Sunlight ready to open for long weekend |

Sunlight ready to open for long weekend

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Sunlight Mountain Resort will have its earliest opening since 2002 this week, after another eight inches of snow fell overnight Sunday with more expected Monday and last night.

Lifts will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and the ski area located 10 miles southwest of Glenwood Springs will remain open through Sunday before closing for four days prior to the official seven-day-a-week opening on Dec. 3.

The early week storm boosted Sunlight’s base to 22 inches at top and 18 inches mid-mountain, Sunlight Sales and Marketing Manager Dylan Lewis said Monday.

Approximately 60 percent of the terrain will be open for skiing and snowboarding, mostly on the west side of the mountain, he said.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer a quality product this early in the season,” Lewis said. “The west side of the mountain will be almost completely open, while the east side of the mountain will still need a little more snow.”

Sunlight will be offering $40 lift tickets for adults, $30 for children during the preview opening. No half-day tickets will be sold.

All of Sunlight’s services will also be available, including ski and snowboard school, rentals, cafeteria and bar.

The Sunlight bus will also pick up skiers and boarders at 8:25 a.m. at the Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop, and 8:40 a.m. at Mountain Market. The shuttle leaves Sunlight at 4:20 p.m.

“With the forecast over the next two days and later this week we might be able to add more terrain by the weekend,” Lewis said.

Two of the mountain’s three lifts will be open Wednesday, and all three will be running from Thursday through Sunday, he said.

Lewis said the natural snow that has fallen in recent weeks has been a boon in an otherwise warmer-than-average fall.

“We started our snowmaking at the bottom earlier than ever, in the first week of November,” he said. “But we really haven’t had cold enough temperatures to do it consistently. The early opening is mostly about the natural snow we’ve had.”

Sunlight spent the early fall clearing a fair amount of trees in some of the gladed areas.

“Our glade runs should ski better than ever this year once we get more snow,” Lewis said.

A couple of February events will highlight Sunlight’s special attractions this season, including the annual Ski Spree on Feb. 5. All Ski Spree events will take place at Sunlight Mountain this season, including an on-mountain broomball tournament.

Also returning this season will be Sunlight’s second Endurance Challenge, a 12-hour endurance race where participants take laps up and down the mountain. The event takes place on Feb. 13.

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