Ski Mountains Opening


Jordan Brickner.

Scotty Boyer doing a boardslide on a rail at Big Boulder, PA.

Scott Boyer, Writer

With all the new mountains opening earlier this year, skiers and snowboarders are able to get a jump on their season. Low prices in early season give an incentive for people to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. 


Big Boulder, Mt Snow, Hunter Mountain, and many other ski slopes are already opened and ready for the season. Opening before Thanksgiving is a huge benefit for the reputation and helps bring more income. These mountains will keep people coming back to them knowing that there will be fresh snow and open trails. 


Big Boulder is known to be one of the first mountains to open in Pennsylvania. This gives them a better reputation and a more attractive place to go. They have the benefit of being in the Poconos which puts Big Boulder at a higher altitude, making it easier to make and keep snow. 


With mountains opening sooner, it is difficult to start out with an early season for people who have other sports that they play in the fall. Oakdale Sophomore Austin Gaskill explained that, “Many other sports will make you sign a contract that will say that you cannot go snowboarding or skiing.” 


Most teams will value safety and do not want injuries from a high risk activity. “You’ll have to balance the time between them, and practices may overlap,” said Zoe Lacheweitz, another sophomore. 


In the case that there is not a contract that restricts someone from extreme sports like snowboarding, there will be many practices for the sport and it does not allow for much free time. 


Offseason is important to snowboarders who take the sport seriously, since there are shorter seasons on the east coast, there are alternatives during the summer. “Skateboarding or surfing is a good alternative,” said Gaskill. 


Both activities are quite similar to snowboarding and can do both of them locally. It takes  three hours to drive to Ocean City to surf in the summer, and skateboarding can be done anywhere and everywhere. Many of the movements are in all three sports are relatively the same. 


Early openings for these smaller mountains can be more inviting as they can advertise for a cheaper lift ticket rate to get more customers on the slopes. “It should be cheaper because it is early season” Gaskill supported. 


People will most likely travel a few hours more to get half off prices for the same amount of open terrain. The larger mountains do not usually have to cut their prices because they can receive a crowd either way, as they are more known. 


“It should stay the same price because its just opening earlier” Lacheweitz explained. They are not giving out any special terrain or events, so there is no reason to be cutting prices as they are just opening. 


The mountains that are able to open up sooner than other can bring in more revenue. Skiers and Snowboarders will recognize that they open early and it gives these mountains a better reputation and help them in the long run.