Killington grooms out Superstar in preparation for the first World Cup in the East in 25 years. (Killington)
Vermont's Killington Resort received the official approval from the FIS (Internal Ski Federation) for the Thanksgiving weekend Audi FIS Ski World Cup women's giant slalom and slalom events. Meanwhile, resorts across the country struggle to open for the 2016-17 season due to warm temperatures and lack of natural snowfall.
Mother Nature delivered the sport of ski racing, and skiing in general, a significant blow as World Cup races slated for Lake Louise, Alberta (Nov. 26-27) and Beaver Creek, Colorado (Dec. 2-4) have been cancelled due to lack of snow for the first time in years. The women's downhill and super G slated for Dec. 2-4 at Lake Louise may also be on the chopping block.
“Beaver Creek typically has some of the best early season conditions in the world and a remarkably sophisticated snowmaking system. However, the cold weather did not come in time this year,” said Mike Imhof, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation, producer of the Birds of Prey World Cup. Beaver Creek is still scheduled to open for the season on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
A recent shift in the weather has put a glimmer of hope in the eyes of skiers across the country, with favorable snowmaking conditions finally arriving in the Rockies and moving into the Midwest. Winter contains are expected in the Northeast Thanksgiving week. However, many resorts have had to push back opening dates, while others are still only hoping to open by Thanksgiving.
After initially planning to open on Halloween, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe opened Nov. 28. In Colorado, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breckenridge also opened for the season Nov. 18.
Maine’s Sunday River, usually a contender for the first to open in the country, announced they are aiming at Nov. 23 to open, although they are leaving the option to open earlier if possible.
In a celebration of this clash of seasons, Colorado’s Purgatory will open Nov. 19 for both lift serviced skiing and mountain biking.
Here is a tentative list of opening dates for resorts across the country:
As soon as conditions permit:
Winter Park, Colorado
Squaw Valley, California
Sunday River, Maine
Aspen Mountain, Colorado
Crested Butte, Colorado
Wolf Creek, Colorado
Taos, New Mexico
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Sun Valley, Idah
Whiteface, New York
Jay Peak, Vermont
Shanty Creek, Michigan
Mt Bachelor, Oregon
Park City, Utah
Stevens Pass, Washington
Deer Valley, Utah