Two area ski resorts open for the season this weekend, but all six of them are praying for snow.
Whitefish Mountain Resort got the jump on everyone, as seven lifts went into operation Friday morning. It’s 140 miles and 2 hours, 43 minutes from Missoula.
Second on the slopes is Discovery Ski Area near Philipsburg, 92 miles and an hour, 33 minutes from Missoula, which will be open Saturday and Sunday. President Ciche Pitcher told the Philipsburg Mail this week that Discovery will be closed next week, reopen on Saturday, Dec. 14, and should be open seven days a week after that.
That leaves Montana Snowbowl near Missoula, Lost Trail Ski Area near Sula, Blacktail Mountain Ski Area at Lakeside, and Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area on the Montana-Idaho border playing the waiting game.
“Opening day is delayed, need a little more snow,” Snowbowl, a 13-mile, 28-minute drive from downtown Missoula, posted on Facebook on Thursday. “Will post updates on the website, Facebook and Instagram.”
“Unfortunately we do not have enough snow to be able to open this weekend,” posted Lost Trail, 94 miles and an hour, 50 minutes from Missoula. “We will keep you posted on when there is enough snowpack to open. So keep up the snow dances!”
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Blacktail Mountain, 107 miles and an hour, 52 minutes from Missoula, is holding a Wake Up Old Man Winter Party on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Lookout Pass website reported 2 inches of snow at the base and 4 at the summit early Friday. Its Facebook page posted this update on Wednesday: “Storm coming Friday thru the weekend. But not currently seeing enough snow to open. I'd look to Dec. 13th as a possible (Hopeful Opening). If you follow us here you'll see an announcement as soon as we are ready to go.”
Lookout is 105 miles and 1 hour, 36 minutes from Missoula.
Whitefish Mountain on Friday reported settled bases of 5 inches in the Village and 31 inches at the summit.
Updated information on all of western Montana’s ski areas is available on their individual websites and social media outlets.