The clouds piled over Chewelah Peak on Monday weren’t just dumping snow – they also were raising spirits.
Lookout Pass Ski Area and 49 Degrees North announced they’ll turn on the chairlifts and open their mountains Friday – the earliest seasonal opening in 10 years.
Area resorts normally are lucky to open by Thanksgiving even in a good year.
“It’s utter excitement and anticipation altogether,” said Gabe Lawson of 49 Degrees North near Chewelah, Wash. “It’s been a long summer, and I think this is what everyone has been hoping and waiting for.”
About 2 1/2 feet of snow had piled up at the summits of the region’s ski hills Monday afternoon, with about a foot at the bases. Heavy snow still was falling Monday evening, with forecasters calling for more snow and cold weather this weekendBrad McQuarrie, general manager of Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, said he’ll wait until Wednesday to decide if he’ll open this weekend.
“We’re getting the snow, but it’s a matter of getting geared up for it. It caught us a little bit by surprise.”
Spokeswomen for both Silver Mountain at Kellogg and Schweitzer Mountain Resort at Sandpoint said they plan Thanksgiving openings but will open earlier if conditions allow.