Mt. A opens its slopes

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while it may look dreary in the Valley this morning, skiers and snowboarders couldn't be happier.

Mount Ashland Ski Area opened its slopes today, basking in great conditions. After a few days of heavy wind gusts and light precipitation, the mountain received its first major snowfall of the season with more than 18 inches of snow overnight, just in time for impatient ski bums.

"We opened later this year than the last two years," said Mount Ashland General Manager Kim Clark, "but this snow is just incredible. There is lots of good skiing and riding."

For skiers and snowboarders the conditions are called "deep powder," which translated means about the best conditions possible.

Three lifts are open today, and the Mt. Ashland crew hopes to open Arial lift Friday, depending on snow conditions at the peak.

"We experienced 70 mph winds and rocks were exposed yesterday, so we still need to get to the top to determine if rocks are visible," said Clark.

Forecasts are calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow today, with relatively clear conditions for tomorrow, and snow returning to the mountain on Saturday.

"The snow surface is powder right now, with 47 total inches at the lower mountain," said Lift Floater Eddy Evans. "It's pretty scoured up top, but the storm continues. It's crazy up here."

For more information on snow and driving conditions call the snow phone 482-2754.

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