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Thursday May 18, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Up to 1m has fallen in Colorado and in Canada Grouse Mountain has re-opened as more snow falls. A handful of resorts remain open and are hosting end of season events after the fresh snowfall. UPDATED

A huge snowstorm has hit parts of the Rocky Mountains in the USA.

Colorado, Utah and Wyoming have all seen some unseasonal snowfalls.

Some high altitude areas in Colorado have received around 1m of fresh snow as storm Valerie has hit.

The resort of Arapahoe Basin is still open and has seen 50cm of snow with hundreds of people out enjoying the powder.

The resort was able to open the Pallavicini chairlift.

The lift had previously been closed for the spring.

Bennett Levine's video below was filmed on 18th May 2017 at Arapahoe Basin:

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado

And on Saturday, 20th, it was beachwear on the slopes: Cool

Over 100 people braved the elements and got creative with their ski wear and incorporated snorkels, water wings, bikinis, trunks, and pool floats for the resort's2nd Annual Swimwear Day. 

They skied and snowboarded down the High Noon run in the light snowfall.

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado


















Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado















Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado


















Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado















Photo credit: Ashley Ojala/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

PlanetSKI visited Arapahoe Basin last season on our 4-week North America road trip - see here for our report on the resort and other areas in Colorado.

Here are a few selected snowfall totals from Valerie as reported by US media:  
  • Colorado: 38.2 inches near Ward; 26 inches in El Dorado Springs; 16.5 inches at Breckenridge
  • Idaho: 11.0 inches near Pierce; 9.0 inches near the Red River Hot Springs
  • Montana: 31 inches near Nye; 6 inches in Bozeman; 4.5 inches in east Missoula
  • Utah: 7.2 inches at Alta; 5.0 inches near Smithfield; 0.3 inches in downtown Salt Lake City
  • Wyoming: 17.0 inches at Teton Pass (8,200 feet); 9 inches near Laramie; 4-5 inches in Rawlins
Winter is backWinter is back













Officials are warning of very high avalanche danger in Rocky Mountain National Park.

People are being advised not to travel in avalanche-prone areas.

Everyone planning to hike, snowshoe or ski in the park are being urged to have the correct safety equipment and know how to use it.

Winter is backWinter is back

One of our readers, Fiona Young, is in the ski resort of Breckenridge in Colorado, USA.

"Shorts and flip flops yesterday then woke up to this this morning, 2 feet and still coming down. Thought the weather in Scotland was crazy. I think I need to borrow some footwear!" said Fiona.

She posted the pictures below on social media.

Breckenridge, USABreckenridge, USA


Breckenridge, USABreckenridge, USA

Further north in Canada the the ski resort of Grouse Mountain, near Vancouver, saw more than 30cm of fresh snow and decided to do the sensible thing.

Re-start a lift and open some ski runs.

"Good news for all you skiers and riders out there, we've had 32cm of new snow in the last 24 hours!!" said the resort in a statement.

"Our Downhill area will be open via the Screaming Eagle Express starting at noon.  Blue Grouse Loop is available for snowshoeing today but the rest of our snowshoe trails will remain on Standby as snow stability assessments are conducted." 

Snowing on Grouse Mountain below:

Grouse Mountain, CanadaGrouse Mountain, Canada

Grouse Mountain 17 May 2017Grouse Mountain 17 May 2017

A number of ski resorts remain open in North America after the bumper snow of last winter.


British Colombia: Whistler - 22nd May (Blackcomb closed).

Blackcomb has six lifts running -  7th Heaven Express, Jersey Cream Express, Catskinner, Solar Coaster Express, Excelerator Express and Wizard Express.

There are 3,780 acres of skiable terrain with 22 groomed runs open.

Springboard to the Solar Coaster Express is the best run.

Whistler. c/o Mitch Winton-Coast Mountain PhotographyWhistler. c/o Mitch Winton-Coast Mountain Photography















Alberta: Sunshine Village - 22nd May.

"We had another 5cm of snow last night and there is still great coverage with no bare patches or rocks showing through. It is cloudy again and still feels like winter," said PlanetSKI reporter, Alex Cove, who lives in nearby Banff and works in Sunshine Village as a ski instructor.

Sunshine VillageSunshine Village


Squaw Valley - All summer? - Mammoth Mountain - 4th July.

Mammoth MountainMammoth Mountain















Nevada: Mt Rose - 29th May.

Oregon: Timberline - September? - Mt Bachelor - 28th May.

Colorado: Arapahoe Basin - 4th June.


Breckenridge -18 May 2017 (Photo: Instagram Gabriela Sauerhoff Vallecillo)Breckenridge -18 May 2017 (Photo: Instagram Gabriela Sauerhoff Vallecillo)

Wyoming - 18 May 2017 (Photo: Instagram Sean Schaub)Wyoming - 18 May 2017 (Photo: Instagram Sean Schaub)

Utah: Snowbird - 29th May.

Vermont: Killington - Weekends until the snow melts. 

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article with more pictures and information so do check back...

It seems winter isn't quite over yet!

UPDATE: And it seems the return of winter in not just confined to North America here is Verbier on Friday 19th May:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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