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Big Sky Resort prepping for opening day of ski season



Big Sky, Montana — This week is Big Sky Resort’s opening day, and it’s no secret that this year’s snowfall has been lighter than last. The Mountain Operations Team at Big Sky works around the clock to make sure that the ski season is fantastic.

“It’s about as good as it gets without Mother Nature doing her thing,” says Director of Mountain Operations Adam West.

Big Sky Resort has been artificially creating snow since early October due to a deficiency of natural snowfall. According to West, the resort has used roughly 30 million gallons of water to create snow, which is sufficient to cover six runs on opening day.

“We haven’t had the natural snow, but we’ve had good cold, consistent temperatures and we’ve been making count,” says West.

West claims that in order to guarantee excellent snow quality, his crew has been working nonstop day and night.

“Lap after lap, and they’re monitoring the quality of the snow guns. They’re moving the position of the snow guns to make sure the snow is landing where we need it to be,” says West, “And they’re doing maintenance all night long.”

One of the best winters for snowfall in a long time occurred in Big Sky last year due to a strong La Niña year. El Niño is coming this year. According to meteorologist Mike Heard, that could not be good for the ski season.

“We’re going to be looking at a warmer than normal and a drier than normal weather pattern across the northern Rockies, including Montana. And that will have an impact on snowpack and obviously ski seasons for the state of Montana,” says Mike. “Last year was one of the best ski seasons and, well, an old-fashioned cold, snowy winter. This year, I don’t think we’ll see that.”

Opening day at Big Sky Resort will still be exciting, according to PR Manager Stacie Mesuda, despite the absence of natural snow.

“The fun thing about opening day is sometimes it’s not about the skiing at all. It’s just about getting that community back together,” says Mesuda.

Despite having less snow than the previous year, Big Sky will have 172 acres of open terrain on Wednesday, making it the third most open resort in the nation.

West, for his part, is hoping for a successful snow year.

“I always say this time of year, if it’s not snowing then it’s got to snow sometime because that’s how averages work. So if it’s not snowing now, it’ll snow later,” says West.


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