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Great Divide hopes to be first ski hill open this year

HELENA – Great Divide Ski Area is once again making a bid to be the first hill to open in Montana for the ski season.

Crews have been working since June to get the mountain ready and twelve snow guns are currently deployed along the Good Luck trail.

Mountain Manager J.P. Stanek said that if everything works out, Great Divide could start their season next Saturday, November 17.

According to staff, for 15 of the last 16 years Great Divide has been the first ski hill open during the ski season.

The ski hill is currently using 200 gallons of water a minute to make snow and ensure a deep enough base.

To put that in perspective, over each night a snow gun is capable of producing 50 yards wide and 3 feet deep snowpack.

With cold temperatures and little to no wind, Stanek said right now is ideal for making snow.

“Looks like we’re going to be able to make show the next 6 or 7 days probably around the clock. And hopefully we’ll get something later on next week to help finish it off before we open,” said Stanek.

Great Divide staff are also encouraging people with season passes who haven’t already gotten their pictures taken to come up on Sunday, November 11 to beat the lines on opening day.

John Riley

John Riley

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