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Eaglecrest to open Saturday

Due to lack of snow up high, only Porcupine chair will run

Posted: December 6, 2013 - 1:01am
A snowmaker blows snow onto the Dolly Varden run this week at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The crew at Juneau's local ski hill plans to open on schedule this year, but said only the Porcupine Lift will be running. The rest of the mountain needs more snow before it's ready for skiers and riders.  Mary Catharine Martin | Juneau Empire
Mary Catharine Martin | Juneau Empire
A snowmaker blows snow onto the Dolly Varden run this week at Eaglecrest Ski Area. The crew at Juneau's local ski hill plans to open on schedule this year, but said only the Porcupine Lift will be running. The rest of the mountain needs more snow before it's ready for skiers and riders.

Eaglecrest Ski Area is set for a partial opening this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

“It should be a beautiful time up on the mountain,” said Sales and Marketing Director Jeffra Clough.

Porcupine will be the only chairlift running this weekend, servicing Muskeg and Dolly Varden runs. There will also be a small terrain park feature on Dolly Varden.

The Nordic Trails will not be open, although Clough said the Nordic Club has groomed a classic track there.

“There’s not enough snow for us to get snow grooming machinery down there,” she said. “We just need more snow so that we can get the Nordic trails open, as well as the rest of the mountain.”

Joel Bos, who skied at Eaglecrest earlier this week with his son Summit, 3 ½, said the slopes were a little icy, but they hope to come back for the official opening this weekend.

“It’s not a mid-winter surface, but it’s something … to ski and ride on,” Clough said.

There’s something a little softer to sit on, too — Eaglecrest replaced the chair pads on Ptarmigan chairlift this year.

In other changes, the Mountain Lift concession stand will be starting up Mountain Lift Two in the Eagle’s Nest at the top of the mountain, Clough said.

It won’t have espresso drinks, but it will have drip coffee, soups and grilled cheese sandwiches.

“It’s pretty simple fare, but it will be great to have some food options available for people if they don’t want to come all the way off the mountain,” she said.

The second stand will be up and running once the rest of the mountain opens.

Clough said the rest of the runs will welcome ski and snowboard traffic as soon as the area receives more snow. Yet it’s a big unknown; it all depends on how much and what kind of snow falls.

According to the weather service, there’s a good chance the hills will see snow next week.

This weekend, lift tickets for adults, seniors and teens will be $15. Tickets for youth and children will be $10. Lift ticket, lesson and ski rental packages will be on sale for $39 to “celebrate the start of the season.”

Find out more on http://www.skijuneau.com.

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