STRATTON -- The first skiers and riders to the summit of Stratton were greeted by blue skies and corduroy as beautiful as ever.
Stratton opened for the 2012 ski and ride season Wednesday morning with 13 trails and top-to-bottom snow coverage. Two lifts are open for access to the white gold with Ursa Express for easy laps of the Upper Mountain terrain. Open trails include the Bears (Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear) and Frank’s Fall line, with four lower mountain trails open for access to the base area.
For the lucky ones getting their first runs, the snow conditions and coverage are excellent.
"The snow surface doesn’t get much better -- these are practically midwinter conditions in mid-November," said Mike Quinn, Stratton’s vice president of operations, fresh off his first run. "Our snowmakers and groomers have put in hundreds of hours of work to make opening day a success, and they nailed it."
Snowmakers and groomers are indeed the heroes of the early season, since natural snowfall has been light in November. Since snowmaking began on Nov. 4, the snowmakers have logged over 160 hours of snow-time, building coverage on the upper mountain and laying a path to the base area. Groomers then moved, pushed and combed the snow into Stratton’s signature corduroy, creating a smooth surface of solid fun.
Stratton Mountain will be open every day at 9 a.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. on weekends until 3:30 p.m. An adult day ticket is set at $59 until trail expansion gets skiers and riders on more of the mountain. Because only upper mountain terrain is accessible right now, skiing and riding is suggested for only intermediate and advanced skiers and riders only.
Stratton is honoring the occasion with five days of festivities, including the Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K, the Village Rail Jam, fireworks, après ski parties and more, which wraps up Sunday.