With more than five feet of snow gracing the top and 15 inches settled at the lodge, the possibility is growing that both chairlifts will open Saturday at Eaglecrest Ski Area.
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"It will be an advanced-intermediate to expert weekend," said Kirk Duncan, Eaglecrest general manager.
More than 20 inches of snow fell on the upper mountain since Saturday's canceled opener.
The official decision to open this week will come this afternoon, but Duncan said Thursday there was a "high probability" that Ptarmigan will open.
"Hooter is questionable," he added.
Thursday morning, a vehicle punched a track through windblown snow up the backside to the Eagle's Nest warming station. Ski patrollers prepared to rope off boundary lines just in case word comes to allow skiers access to the top.
If the upper mountain opens, riders will be allowed in the East Bowl only. Duncan said more snow control work was needed to get the West Bowl open.
"It will be a great weekend to come out and stretch your legs on Sourdough and Sneaky," he said. Mother Load and Williwaw also will be groomed.
With the upper mountain still difficult, intermediate riders should have a plan if they get on the Ptarmigan Lift, Duncan said.
Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.