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Die hard skiers wake up early to catch first chair at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort opens for season
Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 16:37:55-05

WHITEFISH — Whitefish Mountain Resort opened on Friday, breaking records with the highest number of season passes sold.

Columbia Falls student Lane Anello and his friends got to opening day at Whitefish Mountain Resort at 6 a.m. last year, and were too late. So, this year they took a different strategy.

"I woke up at four and we were on the mountain by 4:40," said Anello -- who along with his friends rode the first chair at 9:30 a.m. up the mountain.

Whitefish Mountain Resort spokeswoman Riley Polumbus says the mountain staff couldn't be more excited for opening day.

"Employees are very stoked, everyone has been looking forward to this day. People have been training this week, and prior weeks just to get everything ready," said Polumbus.

Polumbus says chair 6, 3, 1, and the magic carpet are open on the front side.

Whitefish High School student Jonah Talaga admits he skipped school today to enjoy opening day, and that his parents were okay with it.

"You get to ski finally after a long summer," he said, explaining what his favorite part of opening day is.

Polumbus says that next ski season visitors could see some changes to Hellroaring Basin.

"The hope is to also put in a new lift. To get people from Grand Junction to the top of Hellroaring Peak. All of this is within our permit boundary," said Polumbus.

Polumbus added that Hellroaring Basin belongs to the US Forest Service and the agency is reviewing permits. If approved, the new lift is one of many updates to Hellroaring Basin.

Right now, chair 1 is still downloading until the front of the mountain can get some more snow. Once that happens, Polumbus says the front side will be completely open to visitors.