Beginning of the season?

| October 1, 2009

It snowed at 7,100′ in Park City today!


Alta supposedly got 10+ inches and I’d imagine some of their tilled slopes will be skiable tomorrow.

The first snow of the year is one of many landmark seasonal skiing events.  I prefer to wait until there is some solid coverage before I start going out as I hate to get all psyched up for a season… and then get gacked when it all melts and my skis are trashed.  I also really like Spring skiing, so I try to pace my enthusiasm towards the end of the season rather than the beginning.

For skiers, the New Year falls at an unfortunately time as in a good year, you might get two solid months of skiing before the year changes, which means you have to refer to it as 2009/10 when everybody knows you are really talking about 2010.  Sigh.  In the Wasatch, a really good early season is if you are skiing reliably by Halloween, a normal season means good skiing by Thanksgiving (sometimes the best of the year) and a sucky season is still hurting by Christmas.

If you live in Turns All Year country, when a season starts and ends is an arbitrary date. Tom Jungst and his son Allan up in Bozeman, MT have a tradition of making their first turns of the year on the second weekend of September.

Tom Jungst demostrates some classic steep skiing angulation on his first day of the 2009/10 season.  Nice one Tom!

Tom Jungst demonstrates some classic steep skiing angulation on his first day of the 2009/10 season. Nice one Tom!

For me, if the snow sticks around for a few days I might get out, but more than likely my first day will be up in Alaska on October 23rd which will be a little warm up before Ushuaia and then on to Antarctica.  Hopefully by the time I get back from that, the Wasatch will be in full swing and the season will be rockin’ once again!

Help support and pick up a jacket with raised pleasure ribs like Tom’s with a Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Down Jacket from Click on the photo below…


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About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (9)

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  1. KatieC says:

    Interesting, Andrew, that when you write about NOT skiing, fewer people comment. Apparently there’s a limit to your narghile-like reach.

  2. Brian says:

    Just got back from skiing Sept 30/Oct 1 up at Alta, snow depth, although very variable was right around 40/45 cm at 10750 feet on sunset peak. Skiing was great for first day of the year, but there are definitely plenty of rocks. If it doesn’t all melt by the time the next storm starts on sunday, I imagine skiing will be much better

  3. d3 says:

    i had to look up narghile:
    [url=]also known as hookah![/url]

  4. d3 says:

    i had to look up narghile:
    [url=]also known as hookah[/url]

  5. Ralph S. says:

    EARLY SEASON (Haiku)

    first snow on the ground

    blown edges, zippered bases

    orthopedic woe

  6. Stan says:

    So you got snow over in Utah…nice :)

    What is the usual average snow pack depth in around Park City or in Wasatch January through March? Thanks.

  7. Andrew says:

    It was more of a double-triple helping of quixotry. ;)

  8. Eric says:

    I was out today at alta. about 1 foot and great for beginning the season and getting stoked for the season

  9. Andrew says:

    Hi Eric – I changed my mind and ended up going out as well. Maybe we crossed paths up there?

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