Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sun Valley extends ski season

Baldy to stay open until April 20

Express Staff Writer

After late March brought with it cold weather and a continual refreshing of snow, Sun Valley Co. announced Monday that it will extend the ski season on Bald Mountain to Sunday, April 20.

However, as previously planned, Seattle Ridge and the Baldy bowls, as well as all of Dollar Mountain, will close Sunday, April 13.

Bald Mountain lifts remaining in operation through the end of the season will be River Run, Lookout Express, Christmas and Challenger. They will keep both River Run and Warm Springs terrain accessible until the mountain closes.

The Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center is scheduled to remain in operation through Tuesday, April 8.

Sun Valley Co. Lift Ticket Manager Jennifer Uhrig said Bald and Dollar mountains hosted 92,897 skiers in March, compared to the 79,035 that took to the slopes in March 2007.

For the entire season to date, the two mountains have had a combined total of 379,505 skiers, nearly 30,000 more than the same period during the previous season, which saw 350,670 skiers through March.

The skier count on Dollar Mountain is up by approximately 20,000 compared to last year, an increase Uhrig said is likely due to the new Dollar and Quarter Dollar lifts, which have greatly reduced time spent on the chairs.

With this winter's snowfall and March's temperatures, there has been a delay in spring skiing conditions.

"March skiing has been unseasonably cold and we still have winter conditions," said Sun Valley Ski Patrol Director Mike Lloyd. "The snowpack is above average and the temperatures below, and, therefore, the snow hasn't melted."

Lloyd said the year has been a good and safe one for the ski patrol, and that they are just hoping for warmer temperatures so the snow melts off the baseball field in time for the traditional softball game between the ski patrollers based out of River Run and Warm Springs.

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