Primo start to the season |

Primo start to the season

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN RESORT ” Skiers and snowboarders were rollin’ and tumblin’ down the hill Wednesday as they worked out their kinks on the first day of the season here.

But that’s what the early season is for, 78-year-old Sunlight ski instructor Bob Wolfarth says.

“I’m just skiing the bottom of the mountain today to get my legs stretched out,” he said.

Wolfarth first started skiing 60 years ago in 1943 when he tried out for the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. It wasn’t as glamorous as he’d hoped.

“I didn’t want it because they wanted me to take care of the mules,” he said.

Wolfarth usually skis, but he says once in a while he’ll jump on a snowboard.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jesse Banks was snowboarding for the first time ever on Wednesday.

Around noon, Banks and his brother Shannon Stauffer were headed out of the resort’s cafeteria and back onto the hill to get some more runs in.

“It’s great. I like it,” Banks said of his new sport. “My favorite part is flying down the hill.”

Banks is a skateboarder, so snowboarding was a natural transition for him. Despite this, he still fell a few times while learning the finer points of snowboarding.

“It doesn’t hurt, though, so I don’t care,” he said.

Stauffer said his little bro’ confessed after just a half day of ‘boarding that he likes it better than skateboarding.

“It doesn’t hurt when you bail,” Banks explained, “and you can go faster.”

The conditions on opening day were mixed across the mountain. At the top, natural snow provided a solid base. But around mid-mountain, there were some rocks, and conditions were a bit icy.

The bottom was in fine shape because of the resort’s beefed-up man-made snowmaking.

“Everything’s running pretty smoothly,” Sunlight spokeswoman Turi Nevin-Turkel said about two hours after the mountain opened. “There haven’t been the huge lines for the season pass window.”

She also said the resort has decided to lower full-day prices because of the lack of open terrain. Adults will pay $20 and children can ski for $15 until resort officials determine there are enough runs open to charge more. The regular-season, all-day lift prices will be $35 a day for adults this year.

LIFT-UP director Mike Powell found some time to get away from holiday food distribution duties with the nonprofit organization and get in a few runs.

Powell, who sported shaped skis given to him from his college-aged kids, said he’s no expert, but he plans to become a better skier as the season progresses.

“I just walked in and just got my boots on,” he said at around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. “I’m probably just going to do the middle today.”

As of 5 p.m., Sunlight Mountain Resort reported that 3 inches of snow fell throughout the day, and it was still snowing.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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