Record editorial: Parkites are hopeful for a special ski season

It hasn’t exactly been the start to the ski season that most Parkites have been dreaming of since the lifts stopped turning last spring.

After an encouraging October that saw several snow storms, the weather in November has not been cooperative. Warm and dry conditions have hampered the ski areas’ snowmaking efforts, forcing Park City Mountain Resort to delay its scheduled Nov. 19 opening day.

And yet, it seems we will at last have skiing and snowboarding this weekend. PCMR announced midweek that it will open limited terrain on the Canyons Village side of the resort Sunday, officially kicking off winter in Park City. Hopefully, the Park City side of the mountain will also be ready to go in short order, followed by opening day at Deer Valley Resort early next month and Woodward Park City beginning its winter operations.

The good news is this: A less-than-stellar November is not necessarily an accurate indication of the winter that will follow. There have been plenty of banner ski seasons in Park City that did not get off to a rip-roaring start, and Parkites still have reason to be optimistic about how the next few months will unfold. It will only take a few powder days for skiers and snowboarders to forget all about this poor early-season weather.

In truth, though, this ski season is shaping up to be something to celebrate regardless of the weather forecast. A year after the pandemic necessitated a more solitary skiing and snowboarding experience, the on-mountain adventures this winter appear likely to be relatively normal (though that could change if the health situation requires more stringent coronavirus restrictions).

Thanks to the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, we’ll be able to meet up with friends on the hill without necessarily needing to socially distance, share lifts with people who aren’t in our immediate family and enjoy ample apres ski without the fear that we could end up hospitalized with a potentially deadly disease.

In short, this winter is poised to see the return of many of the things that make a day on the slopes so special. It would be a welcome development if the pandemic finally ends by the dawn of next ski season, allowing us to truly move beyond it — but for now we’ll enjoy the festivities that this season is sure to bring.

And if Mother Nature ever gets around to doing her part, we’ll be waiting, ready to take advantage of the powder days and soak in the joy of a ski season that resembles those prior to the pandemic.

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