Eaglecrest Ski Area will open for the season on Saturday.
It will be a limited opening with only the Porcupine chair spinning, but a chance to put gear in lockers, get season pass photos taken, and make a few shake-down turns.
The rental shop, grill, and Mountain Lift Coffee will be open, but the Snow Bus will not be running.
Snowsports School Director Jeffra Clough says a lot more snow is needed on the rest of the mountain.
“Staff has been up monitoring it, but Mother Nature just hasn’t given us quite enough yet. We’re able to make a little bit more snow on the bottom of Ptarmigan but we just need Mother Nature to help us fill in. There’s a lot of gullies and open areas and rocks and it’s just not a safe environment yet, but we’re excited to have the porcupine chair open,” Clough says.
There’s plenty of precedent for a so-called soft opening, including last year when the city-owned ski area opened only the Porcupine area on the first Saturday of December. That’s the day planned in the city budget.
Porcupine Lift will operate on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, voting is still underway in the Final 4 round of the Ski Town Throwdown.
Eaglecrest is paired against Mount Bohemia, a small ski area in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Both mountains got more votes in their respective regions in Powder Magazine’s March Madness-style popularity contest.
You can vote Tuesday until 8 p.m. Alaska time on Powder Magazine’s Facebook page.
- August 28, 2015- Renewable energy, climate change and port development were all highlighted at the U.S. Arctic Research Commission’s second day in Nome, but it was a special announcement about the president’s upcoming visit to Alaska that got the room buzzing.
- August 28, 2015- Details are finally shaking out about Obama’s Alaska visit. The White House says the president will announce new policy initiatives while he’s here.
- August 28, 2015- "They sprayed every one of our hair and clothes with kerosene. At sixth grade I dropped out," says Nora Marks Dauenhauer.
- August 28, 2015- British Columbia Mines Minister Bill Bennett says tailings dams can be a safe part of his province's mines.