Unseasonable balmy temperatures swept into southern Wyoming over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The warmer weather forced two ski areas that planned to open to change schedules.
 
Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area opened last Friday with Chute Lift providing access to one run—Centennial. But a combination of the warm weather and larger than expected visitation that put heavy use on the one run forced Snowy Range to close the following day.

“The early season conditions have deteriorated our snowpack more rapidly than expected,” a statement on the resort’s web site said. Cooler temperatures following the opening day allowed Snowy Range to turn on the snow guns.

Snowy Range base area

Snowy Range had a bigger than expected turnout for its first opening day Nov. 25. Photo by Cody Marshall/Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area.

Snowy Range re-opened yesterday, Dec. 1. The Chute Lift is running to ski or ride the Virginian run, which has a 16-inch base at the bottom. The Magic Carpet is scheduled to operate for beginners on weekends. Centennial run will await more snow before re-opening.

Hogadon Ski Area originally slated Nov. 26 for opening day, but warm weather precluded snowmaking, and predicted natural snow failed to appear. With unfavorable conditions, the city-owned ski area of Casper postponed cranking up its lifts. Managers have delayed the first day of the ski and snowboard season until Dec. 10.

When open, Hogadon’s ski and snowboard school will be operated by a new entity this year. The Casper Mountain Racers submitted a proposal to the city to operate the instruction programs at the ski area, and in November, the city committee overseeing the ski area leases granted the race team organization a three-year lease to operate instruction programs.