The first ski area in the US opened this weekend: Wild Mountain in Minnesota.

Before you get too excited, take a good look at the pic above.

I know there’s a certain cachet with being the first ski area in to sell lift tickets. It brings a lot of publicity. And it’s great to put on your marketing materials. But if this is all there is, are they really and truly open? Wouldn’t it be more correct to say “Partially Open?” Or  even “Openish?” And if this was all that was open in the spring, would they be so quick to keep the lifts running?

I’m as anxious as the next person to get out there and ski. My last ski day was sometime in April, and I’m dying to click into my bindings and take a few turns. So I can readily understand why people want to get out there. And why they’re probably flocking to Wild Mountain.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be seeing a lot more mountains opening with a single White Ribbon of Death. I have mixed feelings about skiing like this. Conditions are generally dicey, and the WROD can get pretty crowded, too. Nonetheless, it’s hard to resist the pull after the long summer ski drought.

And really, you have to admit, it looks kind of sad……..

Your thoughts?