First Ski Areas Open in Canada & US For 20-21 Season
Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News 24-Oct-2020
J2SkiNews posted 24-Oct
North America's 20-21 ski season has got underway with Wild Mountain ski area in the US state of Minnesota claiming the kudos of first on the continent to open for the season.
The Midwest had reported record low-October temperatures which allowed snowmaking systems to fire up, and there was also some natural snowfall.
Internationally better known Banff in Canada will see its Mt Norquay local ski slopes open today, the first in Canada and its earliest opening date in its 95 year history. Western Canada has seen mostly cold weather and lots of early snowfall through October.
The two areas have managed to open ahead of high altitude areas in Colorado that are often the first to open. It did look more promising there a few weeks ago as snow-making systems were fired up but temperatures then warmed up and there's the added complication of forest fires which have closed access to one of the centres concerned, Loveland. However heavy snow is expected in the region again over the next few days.
North American ski areas appear to be putting in stricter operating restrictions than their European counterparts this winter with strict limits on numbers on the mountains and on lifts to allow social-distancing which are not being enforced in Europe at present. The lower skier numbers mean fewer people can ski though and Mt Norquay reported opening day's lift ticket allocation had sold out several days in advance.
Around 30 ski areas in 10 countries are now open for their 20-21 seasons with Cervinia, Davos and Kitzbuhel opening in the Alps today.