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The Slopes Are Calling: Ski And Snowboard Seasons Start Opening Across The Mountain West

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Boise State Public Radio
Arapahoe Basin's mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge webcam captures snow conditions on Wednesday afternoon.

Ski and snowboard season is already here.


The Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in north-central Colorado opened Oct. 11, making it the first ski resort to fire up its lifts in North America. That’s after some competition with nearby Keystone, which was set to be the first to open on the 12th before a last-second opening at Arapahoe at 3:30 p.m. the day before.

Arapahoe Basin spokesperson Katherine Fuller said it’s the earliest the resort has opened in a decade, and “we were open until July 4th at the end of last season, so we were only closed 99 days, which was our shortest summer closure in history.”

Arapahoe’s opening was partially thanks to a big storm and snow-making machines.

Kelli Lusk, spokesperson for the Sun Valley resort in Idaho, said they’re also prepping ahead of the resort’s regular Thanksgiving opening, getting restaurants and activities ready for visitors.

“We’ve also been preparing to get the snow guns [snow-making machines] going probably some point in the next week or two, so we anticipate a good start to the season,” she said.

Ski areas across the West will start opening over the next two months. For opening dates and schedules, contact your local ski area.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Madelyn Beck is Boise State Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau.