Several ski areas took full advantage snowfall and cold temperatures this week, allowing them to kick start the ski season ahead of schedule. Five destinations in Colorado, Nevada, Vermont, and Maine will spin their lifts Friday and Saturday. Southern Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski Area became the first ski area or resort in the nation to open for the 2018-19 season.

Related: Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski Area Is Open

In the West, Colorado's Arapahoe Basin, which is usually the first or one of the first in the country to open, will rev up its Black Mountain Express at 9 a.m. on Friday.

"We're really excited to open. It's our 72nd season and it never gets old," says Leigh Hierholzer, Arapahoe Basin's director of marketing and communications.


It’s looking like winter at Arapahoe Basin.
PHOTO: Ashley Ojala

Arapahoe Basin's neighbor and rival in the race to open, Loveland Ski Area, will begin its season on Saturday, spinning their new high-speed detachable quad, Chet's Dream, at 8:30 a.m.

"Some years we open up and it's brown with one hill of man-made snow. This year though, we have had two feet of snow in the past 10 days and things are looking great," says John Sellers, marketing director of Loveland Ski Area.

Nevada's Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, located 25 miles outside of Reno, will open its Wizard lift on Friday to season-pass holders only.

In the East, Vermont's Killington Resort will open Friday for season-pass and express-card holders, and Saturday to the general public. The K-1 Gondola will start loading at 10 a.m.

Thanks to a new and improved snowmaking system, Maine's Sunday River will also join in on the fun Friday at 10 a.m., opening the T2 trail on upper Locke Mountain.

If you’re looking for an excuse to take a three-day weekend, now might be your time to shine. First chair awaits.