Friday, June 21, 2024

Schweitzer opens more runs with new snow

Staff Writer | February 9, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Activities are still in swing at Schweitzer despite a lack of plentiful snow this winter has brought North Idaho.

On a positive note, marketing communications manager Taylor Prather said the mountain has gotten over 13 inches of fresh snow in the past week, which has allowed the company to open a few more lifts than they were able to run last week.

“We currently have six of our chairlifts running,” she said. “The majority of the backside is currently closed due to low snow near the base of the lifts … We are still behind on snowfall and have battled some challenging weather extremes.”

At this time last year, Schweitzer had almost 200 inches of snowfall. This year, it has barely over 115 inches. In addition to the lack of snow, the mountain has had to navigate multiple wet and warm weather patterns, making snow conditions less than desirable.

“As you can imagine, our mountain operations team has been working tirelessly to navigate the unpredictable weather patterns, ensuring that we maintain the best possible skiing and riding experience,” Prather said. “However, with low levels of saturated snow, maintenance and grooming of our trails comes with its own set of challenges. To add insult to injury, we've also been battling mechanical failures that have impacted our steep angle grooming operations as well as lift operations.”

The mountain operations teams are continuing to monitor conditions every day, Prather said, and are eagerly hoping more snow comes to the region soon so the end-of-season powder will make it all worth it.

“We are all eagerly anticipating the opportunity to reopen Outback Bowl, but currently do not have an idea of when that will happen,” she added.

While staff wait for the weather to change in the mountain’s favor, there is still plenty going on at Schweitzer, including the upcoming Let It Glow parade and fireworks show Feb. 18, part of the community’s Winter Carnival.