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Preparing for a La Nina year, local ski areas make updates

Lookout Ski Area
Lookout Ski Area
Discovery Ski Area
Discovery Ski Area
Discovery Ski Area
Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 19:23:18-04

MISSOULA — From Lookout Pass to Discovery Ski Area, renovations and updates have been done to prepare for this ski season.

“That's our new terrain right where the sun is and you'll be able to ski everything you see on that kind of highlighting the tamaracks, just in between that the far distant peak,” said Matthew Sawyer, Lookout Pass Ski Area marketing director.

Lookout Ski Area

Eagle Peak is the newest addition to Lookout which is located about 90 minutes from Missoula, nestled on the border of Montana and Idaho. The new terrain will take the mountain to a new view.

Lookout Pass Ski Area's Matthew Sawyer talks about the upcoming season

“Which is just about going to double the size of the mountain," said Sawyer. Take us to 16,150 foot vertical. We're 1,150 here and create 14 trails that'll be accessible by lift over there in addition to the others. Bringing us to 49 total trails and 14 new.”

Lookout Ski Area

And for those powder hounds out there, Lookout is also updating some of their chairs; getting skiers and riders to new heights, faster.

“We're transitioning our chair which was a double chair on the back of the mountain to a three-seater,” Sawyer told MTN News.

Discovery Ski Area's Kate Mcchesney discusses COVID-19 protocols

Meanwhile, 90 minutes east of Missoula, is Discovery Ski Area where spokesperson, Kate Mcchesney, says they are ready for early season conditions with their new snow-making machines.

Discovery Ski Area

“Air and water snow machines, so making the equipment's up a little bit higher in Claim Jumper will have a little bit more access or at least season,” said Mcchesney.

Mcchesney says Discovery spent the summer focusing on updating their software to allow for easier, smoother and faster access to the hill, with tickets.

“This year, we've been switching over all of our software and we're going to be installing gates, actually, at the bottom chairlifts for their RFID cards. So you placed them on your left side as you see up to the Gates Gates open for you and you enter the chair that way. It's pretty nice. A lot of families who have to go to the ticket office or passes kids, and now they just go from the car to the lift.” - Discovery Ski Area spokesperson Kate Mcchesney

Now, in terms in COVID regulations, both mountains say they are not enforcing any restrictions, but encourage mountain goers to do what they are more comfortable with.

Both ski areas told MTN News me that they plan on opening sometime in November, however, that is completely up to mother nature to decide. Until then, keep your tips up because this season is going to be great.