By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – Since the end of September, more than 80 inches of snow have fallen on Lone Mountain, amounting to a deep early season base just in time for the opening month of ski season in Big Sky.

The first lifts to open at the Big Sky Resort begin humming Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, and Big Sky Resort Public Relations Manager Chelsi Moy says they can’t wait.

“We are at about 195 percent of average for snowfall for this time of year,” Moy said in an email to EBS. “Needless to say, we are looking forward to a great opening.”

As of Nov. 17, 82 inches of snow have fallen, amounting to a 24-inch base at mid-mountain and 36 inches on the upper mountain. Big Sky Resort plans to open as much terrain as possible on opening day, Moy said.

While the resort has not released an opening schedule for the runs, the upcoming events at the resort, as well as the new improvements to the mountain are sure to attract visitors and locals alike.

Improvements include three new runs, a new chairlift and improved access to Liberty Bowl off of the tram, as well as extended slopeside amenities. On Nov. 14, TurnKey Vacation Rentals ranked Big Sky Resort one of the top 25 ski and snowboard resorts in the U.S., second only to Mammoth Mountain in California.

One week after opening day at the resort, skiers can hit the slopes Dec. 1 with the purchase of a $29 pass. Those interested in partaking in $29 Day are encouraged to purchase a ticket online in advance to avoid lines at the ticket window. The following week, on Dec. 7, the resort hotels will open.

Dec. 8-10 marks military appreciation day at the resort, and with a valid military ID, active duty or retired service members and their family can get a half-price ticket.

The following weekend, Dec. 15-17, Big Sky Resort will honor educators with a discounted ticket upon presentation of a valid educator’s ID. For those staying at the resort, educators will receive a free day of skiing and immediate family members get a ticket at half-price.

To celebrate the winter holidays, Big Sky Resort will host the annual Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve, where spectators can watch the procession of torches down the mountain from Meadow Village, and fireworks will bring in the new year on the mountain on New Year’s Eve.

With a deep base, discounted ski days, favorite holiday events, and slope improvements to boot, the first month of skiing at Big Sky Resort is shaping up to be a good one.