WHITEFISH — Thursday, December 7, 2023, is that special day circled on the calendar for skiers and snowboarders in Northwest Montana as Whitefish Mountain Resort officially opens for the winter season.
With lower-than-normal snowpack for this time of year, things will look a little different on the mountain to start the season.
“An early season snowpack, you know there’s going to be some hidden treasures out there under the snow for lack of a better term,” said Director of Mountain Operations Bill Cubbage.
As Whitefish Mountain Resort officially opens for its 76th ski season, Cubbage said skiable terrain to start the season will be limited compared to years past.
“You know we will have some limited chairs, some limited terrain due to what mother nature’s been delivering but overall, we’re excited to get rolling on Thursday morning.”
Cubbage said decisions on specific terrain and chairlift openings will be made on a daily basis to start the season, reminding people to prepare for early season conditions and use caution.
“I want people to just pump the brakes a little bit, it’s a long season and so give Mother Nature a chance to deliver the goods.”
Last season’s much anticipated new 6-pack chairlift had mechanical issues and was shut down multiple times during the season, including a rope evacuation for skiers stuck on the lift.
Cubbage said they used the offseason to fix chairlift issues, and he anticipates a smoother transition this season.
“We had the manufacturer on site a number of times this summer and we worked with them both on some of the challenges we faced last year and also on some project completion things,” added Cubbage.
Whitefish Mountain Resort Public Relations Manager Chad Sokol said the ski area has added a second conveyor belt in the beginner area just above the base lodge.
“Effectively doubles the usable slope space in that area for practices and lessons.”
Sokol expects another busy season on the mountain.
“Season pass sales are up just ever so slightly from last year, we didn’t see a massive jump like we did the past few seasons but a modest increase, frequent skier cards meanwhile are down just a little so it will be interesting to see what impact that has on our total skier visit.”
The latest conditions and information about Whitefish Mountain Resort can be found here.