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Will This Be a Year of Deep, Light and Cold? Ski Area Opening Dates Around the Country

Aspen Highlands, courtesy Megan Harvey

Move over Colorado and Vermont. The mighty Midwest won the crown for having the first ski area to open for the 2012-13 winter season. Wild Mountain, in Taylor Falls, Minnesota, opened on Sunday, October 7th – a mere two weeks after fun-seekers were splashing down the Wild Mountain summer water slides. Not to be outdone in the “early season enthusiasm” department, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in central Colorado fired up a chairlift on October 17th, with one-percent of the mountain open.

It’s the time of year when late season bike rides give way to dreams of knee-deep powder turns – when our hopes of waking up to the sparkling blanket of new snow are as strong as a 12-year old’s excitement at the announcement of “Snow day, no school.”

Nikwax North American headquarters are in Seattle, also known as ground zero for the Pacific Northwest’s epic winter conditions from last season. Across the rest of North America, though, the 2011-12 winter was bleak.

As we roll into crisper nights and cooler days, we’re sending out good vibes for cold, deep snow to all the mountains across North America. With that in mind, we’ve collected a list of ski area resources and opening dates, by region. Pull your gear out of storage and give a hit of TX.Direct® to your ski wear so you’re ready to catch that first chair.

Happy hint: Early season skiing and riding can bring wet, sloppy weather. If your hands are cold, misery will follow. Take that discomfort and multiply it five-fold if your kids’ hands get cold. Help gloves perform to their peak by waterproofing with Nikwax. For leather mitts, nothing is more effective than Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather™. Use Nikwax Glove Proof for fabric or fabric/leather combo gloves. Happy hands = happy day.

Awesome ski and snowboard related resources:

On The SnowSki Net, and First Tracks Online

Pacific Northwest

Collected Pacific Northwest resort info, courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association

Plus a few of our favorites: Mount Baker, Washington (sometime in November); Crystal Mountain, Washington (TBD dependent on conditions); Mt. Bachelor, Oregon (slated for Nov. 21)

The West Coast and British Columbia

Full list of opening days at all Lake Tahoe, California, resorts – courtesy of; Whistler, BC (November 22); Bear Mountain, Southern California (TBD, dependent on conditions)

Utah and Intermountain West

Collected Utah resort info, courtesy of; Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming (November 24)

Colorado and the Southwest

Collected Colorado resort info, courtesy of; Collected New Mexico resort info, courtesy of


Collected resort info, courtesy of the Midwest Ski Area Association


Collected resort info, courtesy of

New England

Collected resort info, courtesy of

Here’s to a cold, snow-filled winter, with Nikwax helping you to stay warm and dry!

Your friends at Nikwax

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You Don’t Need a New Jacket!

You may know this story. You buy a brand new jacket. It is shiny and wondrous.

Bling bling!

You love your new jacket. You go places together, and it keeps you dry and toasty.

Time passes, as it inevitably does, and suddenly your jacket is no longer shiny. As a matter of fact, it seems to have become more absorbent than a sponge. Even if your jacket is Gore-Tex, if it wets out, you will be unhappy. The jacket will weigh you down with its soggy fabric. It will no longer be breathable. The rain might not get through to your skin, but you’re miserable all the same.

What do you do? This jacket was supposed to be waterproof. You storm back to the store and berate the employee who sold this jacket to you. False advertising is unacceptable!

However, the store associate knows her business. She tells you that like a car, outdoor gear needs proper maintenance. She shows you this stuff called Nikwax.

It’s easy to use! Just throw the offending jacket in the washer with Tech Wash first to clean it. Sometimes just cleaning will make your jacket work like new again. Dirt, oil and other grime can muck up the performance of your jacket, making it wet out. Be careful about cleaning your outdoor gear in detergents, they can leave behind a residue that will attract water to your gear, which is a bit counter productive! Tech Wash is a non-detergent cleaner and gets rid of grimy crud and detergent residue! Follow the instructions on the bottle so you know how much to use!

Washy washy!After that cycle is done, you have two options.

#1. You can call it good, and (if the care label allows) put your jacket in the dryer. This will help revitalize any factory applied DWR (durable water repellant) coating. That’s the stuff on the outside of your jacket that makes the water bead up. That’s what failed and allowed your jacket to soak up water. If your jacket is pretty haggard, you might just want to skip to option #2.

#2. You can run another cycle with Nikwax TX. Direct. This will add more of that wondrous DWR to your jacket. Follow the instructions on the bottle to know how much you need to use!

With TX.Direct you do not need to put your jacket in the dyer afterwards. You can if you want to, and the care label allows it, but it is not necessary with Nikwax waterproofing products, as they do not contain fluorocarbons! (Fluorocarbon-based waterproofing requires heat to activate). Save some energy and hang dry.

That’s it! After those steps your jacket will be happy and ready for the next adventure. This process can help you keep your jacket performing year after year! No need to throw it out, no need to buy a new jacket. Save money! Keep your gear out of the landfills! Also, all Nikwax products are created to be safe for you to use, and safe for the environment.

Now get out there and have fun outdoors!

Woohoo! Adventure!~The Nikwax Team