BIG SKY RESORT – Perhaps 2,000 skiers is a lot for opening day, particularly when you consider most of the rest of the country was eating turkey or staking out Walmart, but Big Sky Resort certainly was not crowded yesterday, the first of the 2013/2014 winter season.

The atmosphere was jovial, as friends reunited after what felt like an eternal summer for some, lining up at the bottom of the Swift Current chair in the early dawn hours for first chair. The resort staff, buzzing with energy themselves and played music at the base area, served hot coffee and marshmallows.

At 9 a.m., patrol announced the official opening of this 40th season at Big Sky Resort by lighting an avalanche explosive in the Bowl. With terrain off four lifts open – Swift Current, Explorer, the Triple and Challenger – skiers spread out around the mountain during a sunny morning and gray-skied but pleasant afternoon.

Also open were beginner area surface lifts, the Swifty 2.0 terrain park and Lone Peak Tram for scenic viewing only.

A storm is forecast to bring snow on Sunday, and the Moonlight area is set to open Dec. 6. -E.S.W.