The night is dark and full of snow blowers. Winter is finally coming.
Eaglecrest Ski Area had its first run of snow-making over the weekend after temperatures finally dropped. The general manager reported that they ran nine guns, a record amount, from Friday night until around noon on Sunday, a total of 65 hours. This happened after they had to push back opening day from last Saturday to this weekend due to warm weather conditions.
“Our plan is tomorrow we are going to be out with our snow groomers and we are going to be moving around all the snow that we made,” said Dave Scanlan, general manager. He said they will know better about what opening day will look like after they get out and start shaping the slopes and see how much snow is actually there. Opening day is currently scheduled for Dec. 8.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we will have enough,” Scanlan said.
The ski trail Muskeg on the Porcupine Lift will be open if conditions cooperate.
And more snow is on the way, snow forecast or not. Five newly-arrived used snow-making guns that Eaglecrest bought from Titus Mountain Family Ski Center in upstate New York sit in the parking lot, waiting to be fired up.
The new guns are part of an ongoing effort to modernize and expand the snow-making on the mountain. They cost $4,000 a piece, and were paid for out of the yearly general Eaglecrest Capital Improvement Project fund.
“It will allow us to open faster and be more reactive when we’re having really warm weather,” Scanlan said. “That way when we have a short window of cold temperatures like this weekend, we are really able to make a big impact and cover the ski trails at a fraction of the time it used to take us,” he said.
View updated mountain conditions and view live webcams for Eaglecrest at www.skieaglecrest.com/conditions.
• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @holyguacamollie.