Greetings friends! I hope this post finds you doing well. It’s official! Lifts are spinning. The 2019/2020 winter snow season has begun. Keystone Ski Resort began spinning lifts on Saturday October 12. And gosh did they think they had won the opening day race.

Not to be beaten by the corporate behemoth, Vail Resorts, The Legend, Arapahoe Basin decided to open on Friday October 11 from 3:30-5:30pm.

#1 first to open. The Legend.

So now we have a handful of resorts open. Here’s what is open for the 19/20 season so far:

A-Basin Keystone Eldora Loveland Winter Park Killington Ski Brule Wild Mountain nights and weekends Monarch open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday Mt. Rose, NV open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday Sipapu open weekends Wolf Creek open weekends Cataloochee open weekends

By now maybe you’ve had the chance to make some turns, but for most of us it will be a bit longer. If you’re like me you have been thinking about the slopes since the summer and can’t wait to feel the cold air hitting your face as you glide down the mountain. For a great season, details in the planning can be key. So let’s get down to some trip planning business. If you have not booked your trip now is an ideal time to lock down your plans.


I recently wrote a detailed post about ski passes <here>. While prices have increased, it’s not to late to still buy a season pass. If you are going to ski or ride five or more days then I highly recommend an EPIC or IKON season’s pass. You can buy your ski passes here:




Now is a great time to book your flights for your trip or the whole season. Below you will find common routes and some prices I found. I do not guarantee these deals are still available but if you look hard you may still be able to find them.

Flying to Denver? Southwest and United offer some of the best flight options and prices. I found these flights:

Flights to DENVER, CO.


Boston (BOS) – Denver RT $240 Hartford (BDL) – Denver RT $364 Long Island (ISP) – Denver RT $253 New York City (LGA) – Denver RT $218 Chicago (MDW) – Denver RT $193 Boston (BOS) – Vail (EGE) RT $319 Tampa (TPA) – Vail (EGE) RT $346 Boston (BOS) – Denver RT $258

These dates don’t work for ya, wanna go a little later in the month, how ’bout these:


Boston (BOS) – Denver RT $240 Hartford (BDL) – Denver RT $410 Long Island (ISP) – Denver RT $325 New York City (LGA) – Denver RT $182 Chicago (MDW) – Denver RT $141 Boston (BOS) – Vail (EGE) RT $398 Tampa (TPA) – Vail (EGE) RT $379

Don’t like the mile high state, check out Jackson for unparalleled wildlife viewing and amazing back and side country skiing and snowboarding.

Flights to JACKSON, WY.


Denver (DEN) – Jackson RT $319 Reno (RNO) – Jackson RT $517 Chicago (ORD) – Jackson RT $442 Atlanta (ATL) – Jackson RT $418 Boston (BOS) – Jackson RT $435


Boston (BOS) – Jackson RT $550 Hartford (BDL) – Jackson RT $611 Denver (DEN) – Jackson RT $349 Reno (RNO) – Jackson RT $517 Chicago (ORD) – Jackson RT $515 Atlanta (ATL) – Jackson RT $450 Newark (EWR) – Jackson RT $542

Maybe Salt Lake is more your thing. So many great skiing and riding options just 30 minutes from SLC. Check out these deals from SLC:

Flights to SALT LAKE CITY, UT.


Denver (DEN) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $119 UNITED RT $169 SW Reno (RNO) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $186 UNITED RT $221 SW Hartford (BDL) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $378 UNITED RT $459 SW Chicago (ORD) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $237 UNITED RT $338 SW Atlanta (ATL) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $315 UNITED RT $370 SW Boston (BOS) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $257 UNITED RT $290 SW Newark (EWR) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $314 UNITED RT $244 SW


Denver (DEN) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $101 Reno (RNO) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $196 Hartford (BDL) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $396 Chicago (ORD) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $237 Atlanta (ATL) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $266 Boston (BOS) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $296 Newark (EWR) – Salt Lake City (SLC) RT $293

Lake Tahoe anyone?

Flights to RENO, NV.


Denver (DEN) – Reno (RNO) RT $226 Salt Lake City (SLC) – Reno (RNO) RT $230 Hartford (BDL) – Reno (RNO) RT $490 Chicago (MDY) – Reno (RNO) RT $419 Chicago (ORD) – Reno (RNO) RT $347 Atlanta (ATL) – Reno (RNO) RT $254 Boston (BOS) – Reno (RNO) RT $361 New York (LGA) – Reno (RNO) RT $449 New York (EWR) – Reno (RNO) RT $311


Denver (DEN) – Reno (RNO) RT $275 Salt Lake City (SLC) – Reno (RNO) RT $196 Hartford (BDL) – Reno (RNO) RT $555 Chicago (MDY) – Reno (RNO) RT $364 Chicago (ORD) – Reno (RNO) RT $347 Atlanta (ATL) – Reno (RNO) RT $230 Boston (BOS) – Reno (RNO) RT $514 New York (LGA) – Reno (RNO) RT $414 New York (EWR) – Reno (RNO) RT $184

There are some really good deals out there if you search. Make sure you take into account all fees including baggage when comparing prices. I primarily use United and Southwest for my travel but there are other airlines that offer similar if not better deals.


We continue to receive some very entertaining feedback. You sent us a little bit of everything. We received replies on FB and IG as well as the website WWW.THRILLOFTHEMOUNTAIN.COM
You sent us texts, emails, notes, emojis and emoji-cons. Thank you. We are grateful for anything we receive and send thanks to those who send us stuff, anything. Keep it coming my friends. Here’s some of what you sent to us recently:

Was a great read.

as well as

This is great – thanks for sharing!!

We love sharing our pics and stories and I always enjoy a good read myself.

Received some shoutouts for our contributing authors.

