Snowbasin marks its earliest opening on record; other ski resorts holding off
HUNTSVILLE — Ski season officially started in Weber County on Friday with Snowbasin Resort opening its slopes to the public, marking the earliest start date in the location’s more than eight decades of operation.
Recent storms coupled with the resort’s snowmaking system provided ample snowpack to open the mountain safely, with a ski season shaping up to be unlike any other, said Davy Ratchford, Snowbasin’s general manager. Snowmaking machines were added to 10 acres of terrain this fall, allowing the resort to start the season with more open land than usual.
According to Communications Manager Kayla McFarland, some very dedicated, diehard skiers eager to make the most of opening day stayed camping out since Wednesday evening for first chair. An unexpected snow fell early Friday, with Snowbasin staffers calling the storm an “opening day miracle.”
While historic opening dates play out at the resort, which hosted alpine events during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, other ski resorts nearby have opted to hold off until December.
Powder Mountain, North America’s largest ski resort in terms of skiable acreage, located about 23 miles north of Snowbasin in Eden, has a tentative opening date of Dec. 17. The massive ski resort, which uses only natural snow, did have an opening day in November in recent years, on Nov. 30, 2018.
Neighboring Nordic Valley Ski Resort in Eden is due to begin its ski season on Dec. 9 and will feature five new black diamond trails, bumping their black run count to 19.
In addition to the new trails made for advanced skiers, glading or glade skiing is now available through a wooded trail.