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From June through August, Timberline is abuzz with young athletes at summer camps. There's Windells for new school skiers, High Cascade for boarders, and the Atomic Race Camp for gate bashers.
As soon as the first video clip of spitting snow guns hits the airwaves, diehard boarders show up to hike and ride that teeny sneeze.
In the early season, the mountain-1,000 acres and 1,500 vertical feet-can go from bare to buried in a matter of days, and the snow is thick enough to slather the steepest, rockiest pitches.
On opening day, the lifties hand out colored beads, skiers scavenge the woods for a stuffed woolly mammoth (and a season pass), and at noon, owner Dave McCoy makes a champagne toast on the sundeck.
Unlike a few lucky eastern resorts, Sunday River does not reside in a natural snowbelt (it averages just 155 inches annually).
Until last season, Killington held a 41-year streak for earliest opening day in the East. Record-breaking aside, Killington remains place for right coasters to get their fall turns.
Top-Five Factors Affecting Early-Season Snow Conditions
Where's the best early-season skiing? Where should you book your holiday ski vacation? SKIING has some answers for you.
How's the skiing in a land that averages seven hours of sunlight per day in Ferbruary? Pretty dim.
Let the slackers wear silly shorts and go golfing. Summer skiing separates the pretenders from the performers. You know who you are.
Go to skiingmag.com
Go to nastar.com
Go to warrenmiller.com
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