Aspen Highlands, courtesy Megan Harvey

Move over Colorado and Vermont. The mighty Midwest won the crown for having the first ski area to open for the 2012-13 winter season. Wild Mountain, in Taylor Falls, Minnesota, opened on Sunday, October 7th – a mere two weeks after fun-seekers were splashing down the Wild Mountain summer water slides. Not to be outdone in the “early season enthusiasm” department, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in central Colorado fired up a chairlift on October 17th, with one-percent of the mountain open.

It’s the time of year when late season bike rides give way to dreams of knee-deep powder turns – when our hopes of waking up to the sparkling blanket of new snow are as strong as a 12-year old’s excitement at the announcement of “Snow day, no school.”

Nikwax North American headquarters are in Seattle, also known as ground zero for the Pacific Northwest’s epic winter conditions from last season. Across the rest of North America, though, the 2011-12 winter was bleak.

As we roll into crisper nights and cooler days, we’re sending out good vibes for cold, deep snow to all the mountains across North America. With that in mind, we’ve collected a list of ski area resources and opening dates, by region. Pull your gear out of storage and give a hit of TX.Direct® to your ski wear so you’re ready to catch that first chair.

Happy hint: Early season skiing and riding can bring wet, sloppy weather. If your hands are cold, misery will follow. Take that discomfort and multiply it five-fold if your kids’ hands get cold. Help gloves perform to their peak by waterproofing with Nikwax. For leather mitts, nothing is more effective than Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather™. Use Nikwax Glove Proof for fabric or fabric/leather combo gloves. Happy hands = happy day.

Awesome ski and snowboard related resources:

On The SnowSki Net, and First Tracks Online

Pacific Northwest

Collected Pacific Northwest resort info, courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association

Plus a few of our favorites: Mount Baker, Washington (sometime in November); Crystal Mountain, Washington (TBD dependent on conditions); Mt. Bachelor, Oregon (slated for Nov. 21)

The West Coast and British Columbia

Full list of opening days at all Lake Tahoe, California, resorts – courtesy of; Whistler, BC (November 22); Bear Mountain, Southern California (TBD, dependent on conditions)

Utah and Intermountain West

Collected Utah resort info, courtesy of; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming (November 24)

Colorado and the Southwest

Collected Colorado resort info, courtesy of; Collected New Mexico resort info, courtesy of


Collected resort info, courtesy of the Midwest Ski Area Association


Collected resort info, courtesy of

New England

Collected resort info, courtesy of

Here’s to a cold, snow-filled winter, with Nikwax helping you to stay warm and dry!

Your friends at Nikwax

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