LAKESIDE – We’ve passed the Winter Solstice and most Montana ski resorts are already open.
One Flathead Valley family favorite that always needs a little extra help from Mother Nature is opening just in time for the holidays.
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area in Lakeside is open for the 21st year in a row and while most other ski resorts have already opened, Blacktail usually doesn’t open until late December because they only use naturally made snow.
“It’s been a mild winter for the get-go. But many years…we don’t really see the snowpack arrive until…Winter Solstice, so that’s not really any different last
year. We opened on one day later on the 23rd of December. So it really has no
impact of what the season is to come,” ski area spokesman Aaron Levar said.
The mountain has a settled base of 26″ and there will be partial closures on opening day.
Levar says there are new changes to look forward to trees were Glade in the lower Little Salmon Run and between West Ridge and Bucks North.
While the wait may be longer, the natural snow is worth it and Levar says there’s always something special about opening up just in time for the holiday season.
“There’s a lot of families that are in the area that really depend on Blacktail for their holiday
activities,” Levar said. “They’ve got the tradition of opening up their gifts and coming up here and hopefully they’ve gotten a new snowboard or skis and they want to try them out on the soil.”
No matter how many times Levar has been here for an opening day she says it never gets old.
“Yeah, I think the most exciting thing when we open up is just seeing all the faces from years past. You know, it’s quite a bit like a family affair, so we do know a lot of the folks that
ski with us. And it’s really a great thing to see them again.”
The resort currently for sale for $3.5 million but resort officials declined to comment on any sale efforts.
-Jack Ginsburg reporting for MTN News