Early natural snowfalls in the West have ski resorts opening earlier than planned. Latest to begin selling lift tickets are Lake Louise and Calgary Olympic Park in Alberta.
Keystone opens this Friday, Nov. 8. Snowmass will open this Saturday, Nov. 9, claiming a 32-inch base at the top. Plan is to open from Fanny Hill to the top of Big Burn -- 3383 of vertical and 360 acres. Aspen Mountain will open for the weekend only on Nov. 16-17 and Nov. 22-24.On Monday, Vail announced it would open six days early, on Nov. 16. The resort will open 762 acres of terrain, including 50 trails and six lifts, including Lifts 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 and theEagle Bahn Gondola from Lionshead.
According to a Vail report, more than six feet of snow has fallen on the mountain since September, half of that in the past week. Officials claim a 20-inch settled base at mid-mountain, with up to a foot of additional snow at higher elevations. On Oct. 31, 2002, the ski area exceeded its mid-mountainsettled base record of 19 inches set on Nov. 1, 1996.
Breckenridge opens on Nov. 15, Heavenly on Nov. 22 and BeaverCreek on Nov. 23.