Utah ski resorts get early start to snow season

The Honeycomb Canyon Webcam captures snow falling and accumulating at roughly 10,035 feet at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. An early snow could mean an early start to skiing and snowboarding for locals. (Courtesy of The Honeycomb Canyon Webcam at Solitude)

While many people are getting in their last couple weeks of summer weather outside with activities in the heat, Utah’s northern mountains are experiencing not sun, but snow.

Last winter was a record-breaking snowfall season in Utah, according to Ski Utah. These early September snowflakes are already bringing excitement to skiers and snowboarders across the state, according to mountain-goers.

BYU student Jonas Wright, an avid snowboarder, said he did not consider himself a “winter guy” until he started snowboarding.

“I love the feeling of learning something that has endless possibilities,” he said about snowboarding. “While for some the early snowfall may be bad news, to me, it’s exciting news.”

Solitude Mountain Resort, a popular ski area in Big Cottonwood Canyon, said they are aiming to open on Nov. 17 this season due to the early white coats on the peaks. Last season the resort opened on Nov. 10 because of early snowfall.

Travis Holland, Communications and Public Relations Manager at Solitude Mountain Resort, expressed his excitement about the early snowfall.

“It’s always exciting when we get snow this early, it only lasted for about an hour and was about at roughly 10,000 feet,” Holland said. “It’s a good sign of things to come, and it’s kind of what we live for up here.”

It seems that Holland is not the only one to feel this way. Whitney Sanchez is a BYU student new to the snowboarding hobby but said that does not stop her.

Snowbird ski resort shared photos on Facebook after the unexpected Sept. 4 snow. Since then, they have posted snowfall updates on their page. (Snowbird)

“(Snowboarding) is a way to be outside and breathe in fresh mountain air during a season when people don’t normally connect with nature like that because it’s too cold,” she said.

Early powder is great news for those who enjoy winter outdoor activities, but it involves a sacrifice.

“It’s hard to be anything but happy on the slopes,” Sanchez said. “I’m definitely looking forward to the snow piling up on the mountains again. Even if that means I’ll have to shovel it off my car every morning, it’s worth it.”

The Farmers’ Almanac predicts that this winter will have typical cold temperatures and occasional storms. It is uncertain what an early snow will mean for the winter season.

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