Ski areas opening for holiday riding in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho

Billings Gazette

Big Sky Resort will open to skiers the day before Thanksgiving thanks to heavy snowfall.

Big Sky Resort

Cold, snowy weather has downhill and backcountry skiers and snowboarders excited about the upcoming season across Montana.

Some ski areas, like Great Divide outside of Helena and Lookout Pass on the Montana-Idaho border, have already opened with early season conditions. On Friday, Nov. 18, Ski Discovery near Anaconda will open.

According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, a storm on Wednesday is expected to bring another 5 to 6 inches of snow to the mountains around Cooke City, Big Sky and Bozeman. Cold nights are helping ski areas with snowmaking equipment beef up what nature has provided.

For big mountain skiers, Big Sky Resort will open on Nov. 23 at 9 a.m. for the season. Four lifts (Swift Current 6, Explorer, Challenger and Iron Horse) will be open to access 2,000 acres of terrain. Ramcharger 8 will open on Thanksgiving Day, once early-season race camps are concluded, adding an additional 500 acres.

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