Whitefish Mountain Resort will open for its 71st season on Thursday, but skiers will be restricted to terrain on the back and east sides of Big Mountain until more snow falls.
Skiers will have to download on Chair 1 throughout the day. Uphill skiing access is also temporarily closed until the area receives more precipitation.
Beginning Thursday, chairs 1, 5, 6, 7 and T-Bar 2 will open to provide access to the north and east sides of the mountain. Chair 1 will open for access to the north side of the mountain at 9:30 a.m. Chair 6 will open at 9 a.m. to provide access to the Lift Plaza and Chair 1 from the Base Lodge and lower parking lots. There will not be any terrain open to ski down to the Base Lodge. The resort will provide shuttles to transport guests between the Lift Plaza and Base Lodge as well as lower mountain parking lots.
“Snowmaking crews are working around the clock to open additional terrain in time for the weekend,” Whitefish Mountain Resort CEO Dan Graves said.
Chair 7 will open at 9:45 a.m. and open runs in the area include: Caribou, Black Bear, Goat Haunt, Gray Wolf, Kodiak, Marmot, Silvertip and Whitetail. Bigfoot T-Bar 2 also will open at 9:45 a.m. with access to Big Creek, Whiskey Spring, North fork to Inside Road, Inside Road, Lynx, Lodi Ridge and Trapper’s Trail.
On the east side, Russ’s Street to Moe Mentum, Moe Mentum, North Bowl Face and Evan’s Heaven all will open and be serviced by Chair 5, which will open at 9:45 a.m. All terrain below Chair 5 will be closed.
Downloading on Chair 1 will be available throughout the day. Due to weight-load requirements passengers will be loaded every third chair on the way down. T-Bar 2 and Chair 5 will close at 3 p.m. and Chair 7 will close at 3:30 p.m. Chair 6 will close at 2:30 p.m.
Additional terrain may become available during the day as determined by ski patrol.
“We’d like to remind everyone to ski and ride with care, within their ability levels, and remember early season conditions exist, unmarked obstacles and other natural terrain features may be encountered at any time,” said David Stephens, Whitefish Mountain Resort ski patrol manager. “Skiers and riders need to respect all closures and safety signage. It’s a long season and we want you to enjoy every day, please do not enter closed trails. Season pass holders who enter inbounds closures risk losing their pass privileges and persons leaving the resort boundary are reminded that you are on your own.”
Snow is in the forecast beginning early next week.