Sunlight ready for opening day – or a storm |

Sunlight ready for opening day – or a storm

Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox A blanket of fresh snow covered Sunlight Mountain Sunday morning.

Dig out the skis and boards and pray for snow: Sunlight Mountain Resort’s opening day is set for Friday, Dec. 3. Unless, of course, a big snowfall hits the slopes, then it will be earlier, said a Sunlight official.As of late last week, Sunlight had 16 inches of snow at the top of Compass Mountain and manmade snow at the bottom.”We’ve been waiting for Mother Nature’s help on the middle of mountain,” Sunlight spokesman Kevin Horch said.

Though it wasn’t the haymaker, a weekend snowstorm added a little more snow to the total.Old-timers and newcomers will see three new glade runs this year. Charlie’s Glade is a blue (intermediate) aspen glade between the Cornice and White River runs.”It’s one of best tree runs on mountain,” Horch said.The new Cassanova Glade is named for longtime ski patroller Tony Cassanova of Glenwood Springs, who has had to curtail skiing in recent years because he has multiple sclerosis. The new glade run is between Peace Pipe and Dawson, and is marked a double black diamond. Zephyr Glades, well known to tree skiers and riders, is now marked by a sign at the top of the run.

There’s also more black in the Sunlight Extremes area on the East Ridge. It’s steep and deep double black diamond terrain for expert skiers and riders.The terrain park for riders has been expanded up toward the Crystal run, Horch said, with larger jumps and more challenging rails.Sunlight will also host special events throughout the season beginning with the Big Horn Toyota Treasure Hunt. It starts opening day and will continue all season or until somebody finds the loot. A total of $500 in cash prizes and a 2005-06 season pass will be hidden on the mountain somewhere. Check the Sunlight Web site for clues,’s Winter Carnival, Dec. 18, celebrates holiday season with free cider and cookies. It’s sponsored by Big John’s and Wal-Mart and will feature a torchlight parade down the face of the mountain. Santa Claus will hold court for kids of all ages who want to tell him their wish list.For alternative fun, there is backcountry skiing on Williams Peak and snowmobile tours in White River National Forest. Backcountry tours are available with basic avalanche equipment and instruction provided as well as lunch.

Check out the extreme snowmobile tour where the adventurous can mount performance snowmobile machine for “an off-trail type ride with some surfy bowls to rip up and some ridge riding. It’s pretty exciting,” Horch said.This season, snowmobilers can motor right down from Four Mile Park to the Sunlight Mountain Inn for lunch and a fuel-up.For more information call Sunlight Mountain Resort at 970-945-7491 or go to Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext.

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