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Snow skiing in early November [beginner from Brazil]

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi!

I'm from Brazil and I'll be in USA late October to early November. I planned a trip to the Grand Canyon and after that I would like to snow sky. My intention was to sky in Colorado (since is pretty close to Grand Canyon) but after some research in Epicski I got worry if it would be a good idea. I was planning to arrive in Colorado in November 7 and stay until November 16. Is there any nice place to go during this time? Would some one recommend another better place in USA or Canada (in USA would be easier)? 

Thanks a lot!

post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia View Post
 

Hi!

I'm from Brazil and I'll be in USA late October to early November. I planned a trip to the Grand Canyon and after that I would like to snow sky. My intention was to sky in Colorado (since is pretty close to Grand Canyon) but after some research in Epicski I got worry if it would be a good idea. I was planning to arrive in Colorado in November 7 and stay until November 16. Is there any nice place to go during this time? Would some one recommend another better place in USA or Canada (in USA would be easier)? 

Thanks a lot!

 

Hi Natalia - Welcome to EpicSki! 

 

What level skier are you? (How experienced are you?) Where do you normally ski? And how late into November are you staying?

 

Unfortunately, that time of year is very, very early in the season here. It's uncertain what places, if any, will have enough snow to be open. Colorado is probably your most likely choice. It's possible that there will only be a couple of runs open on man-made snow at that point. (And with those conditions and lots of ski racers, it's usually considered an advanced/expert skier time only.)

 

The places in Colorado that might be open are Wolf Creek, Loveland, and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. Other than those in Colorado, there are probably a few other places around the US and Canada that get early season snow. Grand Targhee, Mount Bachelor maybe? Hopefully others can chime in with some more familiarity with this.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm a beginner. I snow ski just one time in my life and that was about 5 years ago. I leave USA in November 16.

I saw Keystone opens in November 7, but it's probably man-made snow, right?

Thanks!!!

:)

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia View Post
 

I'm a beginner. I snow ski just one time in my life and that was about 5 years ago. I leave USA in November 16.

I saw Keystone opens in November 7, but it's probably man-made snow, right?

Thanks!!!

:)

 

Yes, it probably is. And man-made is OK since you'd be skiing groomed runs anyway. But there will likely not be very many runs open, and lots of people crowded onto those runs; Not ideal for a beginner.

 

You'll have to keep an eye on how conditions are. And the November 7th date isn't guaranteed and is just an estimate. It still depends on temperatures and how much snow making they can do.

post #5 of 16

Well, they are getting snow out near Yellowstone park now, but I don't know how much may be at the ski areas.  

 

Arizona Snow Bowl is not too far from the Grand Canyon (just outside of Flagstaff) but I don't know if they would be open that early.  

 

A-Basin and Loveland always seem to be the ones competing for "first to open" bragging rights...you may want to keep an eye on their websites.

 

A few weeks later than your time frame could make a very large difference.  

post #6 of 16

Colorado is the place .  Loveland, Arapaho Basin, And Copper Mountain are all close to each other and are about a 2 hour drive from Denver's airport.  I have skied at Copper and Loveland in early November and it was on manmade snow. There should be plenty of terrain for you to begin learning on and the man made snow will be fine for you as well.  Bonus is that  hotels will be cheap at that time of year.

post #7 of 16

BOM DIA!

 

Last year, Loveland Colorado opened on October 29. Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are near each other (and Keystone and Breckenridge) in Summit County near Denver and both tend to open around the same dates (they did last year). Mother Nature is notoriously fickle for deciding when to allow resorts to open, but last year was the latest opening day in 20 seasons. So if you head there, it's a relatively safe bet that there will be lift served skiing open. There are other places in America that may be open for your dates (e.g. Mammoth, Timberline), but Loveland/A Basin is a great choice. Look for inexpensive lodging in Silverthorne or Frisco and free bus service to the mountains. Once you get there, you can choose which mountain(s) to go to.

 

Very early season skiing can be a little (cough) hectic. It's also known as the WROD (white ribbon of death) for the relatively high density of skiers of mixed abilities on a relatively low acreage of skiable snow. But don't let that scare you. It will be fine for beginners.

