Get ready St. Louis snow sports enthusiasts, the ski season is just around the corner.

Hidden Valley Ski Area, less than an hour southwest of the city off I-44, plans on opening Dec. 18, weather permitting, and it kicks off the season with a bang. That's also the date for the area's first Midnight Madness session. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for regular skiing and riding, than the Madness kicks in and runs until 3 a.m. Better be working out to get those ski legs into shape.  The season starts out fast and hard.

Daily lift tickets from 9 a.m. to10 p.m. are $43, and late night lift tickets, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., are $29. Lift tickets with rental equipment included are $72 for regular hours and $58 for the late night sessions.

They will also be holding late night sessions on Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Enjoy a fireworks display at midnight on Dec. 31. Hidden Valley will be closed Christmas Eve Day and open daily the rest of the season.

Hidden Valley has been serving the lower Midwest since 1984 and offers a nice choice for Gateway City residents who would otherwise have to drive hours to find a ski area.  With a decent 310-foot vertical drop it has 13 trails and two terrain parks that are serviced by a quad chairlift, two triples and three surface tows, including a carpet lift for the beginner area. They are opening a new tubing area this season.

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