BIG SKY RESORT

After a week of storms and snowmaking, Big Sky Resort opened on Nov. 7 for one day of skiing and riding. The resort reported 30 inches of powder during the first week of November to make the early open possible.

Kyle Bancroft gets some November powder on Upper Morning Star

Kyle Bancroft gets some November powder on Upper Morning Star

The Swift Current chairlift opened at 9 a.m. to the cheers of skiers and snowboarders who began lining up well before 8 a.m.

The buzz this ski season is all about a strong El Niño causing a warmer, drier winter in the Northern Rockies. However, Big Sky Resort found that during the 33 years of snow-data collection at the resort, 10 have been El Niño years, and 60 percent of those El Niño years have produced above average or average snowfall.

The Swift Current and Explorer chairlifts began spinning for access

Snowboard instructor Mary Gandy carving up the groomer under bluebird skies

Snowboard instructor Mary Gandy carving up the groomer under bluebird skies

to the beginner run, Mr. K., and by 10 a.m., the Lone Peak Triple chairlift was open with access to the intermediate run, Upper Morningstar.

“It’s so fun to open for one day to get some early powder turns and celebrate a great start to a new ski season,” said Big Sky Resort Public Relations Manager Sheila D’Amico.

Big Sky Resort’s official opening day is Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. The Madison Base Area will open on Friday, Dec. 11.