“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)

“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)

Eaglecrest opening on hold till weather chills out

Historically bad weather has postponed the opening until the temperature drops.

A week of unabated rain has delayed Eaglecrest’s season opening, turning the snow into slush, said a spokesperson for the ski area.

“We’re in a holding pattern until the mountain can dry out,” said Charlie Herrington, marketing manager for Eaglecrest Ski Area, in a phone interview Friday. “When the cold returns, the snow will cure, and we can drive the machines over it again.”

Record-setting rainfall and warm temperatures pushed back a previously scheduled Dec. 5 opening, Herrington said, as the snow is not good for winter sports right now.

“Given all the rain this week and continuing, conditions for skiing and snowboarding aren’t gonna be fun,” Herrington said. “We want to preserve the snow in its current condition so it cures when cold returns.”

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Herrington urged guests not to visit the ski area so that when the cold sets in and cured it, it would make for the best possible conditions on the eventual opening day.

“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)

“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)

“We would have loved to see everyone on the mountain this weekend. Instead, please stay safe and dry at home,” Herrington said in an email. “The saturated snowpack is still sensitive and would prefer to be left alone.”

Despite sloppy conditions, Herrington was optimistic about the future. The snowpack is nearly two feet deeper on this date in December than in the previous two years, Herrington said, hovering at approximately 19 inches despite losses to the rain.

“All things considered, it could be a lot worse. The mountain still looks nice and white, and this early December snowpack is still the deepest we’ve had in years,” Herrington said. “We are cautiously optimistic that we can ride out this next batch of rain and patch up the slopes as soon as it’s cold enough to get the groomers back on the snow.”

Current conditions are available at https://skieaglecrest.com/conditions/.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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