Wolf Creek opens for season, welcomes fresh snow

WOLF CREEK—Wolf Creek opened daily for the 2017-18 ski season Tuesday, Nov. 21. A welcomed 12 inches of wet dense snow blanketed Wolf Creek Ski Area on Friday, Nov. 17, creating a base for skiers and boarders.

Nova Lift, Wolf Creek’s beginner double chairlift, will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with both natural and man-made snow conditions. Nova and Susan’s runs will open for skiing and snowboarding. Treasure and Bonanza Lifts will also operate with very early season conditions. These lifts will give access to skiing on the upper mountain.  Unmarked obstacles should be expected.

The Wolf Creek Lodge is open, as well as Pathfinder Bar, Prospector Grill and the Continental Espresso Bar will be open with delicious food and beverages.

The ski school is available for both adults and children, including the Wolf Pup Program with the Magic Carpet running for lessons. The ski rental and BoarderDome is open, as well as Treasure Sports.

Skiers from all over the state traveled to Wolf Creek over the last two weeks to enjoy fresh powder on the slopes. The resort has been accumulating snow from sporadic storms over the last several weeks and with the help of their man-made snow machines, were able to open for weekends to kick off the 2017-18 ski season in the San Juan Mountain Range in mid-November, with more snow in the forecast.

Several changes have been underway for the resort, including the approval of a new lift project that was first introduced in 2012. In a November press release, it was announced that “Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas recently signed a decision notice approving the Wolf Creek Ski Area Meadow Lift Development Project. The project will occur within the Wolf Creek Ski Area special use permit boundary on the Rio Grande National Forest.

The Meadow Lift will be approximately 2,100 feet in length with eight towers and terminals. A 50 by 80-foot multi-use building will be constructed for storage during the summer and as a service area during the winter. Two sections of gravel road, totaling less than a quarter mile, will be constructed to access the lift for construction and maintenance. An underground powerline will be installed under an existing closed Forest Service road and new access road. Up to 50 acres may be cleared of trees and revegetated to provide open skiing terrain in the new Meadow Lift and existing Elma Lift areas.”

The new lift will easily move crowds of skiers and get them to the top of the mountain in a swift, efficient manner. This was only one of many projects the resort was working on to be ready for opening day on the mountain. A new scanning system was installed for yearly lift ticket holders that will also help decrease the size of lines at the resort, allowing lift operators the ability to scan ticket holders at the lift base, instead of patrons having to wait in line at the ticket booth, before heading up to the slopes.

The resort is also eager to begin using their newest addition, the Lynx Lift, which is primarily for beginner skiers and children. The lift is housed in an open building that will remove beginner skiers from the intense crowds by the ticket area, reorganizing the lines and giving the beginners room to learn. The lift was finished in September and is ready for the season’s first few ski schools.

As of press time, the resort is currently reporting 38 inches of snow for the year and a mid-way base of about 12 inches. There are three lifts in operation, including the Nova, Treasure and Bonanza with more lifts opening as conditions allow. The Nordic Track was groomed and set recently as well. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

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