Early snowfall beckons Utah skiers to take some turns in the mountains

Brian Head saw 5 inches fall, giving it a good start toward its anticipated Nov. 10 opening day.

(Jessee Lynch/Brian Head Resort) Jeremy Sorensen takes his snowboard for a ride at Brian Head Resort near Cedar City after a storm dropped 5 inches there Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. Brian Head has expectations of becoming the first Utah ski area to open for the second season in a row. It has set Nov. 10 as its anticipated opening date.

Later in the season, skiers and snowboarders might complain about how little snow cover a resort has. But on Oct. 1, a couple of inches will do just fine.

Brian Head Resort saw 5 inches of snowfall between Sunday and Monday, which was enough for Jeremy Sorensen to break out his snowboard and make some turns Sunday with some golden fall leaves as his backdrop. The Cedar City resort has the highest base of all Utah’s ski areas and, subsequently, got the most snow in the first measurable storm of the season.

Still, it wasn’t the only resort to get snow or to see skiers and riders.

Snowbird picked up 4 inches in the storm, Eagle Point recorded 3 inches and Alta an inch, according to the forecasting site OpenSnow.com. Even at Brighton, where no measurable snow was reported, a couple of inches accumulated on lift structures and coated the ground below. Tracks could be found around Guardsman Pass.

Officially, the ski season isn’t expected to begin for another month. Brian Head has designs on opening Nov. 10, which could make it the first Utah resort to open for the second season in a row. Last season it opened Nov. 4, the earliest opening in the resort’s history.

Solitude, Park City Mountain and Alta, meanwhile, have all set their starting date for Nov. 17. Deer Valley has designated Dec. 2 as its winter kickoff, as have Nordic Valley and Sundance. Meanwhile, Powder Mountain will begin with night skiing on Dec. 7 and Eagle Point has picked Dec. 15 as its start date. The rest of the state’s resorts will wait and see what the storms bring.

All opening dates are dependent on conditions, of course. If this storm proves anything, though, it’s that it doesn’t take much coverage to convince locals to break out their boots and boards.