I was clicking through some of the Western Ski Area links on our US Weather Page. Alta has tentatively set December 1 as opening date.
I was wondering if anyone has an idea of when Alta opens on average?
Alta Lodge is always open over Thanksgiving. Usually that includes skiing that weekend. Guess that won't happen this time, at least not lift-served at Alta but could go over to Snowbird. They always have a multiday clinic the first full week of December. It's coming up Dec. 7-11. Folks have been hiking for a while. The reason Alta has snowmaking is to cover key groomers and make sure there is enough snow at the bases and for the transfer tow in order to be sure they can open on the pre-arranged date. The opening and closing dates are set with the Forest Service by early Fall. Closing day for 7-day operations is April 15, 2018.
Snowbird plans to open Nov. 22. Brighton shooting for Nov. 21. Solitude also waiting until Dec. 2, as is Deer Valley.
Snowbird opened as planned on 11/22, but then closed because it got too warm. Looking at the temps the problem is that night time temps are in the 40s so not even possible to get in any snowmaking to shore up the base. Alta still shooting for 12/1.
I expect Alta 7-day operations to end 4/15, with a weekend possible after that based on snow conditions. I know Alta Lodge's closing day is 4/15.
Those maps look too warm, we are in a pretty "normal" pattern for the next week. It cools down, warms up, cools down. I don't see any mega "torch" which would wipe out the artificial base the mountains are making. After 12/7 or so, we look to get into a more sustained cold pattern. Doesn't look particularly stormy but areas around the lakes can snow from LES. I am pretty hopefully this year (looking way out) of a decent holiday week toward the end of December.