Winter Crashes Fall’s Arrival Party With Early-Season Snow
Fall officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere Sunday bringing colder temperatures and snow across the inter-mountain west and high peaks of the Northeast.
From Whistler, down though California’s Sierra Nevada and Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Range, the first significant snow of the season fell over the weekend. Whistler reported about and inch of snow, while Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows reported up to four inches in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In Colorado, snow fell throughout the Rocky Mountains Sunday afternoon into Monday morning, mainly above 9,000 feet where drivers encountered winter driving conditions and the chain law was in effect Monday morning for commercial vehicles on U.S. Highway 6 Loveland Pass, U.S. Highway 50 Monarch Pass and I-70 at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels at 11,000 feet.
New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast at 6,289 feet, also reported the first snowfall of the season Monday morning.
“Last night, we received our first snowflakes of the season, amounting to just under one inch,” The Mount Washington Observatory posted on its Facebook Page. “In addition, rime ice has been accruing all through the night, and continues to do so at a rate of two to three inches per hour this morning.”
The early-season snow is a welcome sight for Colorado ski areas, including Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland, which plans on making snow – conditions permitting – starting Friday evening (See Related Story)
Northern New Mexico's Taos Ski Valley picked up its first snowfall with webcams documenting a white scene on Highline Ridge.
Historically, Loveland and Arapahoe Basin battle to be the first ski area to open for the season in North America. Over the past decade, other resorts have throw their hats into the early-season mix, including Minnesota’s Wild Mountain, which was the first resort to open for the 2012-13 season. However, opening for the season and remaining open has long been the benchmark for claiming “First to Open” status. Last year, Arapahoe Basin was the first to open for the season on October 17 and remain open.
In 2011, Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort battled with Colorado’s Wolf Creek to be the first area to open for the season. Ski Las Vegas edged Wolf Creek by 30 minutes to open on October 8. Arapahoe Basing opened for the season on October 13.
UPDATED: More snow fell in Utah and Wyoming Wednesday night!
Top: Four inches of snow fell into Sunday at Squaw Valley. Photo: Squaw Valley/Facebook
Bottom: One inch of new snow and heavy rime ice atop Mountain Washington Monday morning. Photo: Mount Washington Observatory/Facebook.
Fresh snow atop Chair One at Loveland Ski Area Monday morning. Photo: Loveland Ski Area/Chair One Webcam.
A dusting of new snow over the weekend at Whistler. Photo: Whistler/Facebook
The first snowfall of the season for Winter Park Resort. Photo: Winter Park Webcam
First snows on Highline Ridge at Taos Ski Valley: Photo: Taos Ski Valley Webcam