Where to Ride This Fall
Colorado's Arapahoe Basin and Loveland opened for the season this week, meaning winter has officially arrived early this year. Other resorts around the country are slated to be opening soon. Here are nine places you can ski and snowboard this fall, likely even before Halloween.
Timberline on Oregon's Mount Hood has a reputation as one of the best places to ride in the summer, but in most years, you can also ski and snowboard here in the fall, too. When snow allows, the upper snowfield can be lapped in October on the Palmer lift. It can snow in any month at Mount Hood, but winter weather usually starts in November.
Boreal Mountain is known as one of the first to open every year in Northern California. Located right off Interstate 80, near Donner Summit, Boreal has one of the highest base elevations in the area, allowing snowmaking to start as early as October.
Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
Mammoth Mountain, Calif., is known for epic spring park sessions and one of the longest seasons in North America. While the officially scheduled opening is the second week of November, early-season storms in the Sierra have been known to let Mammoth open in October.
Killington, Vt., is well known for early openings in the Northeast. With a massive snowmaking fleet and the second-tallest peak in Vermont, Killington has been able to open with a small terrain park as early as late September, but the resort usually opens at the beginning of November.
Arapahoe Basin, Colo.
Arapahoe Basin, Colo., opened on Sunday as the first resort in the country to officially open for the winter season. Neighboring Loveland opened on Thursday. Both resorts typically compete to open first every fall with snowmaking starting as early as temperatures allow.
Hintertux Glacier, Austria
The Hintertux Glacier offers the only year-round skiing in Austria. By October, there is a full-sized terrain park drawing skiers and snowboarders from around the world hoping to get their tricks on point before the winter competition season starts.
Zermatt, Switzerland, is home to the highest lift-serviced skiing in Europe. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy a 365-day-long season on the Theodul glacier located on Klein Matterhorn. There is a full snowpark and normal groomed runs for those just looking to make some turns this fall.
Many countries around the world lack the proper terrain and snowfall to ski outside at any time during the year, but they have large enough skier populations to support indoor skiing. These giant refrigerated buildings are an option year-round in countries such as England, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.
For the most dedicated (and desperate) freeskiers and snowboarders on a budget, ice rink shavings in your back yard are the way to go. If you live within an hour of an ice rink, ask to take the leftover "snow" from the Zamboni after it resurfaced the ice and make your own fall rail setup at home.