Had a small debate today with a friend on whether it is Winter or not. According to the calendar it is not winter, but when has the calendar ever been able to predict the day a season begins? The shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere may be the official recognized first day of winter, the day bureaucrats can agree to call the beginning of winter, but in my book winter begins when it’s cold enough for the snow to stick around and there’s enough snow to ski on.
The best sign of that is when ski resorts start opening. Here in Truckee that means winter will begin before Thanksgiving this year with Squaw announced they will get the bullwheels running this Friday, November 16th. Sugar Bowl follows this weekend on Nov. 17th while Boreal has been running their lifts since late October. However, the most compelling sign that winter has arrived, besides all the tracks local backcountry skiers are making, is the announcement that the groomed and manicured slopes of Northstar and Heavenly will be coated with enough face paint on select slopes to run their lifts tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th. Even though they haven’t been in the bullseye of recent storms Mammoth Mountain has received enough snow that they opened last weekend with runs open from top to bottom.
Not that the rest of the world matters
If you just want to burn some turns, you will have plenty of options to exercise very soon. Best of all, there’s more snow in the forecast so conditions should be excellent over the Thanksgiving holiday.
When do you think winter starts? When the snowpack says it is, or when the calendar says it is? When is your local resort opening?