Valley Resort December 1 – 14 and receive 25% savings on lodging and lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations managed by Deer Valley, with a minimum three night stay.
Purchased Sunday River lift tickets online before your trip for and pay less than the window rate, and the earlier you buy the more you save. Check rates and plan your trip now.
Ski Butlers offers the most convenient rental experience in the industry for kids and families. Packages start at just $29.00 per day!