Recent snow and cold weather are providing an early start to the Heartlands ski season, which is a nice departure from last year when ski areas mostly remained closed over Thanksgiving weekend and had a rough start even in December making enough snow to be fully open over the Christmas holidays.
An early arrival of winter and temperatures cold enough for snowmaking across the upper Midwest are going to allow some ski areas to be open for the Thanksgiving holidays. Minnesota will be offering the most openings with a few in northern Wisconsin and a couple in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula ski areas at this point have not announced opening dates, but some have already fired up the snowmaking and hopefully that will come soon.
A couple of ski areas, Wild Mountain in Minnesota and nearby Trollhaugen across the border in Wisconsin have already opened for the season. Afton Alps, Powder Ridge, Andes Towers Hills and Lutsen Mountains are planning on being open this weekend Nov. 18 and 19. Buck Hill is opening on Nov. 22, with Spirit Mountain and Giants Ridge scheduled Nov. 25.
Huff Hills Ski Area, located near Bismarck in North Dakota, is opening for the season on Nov. 20, which will mark their earliest opening ever in the 30 years it has been a ski area. Illinois' Chestnut Mountain plans to open Nov. 26, also one of their earliest openings.
In early season it's always a good idea to check the ski area for conditions before making a long drive. Weather can change in just a few days. You can also log onto Snoountry Snow Reports for an up to date review of what's open and conditions.
This first weekend of March features a more "lion-like" and snowy setup across the West, while the East sees lamb-like signs of spring time weather. Let's dig into the forecast in this week's SnoCast.
If you want to go skiing in early December in the Midwest, think Minnesota. The Gopher State has the most ski areas open around the Great Lakes, nine open to the public and one currently season pass holders only.
Winter has arrived across the upper Midwest. Many ski areas and resorts are opening this weekend, and Thanksgiving Weekend also looks good if you want to get away for that first ski trip of the new season.
While we’re waiting anxiously for the snow to fly, resorts across the Northeast are celebrating fall foliage season with fun, food, music and stunning views of the mountains. Here are SnoCountry.com’s top picks for Oktoberfests this year.
Minnesota’s ski season is underway with several ski areas already open. The Gopher State has fared better in the weather pool than other Great Lakes state, especially those on the east side of Lake Michigan. Here’s a rundown on what’s new at ski resorts that have made improvements.
Sean Hayes is a man with no experience in the snow sports industry, yet he’s the front man with a keen vision. Along with Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park, who are the new owners of the defunct Powder Ridge, the ski and ride area in Connecticut, intends to open once again Nov. 27. The two – Powder Ridge and the nearby discovery park – are nine miles apart.
The Twin Cities Independent Ski Areas Association and MnSNO recently combined to form the Minnesota Ski Areas Association. This new group will champion Minnesota’s spread out ski areas that account for 24 percent of the winter tourism economy.
Conditions are some of the best the Heartland has seen in the last few years, and Minnesota ski areas are enticing skiers and riders with some sweet lift ticket deals to get out and enjoy the great snow.
Many ski resorts across the Midwest were able to open this past weekend, even as far south as southern Indiana where Perfect North Slopes was open.