A light dusting of snow covers the ground at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Wednesday morning. The planned opening for the ski area has been delayed a week until Saturday, Dec. 9, according to General Manager Dave Scanlan. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)

A light dusting of snow covers the ground at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Wednesday morning. The planned opening for the ski area has been delayed a week until Saturday, Dec. 9, according to General Manager Dave Scanlan. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)

Eaglecrest delays scheduled opening by one week until next Saturday, Dec. 9

Warm temperatures and rain dissolved much of ski area’s snowpack, but cold and snow in forecast.

Eaglecrest Ski Area plans to open on Saturday, Dec. 9, a week later than originally scheduled due to recent warm and wet weather that dissolved much of the mountain’s accumulated snow, although more favorable conditions are now in the forecast, General Manager Dave Scanlan said Wednesday.

“We’re just going to be monitoring the weather — it looks like maybe we’ve got some (conditions) coming where we can make snow and there’s natural snow in the forecast for tonight,” he said. “So we’re taking it day by day, and monitoring and trying to stay optimistic for next weekend.”

An announcement posted on Eaglecrest’s Facebook page on Wednesday states “even with the new snow, we need quite a bit more than it’s calling for this week. We will look ahead to 12/9 as our tentative new opening day, and as soon as conditions allow we will open for the season.”

Also, “as we do get more snow, keep in mind that early season hazards and conditions exist,” the announcement states. “The snow is shallow on the mountain. Steer clear of snowmaking equipment, cables, and hoses. Stay safe out there and travel with proper avalanche safety equipment.”

The original schedule called for opening the ski area this Saturday and Sunday, as well as the following weekend. Assuming it opens Dec. 9, it will then open for a “long weekend” Dec. 15-17 before opening daily during its holiday schedule Dec. 20-Jan. 7 (the ski area will be closed Christmas and New Year’s days).

But what the actual opening period will be is dependent on weather conditions, Scanlan said in an earlier interview this week.

“Basically as soon as physically possible,” he said. “Whenever we have kind of these warm weather patterns going into starting we’re doing everything we can to make as much snow and at least get the beginner lift open as soon as possible. So we just kind of monitor every couple days how we’re doing for temperatures and possible snowmaking, and do our best to communicate out once or twice a week and let everybody know how we’re doing.”

One big asset in getting Eaglecrest open is the ski area has seven new high-efficiency snow guns, adding to about a dozen other such guns and other older snowmakers, Scanlan said.

“We hope that two weeks, three weeks from now we might even be able to run 25 to 30 snow guns at one time,” he said.

Eaglecrest is scheduled to operate its regular season Wednesdays through Sundays from Jan. 10 to March 10, and then again between March 27 and April 7. It will be open daily during its spring break schedule between March 13-24.

The Ptarmigan and Black Bear chairlifts are scheduled to operate 9 a.m.-3 p.m. until Jan. 21, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Jan. 24 to Feb. 11, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 14 to April 7. The shorter Hooter and Porcupine lifts are also scheduled to be operating every day the ski area is open.

Season passes are available for $870 for adults, $750 for seniors 65-74, $595 for college students, $440 for teens ages 13-18, $245 for youths 7-12 and $32 for children up to 6 years old. There is no charge for people 75 and older.

Daily lift tickets range from $75 for adults 19-64 to $13 for children up to 6 years old. Half-day tickets starting at noon, lower mountain only access and other types of tickets are also available.

A snow bus is also scheduled to operate weekends and school holidays between the dorms at the University of Alaska Southeast and Eaglecrest, with multiple stops along the way between the Mendenhall Valley and downtown Juneau. The bus departs UAS at 7:45 a.m. and arrives at the ski area at 9:15 a.m., then departs Eaglecrest at 3:30 p.m. and returns to UAS at 4:50 p.m. Fares are $6 one-way, $11 round-trip and $89 for a season pass. Passengers must be at least 9 years old to ride without a parent or guardian.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

Jada Kahl takes her daughter Azalea Kahl up the Porcupine Lift at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Dec. 3, 2022, the opening day of last year’s season. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file photo)

Jada Kahl takes her daughter Azalea Kahl up the Porcupine Lift at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Dec. 3, 2022, the opening day of last year’s season. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file photo)

The Muskeg and Dolly Varden runs were available for Juneau skiers and boarders during Eaglecrest Ski Area’s opening weekend last year Dec. 3, 2022. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file photo)

The Muskeg and Dolly Varden runs were available for Juneau skiers and boarders during Eaglecrest Ski Area’s opening weekend last year Dec. 3, 2022. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file photo)

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