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Strong early snowpack leads Big Sky Resort to open early

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Swift Current 6, Challenger, Iron Horse and Explorer will open on Wednesday, Nov. 23. PHOTO COURTESY OF KG CONTENT / BIG SKY RESORT

By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER 

Skiers and riders won’t need to sit around and watch the turkey thaw on Wednesday, Nov. 23. 

In a press release on Tuesday, Nov. 15., Big Sky Resort announced that lifts will spin one day earlier than the planned Thanksgiving opening date. This announcement comes after a sequence of lingering storms that dropped more than 5 feet of early season snow, according to the release. The mountain will be open to all visitors, including day-ticket, Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective passholders.  

Lift ticket offices will open for pass pickup for the season on Monday, Nov. 21 from 8-4:30 p.m. 

“Thanks to favorable conditions and an extraordinary effort from our team, we’re thrilled to deliver an early opening and start the winter season off with mid-winter conditions,” Troy Nedved, general manager, stated in the release. “We’re looking forward to the most expansive opening day in our history.” 

Swifty, Explorer, Challenger and Iron Horse are the four lifts expected to open, reportedly serving some 2,000 skiable acres. The next day, Ramcharger 8 will add 500 acres of Andesite Mountain to the Thanksgiving spread.   

To support brave powder hounds, resort staff will provide “fuel for the early birds—complimentary breakfast snacks and hot chocolate in the base area,” according to the Opening Day webpage. Après festivities will include live music and beer tasting. Some resort restaurants will also open. 

The release noted that terrain offerings are being assessed daily by mountain operations.  

General Manager Troy Nedved credits “around the clock snowmaking” and other operational efforts to provide “great coverage.” PHOTO COURTESY OF KG CONTENT / BIG SKY RESORT 

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