We've been debating all summer what impact El Niño might have on this season's snowfall. While many predict the greatest season ever, others urge caution. As resorts across North America start to open, it's so far so good...
It is still early days but the signs of a cold winter with impressive snowfall are there. No-one can predict what will happen, we just have to let Mother Nature do her best and so far she's delivered the goods. Cold temperatures, heaps of snow and resorts opening weeks earlier than expected, what more could you want?
Whistler - Last season Whistler had its longest season on record, finally closing the lifts on June 7th. Just imagine what they can do with above average snowfall! November is shaping up to be a great month with total snowfall of 77cm so far - 57cm of which fell over the past week. Last weekend a monster storm rolled through, leaving 42cm of snow in one go (measured at Pig Alley weather station, 1650m.)
Short term forecast – up to 78cm over the next four days. It's so good Whistler is opening early! Whistler Mountain opens 19 November, Blackcomb 26 November.
Not booked yet? We have savings of up to 50% on accommodation, extended BA and Air Canada flight sales, complimentary room upgrades and discounted ski extras.
Lake Louise / Sunshine Village / Mount Norquay – Winter has definitely arrived in the Rockies. Lake Louise and Mount Norquay are both open with one lift running each. Sunshine Village has a mountain top base of 50cm and is opening on 14 November. More terrain will open this weekend on the back of another big storm rolling through over the next few days which should dump up to 50cm of powder in Lake Louise. A great start to winter and there's still time to book a fantastic deal in Banff with up to 25% off – book by 15 November.
Kicking Horse – Powder alert! Winter has arrived at the Horse. With 72cm of champagne powder this week adding to a cumulative total of 97cm and a huge 125cm forecast until Tuesday, Kicking Horse is in seriously good shape. With snow top to bottom, freezing cold temperatures and huge snowfall on the radar, opening day 10 December could be one of the deepest ever! It looks like resident grizzly bear Boo's predictions were true.
Revelstoke – Over 220cm of snowfall and it's still snowing, perfect for opening day on 28 November! This year Revelstoke have upgraded the mountain with a brand new 11 acre terrain park, 50 acres of extra glading across the upper mountain and additional grooming equipment, making for a better skiing experience.
Looking for early season steep and deep powder skiing and seriously low prices? Combine Kicking Horse and Revelstoke on one trip on our Powder Ski Safari.
Panorama – Ever reliable, this season is no different. Panorama has already received 57cm and they're grooming the runs in preparation for the international race teams training at the resort. With another 50cm expected this week, Panorama is looking awesome for opening day on 12 December.
Big White - In the Okanagan, things have got off to a great start - Big White is opening two weeks early today! Having already received 95cm of snow and with cold temperatures and a bucket load more snow forecast, nothing beats a powder opening day. News came in overnight that the snow base reading from the top of Ridge is at 74cm!
We have many special offers available - stay 10 pay 7 (three free nights) on accommodation, free days on lift passes and some of the best skiing and riding in Canada.
It’s so good to see the Californian resorts reporting fantastic conditions, heavy snowfall and resorts opening way ahead of schedule. Could this be the year California gets us dreaming?
Mammoth – In the midst of the first major storm system of the year, which dropped nearly a metre of snow on Mammoth's summit, the resort was able to open a week early, making Mammoth the first resort in California to open!
Great snow making temperatures in the forecast this week will mean plenty more snow. Chairs 1 and 3 were spinning for opening day and by now the gondola to the top of the mountain should also be open!
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows open early
Alpine Meadows celebrated one of its earliest ever openings yesterday, over a month ahead of schedule. Not to be outdone, Squaw Valley opens tomorrow on 14 November, 11 days early.
Almost 60cm of snow over the last week, and even more forecast, plus optimal snowmaking temperatures and around-the-clock commitment from the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows snowmaking team have made early opening a reality.
Heavenly - South Lake Tahoe’s favourite resort, Heavenly, is opening a week early tomorrow on 14 November. There's been enough natural snow for perfectly groomed pistes and cold temperatures have enabled Heavenly's extensive snowmaking to get under way. Heavenly's shaping up to provide the best early season skiing and riding in South Lake Tahoe.
Don’t forget, you can ski six of the Lake Tahoe resorts on one pass, the Six Pack, for as little as £247 per person.
Get your Epic Pass for an Epic start
America's high altitude resorts always provide a quality start to winter. Most resorts have had significant snowfall at base level so the mountains will be in incredible shape come opening day.
There is still time to buy your Epic Pass which covers Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Araphoe Basin, Park City & Canyons in Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, with some restrictions in place. What does that look like in money terms? Well, a 10-day standard Vail lift pass costs £639 per person for much of the season. Book by 20 November and purchase an Epic Local pass from only £371 per person, covering all the resorts listed above. Add in £100 flight credit for new bookings and Colorado is looking like the place to ski this winter.
Keystone has opened early and has an impressive 46cm base, three lifts servicing two trails and more terrain is expected to open any day.
Vail - It won't stop snowing in Vail! This week's snow storm left over 20cm and with a total of 88cm so far and another two storms predicted before opening day on 20 November, conditions are looking fantastic.
Latest snow in Vail, 11 November
Breckenridge has snow in the town, which means great snow falling on the slopes. It has been cold enough to fire up the snow guns so conditions for opening day will be awesome - especially with the extra 22cm that arrived on Wednesday!
Aspen Snowmass (opening 12 days early), Steamboat and Winter Park have all received a decent amount of snow. More is forecast and the resorts are looking good for their November opening days.
Jackson Hole – You can always rely on Jackson Hole for snow and the start to this winter is no different. The resort already has a mid-mountain base just shy of two feet so come opening day on 26 November the Hole will be off the charts. Following on from the recent storms, Jackson Hole received a spectacular Northern Lights display.
Look no further for the best steep and (very) deep skiing and snowboarding in the US. Buy a 10 day lift pass but only pay for 7 days and kids receive a free pass with each adult purchase. With these deals this could be the year for a family powder fest at Jackson Hole.
Big Sky – Scheduled to open 26 November, the resort has a mid-mountain base of 2.5 feet and opened early for one day of skiing on 7 November. What’s new? Two intermediate ski runs, White Magic and Short Stack are the new fun and winding glades.
Like a tailor-made quotation or more information?
Winter is here, but have you booked? There is still time for a fantastic price, with huge savings on accommodation and ski extras and flights sales still on. Request a quotation or call us on 01273 224060 to speak to one of our North American experts. Between us we have skied every one of the above resorts.
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