 

Here's another secret about early season skiing. Most resorts open with a minimum of 10-15 inch base of packed snow. Natural snow packs down 10" of fallen snow  to 1" of packed on average (Colorado snow tends to be a little drier and packs down to even less). Last year Loveland had a total of 219 inches of natural snow over the whole season. It would take 1/2 that to open with a 10" base of all natural snow. While there may be some natural snow mixed in to your early season skiing experience (and hopefully some fresh snow on top), most of what you'll be skiing on will be man made. This is actually a good thing because wetter man made snow covers the ground (i.e. rocks) better. They didn't name the Rocky Mountains after a cartoon squirrel.

post #8 of 16

Hi Natalia,

 

Like everyone has explained, early season is a roll of the dice and conditions can change in just a few days.  Copper is opening on Nov 11th and is a normally a great a place for a beginner.  Here's the problem.  The "beginner" side of the mountain doesn't open until approximately mid Dec.  The runs that would be open will be leaning to a more intermediate and have plenty of ski teams/academies/etc.  It might be a bit overwhelming.

 

Loveland should be open and it might be a reasonable choice for you depending on snowfall and what runs are available.

 

This was Loveland on Nov. 1st last season.  As you can see, not very crowded and conditions where good.

 

 

This picture is from Copper and you can see the coverage is not the best.  This picture was taken a few weeks after the one above.  Near the end of Nov.

 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks! You all helped a lot!

post #10 of 16

Boreal and Mt Rose, near Truckee, CA and Reno, NV, respectively also may be open in early Nov. In 2015, Mt Rose opened a beginner run on November 4 after getting 14" of snow and on Nov. 6 Boreal was the first Northern CA ski area open. While small, Boreal is located near the top of Donner Pass and has a lot of snowmaking. They usually can open a beginner run or two and sometimes even the chair to the (~600' tall) top on man-made. One advantage of these places in they are within driving distance of San Francisco so if you do not have snow, you probably have nice weather for doing other things.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia View Post
 

Hi!

I'm from Brazil and I'll be in USA late October to early November. I planned a trip to the Grand Canyon and after that I would like to snow sky. My intention was to sky in Colorado (since is pretty close to Grand Canyon) but after some research in Epicski I got worry if it would be a good idea. I was planning to arrive in Colorado in November 7 and stay until November 16. Is there any nice place to go during this time? Would some one recommend another better place in USA or Canada (in USA would be easier)? 

Thanks a lot!

 

 

Will you be driving from the Grand Canyon to Colorado?

 

If so,  Wolf Creek may be your best option.  Post again a few days before your trip and we will try to help.

post #12 of 16
post #13 of 16
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia View Post
 

I'm a beginner. I snow ski just one time in my life and that was about 5 years ago. I leave USA in November 16.

I saw Keystone opens in November 7, but it's probably man-made snow, right?

Thanks!!!

:)


Natalia,

Are you going to ski more days than one on your trip?

Will you want to take a beginner or novice lesson when you ski?  

If you think you'll want a lesson, call the ski school at the resorts of your choice and explain your situation.

Ask them if they can do that for you when you'll be there, and make a reservation.  If they can't, then ask if there will be any beginner terrain open.  That's where you'll want to ski, probably.

 

The reason I bring this up is that where I ski, the mountains blow snow to open something that will satisfy their season pass holders, who already know how to ski.  The beginner terrain is often later in opening.  You will not want to be skiing on the WROD.  It's called the White Ribbon Of Death for a reason.  Many seasoned skiers, starved for snow and hungry for their first turns of the season, crowd onto that one white trail and ski fast.  It gets crowded, and dangerous.  My mountain puts up a sign "Experts Only" on its WROD.

 

I think you may want beginner terrain, or at least green circle trails, to ski on.  The number of trails open, how crowded those trails are, and how steep they are will determine your happiness more than the amount of natural snow.

post #15 of 16

If Loveland and A-Basin open by Nov.1 they should some beginner terrain open by Nov 7. It should be expected that resorts with specifically targeted opening days will have beginner terrain open.

post #16 of 16

Good to hear, Rusty.  That is not necessarily the case with all the mountains here in New England.

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