Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News 18-Apr-2012
More than 90% of ski areas have closed in North America after what for many has been a winter to forget - unseasonably warm when it should have been cold, and now cold and snowing to rub salt in the wounds at resorts that have already closed!
North Western North America has had a banner season, in contrast to much of the rest of the continent, with resorts in Alberta and BC in Canada posting record, or near-record snowfall tallies.
This is especially good news for Whistler (open to end of May at Blackcomb having extended its season after biggest ever March snowfall), Lake Louise (open to may 7th and a few centimetres off all time snowfall record), Marmot Basin near Jasper and Sunshine near Banff which is open to late may and has already beaten it's all time snowfall record.
South of the border only around a dozen ski areas are still open in Western USA, three in Colorado, a couple in Utah and half a dozen in California (which has reported up to a metre of fresh snow in the past week) among them. A repeat of last year's 11 areas open on July 4th seems unlikely though with only Alpine Meadows and Mammoth so far the only two areas to commit to opening in to May, the former at weekends only to the middle of the month.
Fresh snow in the past few weeks has not stopped the melt down on the East coast and only Killington and Jay Peak in Vermont remain open of the hundreds of ski centres in the area.
Work is underway this week at several resorts that are building new lifts for winter 2012-13.
At Vail, which closed along with most Colorado resorts last weekend (leaving only A Basin, Loveland and Winter Park open) work on a new gondola, billed as the fastest in the world to date and replete with heated padded seats and wifi in its 190 passenger cabins, began on Monday. It is due to be open in timed for the start of the resort's 50th anniversary season on November 16th.
At Snowbird in Utah, which is in fact still open and aims to remain so on weekends through may and possibly longer if the snowpack remains serviceable, a new quad chairlift is promised for next winter to replace an old double chair.