The pictured scene, next to the Poma or platter lift at Eaglecrest Ski Area, shows a snow cover as of last Friday of about 6 inches. Nevertheless, the prospect of skiing Nutmeg (easiest), above, and other runs is still likely to excite Juneau skiers. Kirk Duncan, Eaglecrest's new general manager, says the hopeful have already made this year's season-pass sales the best ever. Duncan says Eaglecrest is shooting for a Thanksgiving holiday opening, the same as last year -- the snow gods willing. And as for giving Mother Nature a kick in the pants (to get things started) with articificial snowmaking, he says Eaglecrest has enough water -- from Cropley Lake -- for only about 10 days of laying the fake stuff down, and so the resource has to be carefully husbanded. In the meantime, a number of skiers have already left their sitzmarks on the slopes, though without benefit of lifts.