Thanksgiving Ski Resort Outlook: Not Too Shabby

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Sun Valley's snowmaking equipment makes it possible for the resort to open on Thanksgiving Day. - SUN VALLEY
  • Sun Valley
  • Sun Valley's snowmaking equipment makes it possible for the resort to open on Thanksgiving Day.

A strong arctic storm from Canada has allowed a handful of resorts to open their lifts for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. 

Thanks to snowmaking equipment, Schweitzer Mountain Resort opened on Nov. 22, and will reopen on Nov. 28 for the weekend. The resort has 16 inches of snow on the base—though only five of them are natural. 

Sun Valley will open 14 runs on Nov. 27—including both Bald and Dollar mountains. Sun Valley's snowmaking equipment has also been working"around the clock" to make the opening happen, according to their website. 

Brundage will open the Easy Street chairlift on Saturday, Nov. 29. - BRUNDAGE RESORT
  • Brundage Resort
  • Brundage will open the Easy Street chairlift on Saturday, Nov. 29.
Without relying on snowmaking, Brundage Resort doesn't have enough snow to open most of the mountain yet, but the resort will open Easy Street—the beginner's chairlift—on Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lift tickets are free to kids under 12, and cost $12 for everyone else. Pulled pork, hot dogs and soft drinks will be sold on the Kids Center deck, and ski lessons/rentals are available for kids under 10.

Taking place the evening before, on Friday, Nov. 28, Brundage hosts their annual Pray for Snow party in downtown McCall. Boise's Great Bait will play live music at Depot Park at 6:15 p.m., right after the tree lighting ceremony, while Salmon River Brewery keeps beers flowing over the brim. 

The resort needs 18 to 24 inches to cover the rockier areas and start grooming the slopes. Right now, it has 14 inches at the summit. The earliest opening on record was Nov. 11 in 1984. The resort managers predict it will be open seven days a week by Dec. 12.

It's been four years since Bogus Basin was open for Thanksgiving, and despite substantial snowfall a few weeks ago, it's doubtful the resort will make it this year either. The resort has gotten 17 inches of snowfall so far this season, with 10 inches sticking around at the base. General Manager Alan Moore said it might be possible for the resort to open Nov. 15, but not enough snow materialized. 
Bogus Basin has a 10-inch base so far. - BOGUS BASIN WEBCAM
  • Bogus Basin webcam
  • Bogus Basin has a 10-inch base so far.

The National Weather Service's forecast doesn't look too promising, with temperatures hitting 44 degrees on the mountain Nov. 26, and a chance of rain throughout much of the weekend. To read more about how Bogus Basin and other Southwest Idaho ski resorts are faring in a time of climate change, check out Boise Weekly's full report here.