Eaglecrest’s Porcupine Lift to open Saturday

Skiers and riders enjoy the upper mountain on a beautiful day last year. The ski area still needs more snow before Hooter, Ptarmigan or Black Bear lifts can open. Porcupine Lift opens Saturday at 9 a.m.

It’s not the full mountain, but Eaglecrest Ski Area will open the Porcupine Lift on Saturday.

Eaglecrest General Manager Matt Lillard says a lot of man-made snow covers Dolly Varden and Muskeg beginners’ trails.

The first Saturday of December is always Eaglecrest’s target opening, but Lillard says it became clear about a week ago that enough natural snow would not fall by then, “so we decided that we can make enough snow with our snowmaking crew and our guns to open up the Porcupine area.”

He says the conditions on Porcupine are “really really good.  So we’re excited to open up, get the season going and we just hope Mother Nature fills in the rest of the mountain in the meantime.”

Mother Nature has a lot to fill in. The Eaglecrest website shows 33 inches of snow at the top of Ptarmigan and 12 inches at the base.  Lillard says another two feet of wet heavy snow would be ideal for opening up the rest of the mountain.

He says the city-owned ski area has enough snow-making capability to pump out the fake stuff from Porcupine to an area called the “flats,” at the bottom of Ptarmigan Lift.  He expects to move the guns further up the mountain in the next day or so.

“We already started making some snow there about three weeks ago, and we’ll continue to do that and fill in some holes in the flats.  Our goal is to get open as soon as we possibly can and we’re going to use every resource we have to do that,” he says.

Food service, the ski, rental and repair shops will be open on Saturday, and Porcupine Lift will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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