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The waiting is the hardest part

Posted by Heather Burke  November 16, 2011 04:10 PM

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sunday_river_snowmaking.jpgSnowtober, the pre-Halloween dump of heavy snow, had skiers and riders all excited, even if it knocked out power for millions. Killington and Sunday River both opened October 29 for skiing, one minute apart. The River gave the nod to the Big-K, a kindly gesture in deference to Vermont's speedy recovery from Hurricane Irene in September, a more monumental weather event that brought havoc to several Vermont ski resorts.

Well now it's November - and it feels like No-Snowvember, the temps have been downright balmy. Still Sunday River and Killington are open with limited skiing.

Several other New England resorts had pegged to open this weekend - Sugarloaf, Sugarbush, Okemo, and Stowe all had projected opening November 18 and 19. Stay tuned, because the barometer needs to drop before they can blow significant snow.

Meanwhile, it's dumping out west. Ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, Mammoth in California, Marmot and Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies have enjoyed early openings. No need to fret just yet Eastern skiers. These are bonus days of winter, since it is still technically fall. Any pre-turkey day turns are just gravy. I say keep those boards handy, get your holiday shopping done now, just in case Black Friday is white in the mountains - you can skip the crowded mall and go skiing instead.

Photo by Greg Burke

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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at and


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