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Eaglecrest Ski Area will leave the lights on for all you skiers tonight, with the first Friday of night skiing of the season taking place from 4-9 p.m. tonight. Night skiing will take place on Friday nights from this weekend through the end of the season.
The ski area will open the Platter surface lift on the lower mountain and the Hooter Chair lift from the lodge to the midway point of the mountain. According to Eaglecrest business manager Gary Mendivil, there is still only minimal snow at the bottom of the mountain but the storm earlier this week left 10-12 inches of fresh snow from the lodge to the mid-mountain area.
Skiers are warned to stay on groomed trails, where Eaglecrest has done avalanche control, since the Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center has a high-avalanche-danger warning out for most Juneau-area mountains. Bill Glude of the SE AK Avalanche Center said he was out on a helicopter yesterday and saw fresh avalanches everywhere, and the snow instability should continue through the weekend. Particular areas to avoid are windloaded areas and steep slopes, and Glude said his group had to pick its way down even the gentlest of slopes.
Mendivil said Eaglecrest actually benefits from its high use, since the skiers and snowboarders compact the snow. He said the only part of the mountain not open right now is the new tubing area, which still needs more snow for the berm at the end and some of the side troughs. Workers are also making artificial snow near the bottom to fill in some of the bare spots.
Night skiing rates are $14 for adults and $8 for kids, with a $7 charge for those skiers of any age wanting to use only the Platter lift. For a recorded ski conditions report, call 586-5330, and for more information contact the lift ticket window at 790-2000.