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Snowbasin to open, Nordic Valley holding ‘pre-opening’ party

By Tim Vandenack - | Dec 10, 2021
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A skier heads down a slope at the Snowbasin ski resort in this undated photo.
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Skiers traverse the slopes around Snowbasin in this undated photo.

HUNTSVILLE — Let the skiing begin, at least on a limited basis.

Snowbasin plans to open on Saturday and Nordic Valley is holding a “pre-opening party” the same day, though only its Cub slope, geared to beginners, will be operable. Indeed, things are still gearing up as the resort operators await more snow.

“In an effort to manage expectations, it’s important for our pass holders to know that we have a very limited ski experience on opening weekend,” Davy Ratchford, the Snowbasin general manager, said in a statement.

Lift ticket sales will be closed to the general public on Saturday and Sunday, with Snowbasin pass holders getting “exclusive access.” At the same time, only a portion of Snowbasin’s trails will be open for skiing — Porcupine Traverse, Needles Run, City Hill, Littlecat and part of Strawberry Traverse. Needles Gondola and Littlecat Express will be operable.

Still, for those who have been hankering to get on the slopes, the time is here, and Snowbasin officials expect to be opening more slopes as time passes and the snowpack builds.

“We anticipate more terrain opening over the next week, including the new Middle Bowl Express. By mid-December, we’re confident the experience will be the quality those that come to Snowbasin expect,” Ratchford said.

Over at Powder Mountain, the third Weber County ski resort, a resort rep says they’re awaiting more precipitation. Nordic Valley and Snowbasin have snow-making machines while Powder Mountain relies on natural snowfall.

“With the next storm on the way, we’ll see,” said J.P. Goulet, the Powder Mountain spokesperson. Aside from the snowfall this week, he said another “promising” storm is expected next week.

Snowbasin needs 1 to 2 feet of white stuff to open, Goulet said, adding that the snow’s coming “slowly but surely.” Last year, the resort opened on Dec. 18.

A FEW MORE DETAILS

Among notable changes at Snowbasin are the replacement of the Middle Bowl lift with a speedier lift, tentatively expected to open next week, that can haul more skiers. Travel time has been cut in half to six minutes. Parking has also been expanded with 350 more stalls.

At Nordic Valley, though only the Cub terrain will be open on Saturday, the resort says in an announcement that skiing will be free. Hours on Saturday will be noon to 6 p.m.

“Meet our ski school, book your lessons for the season,” the announcement reads. Live music and other activities are planned.

Nordic Valley had earlier hoped to open on Dec. 3, but snowmaking efforts were hampered due to relatively high temperatures. “While we have been making snow any chance we can get, the temperatures this week are not compatible for blasting snow for opening day,” Nordic Valley said in an email sent to customers last week.

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