This photo was taken this week in Whistler. Mike Douglas says "Game on!" Paul Morrison/Whistler Blackcomb photo.
Snow is falling, and it's falling fast. From standard East Coast flurries to the unexpected California pow, people are getting after it, earning both core shots and face shots across much of the West. After a summer of El Niño hype and a fall waiting to reap the benefits, we're pretty stoked to see the snow flying, and apparently so is your news feed. Nevermind the Facebook statuses–here's where its actually snowing right now, as we head into the first weekend of November.
Wolf Creek is getting snow. Actually. Photo via Wolf Creek's Facebook.
No matter the year or the impending winter weather system, Wolf Creek always manages to get good early season coverage. With a summit base of 28'' and a fresh 17'' in the last 48 hours, you can expect early season conditions with packed pow on top.
Loveland Ski Area/Loveland Pass
TGR Contributor and Skiing Magazine's Associate Editor, Paddy O'Connell, very excited about how winter's progressing at Loveland. Photo by fellow TGR Contributor Leslie Hittmeier.
With conditions similar to A Bay and shorter lift lines, Loveland has the same 18'' mid mountain with a fresh 13'' in the past 48 hours, and even a new 6'' in 24. Without the smattering of CU Boulder kids and their Epic Passes, I'd suggest hitting up Loveland for the shorter lift lines with better conditions. If you're heading up the pass, remember to bring your avy stuff. It's a good habit to get into, no matter how much or little snow there is.
The lifts are running, the snow is falling, the Tall T's are dragging–Keystone is open for business. Photo via Keystone's Facebook.
Considering today is their opening day and they have a season total of 27'' and a base depth of 18'', I'd say if you're reading this, it's too late. With 12'' in the past 48 hours and snow in the forecast today, your chances of pow are minimal if you're not already on the lift line.
A Basin, the always reliable early season opener, is hosting enough coverage on grassy slopes to get you down without a core shot. Photo via Arapahoe Basin's Facebook.
I'd be lying if I said that it felt like yesterday when ABay shut off the lifts, even with the super prolonged season that lasted well into summer doors despite the late season closing. With 18'' of base mid mountain and 9'' in the last three days, you can expect the typical early season lift lines with an extra side of pow stoke.
Mammoth's Opening day had nearly 3' of fresh. Stoked that El Nino is delivering for these guys. Photo via Mammoth Mountain's Facebook.
After season after season off less than ideal snow conditions, California is finally getting the goods. With a base depth of 30'' at the summit, and around-the-clock snowmaking, you can expect packed pow, blue skies, and stoked faces in the liftlines.
Snow's a blowing at Kirkwood, with 13.5'' at the base, 18'' at the summit, and more to come. Photo via Kirkwood's Facebook.
The stoke level is high for California right now, with a promising early season underway after years of drought. With 19'' of fresh this week, and a frontal system heading their way, Kirkwood is expecting a fresh serving of pow, and hopefully a wall-to-wall opening with the help of some manmade. A recent addition to the Epic Pass, you can expect no fewer than a gazillion tall T-wearing, weekend student warriors to be lining up for opening day, which is slated for 11/21.
Corbet's Cabin, on top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, feeling the love this week. There's now 29" sitting up there. JHMR photo.
I'd like to tell you that there was no snow here, and that the conditions are terrible, but that just wouldn't be accurate reporting. With 27'' up high, 5'' in the last 24, and around-the-clock snowmaking, we have our fingers crossed for a wall-to-wall opening day Thanksgiving weekend.
On the west side of the Tetons, Targhee has been getting it good, with 11'' of fresh in the past 24 hours, and more snow to come. With a base of 26'', Targhee is sure to get attacked by Teton locals looking to get up high and earn some soft turns.s
Who knew this was in Arizona? Photo via Arizona Snowbowl's Facebook.
The real wild card on this list isn't in Summit County or California, but Arizona. With a whopping 24'' in the last 24 hours, you might be finding some shark fins, but you'll be skiing pow. Opening day isn't until November 20th, but I'd say it's worth a boot pack with your rock skis/board to ride blower pow on some of the ski area's grassier slopes.
Mike Douglas and Robin Van Gyn, reaping the awards of a nice early season up high on Blackcomb. Paul Morrison/Whister Blackcomb photo.
With 13'' in the past week and a heli photo shoot already on the books, Whistler is looking to have a banger season. Their heli snow scouting trip is no doubt stoking the fire for some internet hype and Powder Highway plans. With another nearly 50 cms on the way between now and Sunday, things are looking up!
Taken this morning. Brin Merkley photo via Big Sky's Facebook.
As of this morning, Big Sky is up to 24'' mid mountain, with 4''-12'' in the last 48 hours. You can expect pow, a face shot or two, and maybe even a core shot if you find yourself in shark infested waters. With snow guns blowing, and a 73% chance of precipitation for the days ahead, we might just be driving over the pass for some pre season pow!