McCALL — Skiers throughout Idaho will have much to give thanks for this holiday weekend, with six of the state’s ski resorts either already open for the season or opening today or Friday.
With 58 inches of snow at the base and 119 inches having already fallen this season, Grand Targhee and its 97 trails are 100 percent open as of Nov. 17. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal named the mountain one of the five best-kept secret ski resorts in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Lookout Pass, the first northwest ski resort to open for the season, has been open for weekends since Nov. 4. It will reopen for the weekend today through Sunday.
Schweitzer reopens Friday for the weekend after its earliest opening in 20 years on Nov. 17. It will reopen Dec. 1, with its full seven-day winter schedule.
Likewise, Silver Mountain and Lost Trail opened for weekends Nov. 17 and will reopen Friday.
Both Baldy and Dollar Mountain at Sun Valley will open for the season Thursday. Sun Valley was named the second-best mountain resort in North America in Ski Magazine’s reader survey for the 2017-18 season.
Conditions permitting, another five Ski Idaho resorts are slated to soon join them:
• Brundage, Dec. 8
• Tamarack, Dec. 8
• Bogus Basin, Dec. 9
• Pebble Creek, Dec. 16
• Snowhaven, Dec. 16
There’s more good news for skiers, too: The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center issued a La Niña advisory Nov. 9 for the Northern Hemisphere. The report says the ocean-atmosphere phenomenon has a 65 percent to 75 percent chance of continuing at least through winter 2017-18.
Dave Groenert, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Boise, says this bodes well for skiers. He recently told The Idaho Statesman that if winter weather patterns follow the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast, “it would speak well for the mountains getting more snow.”
Idaho experienced a La Niña winter last year, with the wettest October-June on record.