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Wed., Nov. 20, 2013, 12:57 p.m.

Skiers: Lookout Pass opens Thursday, Schweitzer and Mt. Spokane Saturday

Snowmaking equipment fills in the runs on Nov. 20, 2013, as Schweitzer Mountain Resort prepares for a Nov. 23 opening of its skiing season. (courtesy)
Snowmaking equipment fills in the runs on Nov. 20, 2013, as Schweitzer Mountain Resort prepares for a Nov. 23 opening of its skiing season. (courtesy)

UPDATED 11-20-13 at 2:30 p.m. with info on Silver Mountain.

WINTER SPORTS -- Lookout Pass Ski Area plans to open for the winter season on Thursday, Nov. 21, and Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park have just announced they will open on Saturday, Nov. 23.

This will be the first time the Mount Spokane resort has opened before Thanksgiving in many years, operators say.

These resorts will join 49 Degrees North, which opened for one day on Sunday and will reopen on Friday.

Silver Mountain Resort is scheduled to open Nov. 29.

Resorts that are opening are on limited schedules with limited runs until more snow comes and allows full operations.

Read on for details from each resort:

Schweitzer Mountain Resort will open Saturday, Nov. 23 and operate through Sunday with 400 acres of open terrain served by the Basin Express and Musical Chairs lifts. These two chairs are scheduled to operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during opening weekend. The mountain will include a few intermediate park features and the Nordic system will have limited groomed runs.

Schweitzer will close down mid-week and then re-open on Friday, Nov. 29 for the weekend.

Lift tickets this weekend will be at the reduced rate of $45 for everyone except for children 6 and under who ski free. For those individuals who only wish to ski on Musical Chairs tickets prices will be $25. Schweitzer’s Sunday-Friday passholders may also ski this Saturday at no charge. Sunday Solution will be available on Sunday, half day ticket are only $25 if purchased in advance online, or $35 at the ticket window.

A new ticket product this year is our Beginner Sunday Solution Ticket. A Sunday afternoon Musical Chairs lift ticket will be free of charge to anyone. A voucher must be printed online and brought to the ticket window; otherwise the ticket price is $10 at the window.

Schweitzer has received 40 inches of natural snow so far this season in the village and base depths range for 1 – 3 feet depending on elevation. This weekend’s weather forecasts are calling for sunny skies and mild temps in the lower thirties. Skiing and snowboarding is recommended on groomed trails as early season conditions exist with variable snowpack.

On mountain parking will be free this weekend and the shuttle from the “Red Barn” parking lot will be running on the midweek schedule. The full bus schedule is available online.

Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area will open for the season on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 9 a.m.  A major winter storm dropped a total of 21" on the ski area over the weekend. The majority of the front side of the mountain will be open with top-to-bottom skiing off Chair 1 with a minimum of 10 runs. Chair 4 "Success" will also be open and the Snowsports School will be in full operation.

 "Our groomers are busy packing down the weekend snowfall and conditions should continue to improve throughout the week," said Phil Edholm, President and CEO of Lookout Pass. "We anticipate open powder, packed powder and freshly tilled corduroy on Thursday."

 Reduced lift ticket rates will be in effect. Prices will be posted on prior to Thursday's opening.  Additional lifts and terrain will open as soon as conditions allow.

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park has been blessed with several early season storms and has received enough coverage to open this Saturday with the earliest opening and BEST opening day conditions seen in years, operators say. 

Mt. Spokane staff will be firing up the chairlifts for the 2013/2014 winter season Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9:00 a.m.  Normal hours of operation will be in effect.  Lifts 2, 3 and 5 will operate through 4 p.m. 

Special discounted pricing will be in effect for Opening Day.  Tickets will be discounted to $30 for an Adult lift ticket and $20 for a Youth lift ticket (ages 7-17). 

Ticket windows open at 8:30 am.  The Snow Sports Center will open early at 8 am to allow guests plenty of time to pick up season passes before the lifts start turning.

Operation will continue throughout the weekend, also featuring discounted $30 Adult and $20 Youth tickets on Sunday.

This is the first time Mt. Spokane has opened before Thanksgiving in recent memory.  A strong winter storm delivered up to 24” of fresh snow on the mountain last Saturday. 

This season’s improvements to the Main Lodge include brand-new restrooms, new ticket windows, free wi-fi access throughout the lodge and more.

49 Degrees North was reporting 12 inches of snow at the base and 27 inches at the summit today. The resort will reopen on Friday, Nov. 22. It opened for one day on Nov. 17.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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