Mark Gerardy is a maniac.

FACT: people who enjoy extreme sports can generally be considered maniacs. So yes, it’s probably true Mark Gerardy is a maniac.

One of the more calculated risk takers, contributing author Christina Barteaux certainly has her followers.

Give my best to Mountain Girl

received this one for her as well

I feel for her

I feel for her too, on some days. It’s not easy dealing with criminals by day and living with a mountain man at night. Anyway, all messages are forwarded along to their intended recipient.

Passes – I wrote about this above, but it you have not gotten your pass yet, you should. This reader certainly had some foresight when he sent his first message.

Think I’m gonna grab another epic pass before they start jacking prices

I hope you did because when you sent this last text that’s all I could think about . . .

Well it’s finally happened – I’m getting blown out sometime next year. Outsourcing the whole operation. Looks like I may have some more time to ski this winter!

Sounds like you may have a whole bunch of turns in your future and btw I hope you bought your pass. You know why? This reader does . .

I’m sure it’s going to be another EPIC year.

You can never underestimate the power of positive thinking.



Most resorts are just opening or have been opened for just a short time. Early season conditions exist most everywhere but good snow and terrain can be found. There is snow out there; some natural and some man made. It’s fresh in some spots and frozen and crusty in others. Conditions continue to change daily with the yo-yo in temps. New snow combined with snow making operations will help open more terrain soon. We are hearing good things coming out of the resorts:

Surprising good snow for this time of the year. Icy and crusty only in a few spots.

as well as

New and more terrain is opening daily . . .

Conditions and terrain should only improve through the month. So get out there and report back to us what it’s like now.


Creekside @ Beaver Creek; always a great option.

From one guest:

You helped save the day when our lodging options were not up to par.

If you don’t want to end up sleeping in a shack, reach out.

If you need help with lodging, especially last-minute, reach out to us at:

The earlier you reach out the more options we have. We know people. And we may be able to help you.


Resort Guiding

We are offering all-inclusive resort guiding for you and your family at a discounted rate. Our guides can handle from 1 to 6 people. The day will be customized and tailored to your group and groups needs. A fun day is in store. If this is something you have an interest in?


Transportation to and from the mountain. If you are looking for a tour, one of our driver/guides will be more than happy to tour you around for the day. Alternatively, you can just ski or ride alone. This is an all day tour that may start slope-side or at an agreed upon destination. Lift ticket is not included in any adventure. You must purchase a lift ticket or have a ski pass for access to the mountain. Cost of adventure is for consulting, logistics, transportation and vehicle expenses. Additional cost for airport and surrounding area pick-ups.

Please reach out, we’ll make it happen. Some feedback we received from recent tours:

Had an amazing time!!

and this one

It really was an amazing ski vacation!

Thank you. I had a blast. I look forward to it again next year. This always makes me feel good:

Thanks for your expertise on the slopes. Skiing with you is not only enjoyable, it’s reassuring because YOU KNOW THE MOUNTAIN!

Well I am a mountain man. Enjoyed this gem:

Thanks for the pics. They are awesome. Thanks for capturing those precious moments.

Glad I could help in making special memories. Received this in my inbox:

We had the best time ever!! Thank you for navigating the mountain for us, for the snow shoe tour, for teaching us how to ski better and for being so wonderful and patient and welcoming to our entire crew!!

Loved seeing this:

Wow. That was fun.

Yes, yes it was. And the cherry on the cake comes in the form of feedback from this recent tour:

It’s all about you CM MAN, thanks for the best best tour I have ever been on. I WOULD NEVER HAVE GONE TO ANY OF THE AREAS WITHOUT YOUR EXPERT KNOWLEDGE

We love writing about the mountains and mountain activities, but even more, we love sharing it with everyone-with all of you. Want to find out what it’s all about? It’s not to late to book for this season. We still have some dates available. Need your whole trip planned from soup to nuts??? Is this you? We can help you too. Whether we just spend a day with you or we plan your whole trip, we are happy to do what we do. We have all of your winter adventures covered.  We promise you and your family will have a great time. And for those that want feedback from our soup to nuts trip planning and consulting . . .


We can’t thank You guys enough for another amazing trip!!! We can’t wait to do it again next year. 

Thanks so much for including the novice skier! Look forward to seeing you all again.

Dude. Just got home. Thank you for an incredible weekend!!!

Thanks everyone. We do this because we love it. It’s our passion. It’s our business.

When you know . . you know!!!
What a day!!!


Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 5.55.17 PM
blue short sleeve shirt

We have t-shirts, long sleeve shirts and stickers for sale. Shirts come in Large and X-Large sizes only.  If you or anyone you know wants a Trill of the Mountain shirt or sticker they can be ordered <here>

We’ve added some new merchandise this season including a North Face fleece pullover with the Thrill of the Mountain logo as well as reusable tote bags also with our logo. These should be up and available for sale soon.

Our annual Thrill of the Mountain calendar will be up soon. If you like looking at awesome winter landscpes and snow this is a great opportunity to support us and the great charities below. We could not do this without your help.

A portion of all sales will go to charitable causes. Current charitable donations go to:

  • Kahn Academy
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates CASA / Guardian ad Litem GAL
  • Chidamoyo Christian Hospital


Wishing everyone a fun season. Ski on.

Thanks Mark for keeping the stoke alive.


Sweet picture @ Glacier National
Happy Birthday friend. 50 looks great on ya.
What a beauty!!!
Look at her go . . .
CO looks good on you guys.
Who doesn’t love a coconut porter?



Thanks again for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you all have a great finish to your week. Until next time, love one another and be kind to each other. Get out there, The Thrill of the Mountain is waiting for you. Ski on/ Ride On.


 Want to be an author and can write about the mountains or mountain life? If so, contact us

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