Record early season snowfall has dumped on Moonlight Basin Resort. That herald lifts running mountain-wide for Moonlight's official opening day Dec. 11.

"This is the best early season snowfall we have had in over 20 years and gives us the perfect opening conditions," General Manager Greg Pack told OnTheSnow. "We are a month ahead in snowfall compared to previous years, and it is only getting better."

Conditions have been so good that Moonlight fired up its Iron Horse lift Friday, Dec. 3, a week earlier than anticipated. The lift serves as a crucial link to Big Sky Resort, which has been operational since Thanksgiving. It will continue to run this week, servicing those with Biggest Skiing in America passes, Big Sky Resort lift tickets, or Moonlight Basin passes and lift tickets. Special Moonlight Basin ticket pricing is in effect with 10 runs available.

Moonlight Basin will host its annual exclusive passholder event Dec. 10, when it cranks open the rest of the lifts at the resort. Lifts will run for passholders only.

The resort officially opens for the public Dec. 11. Moonlight plans to run all lifts for opening day, including the Headwaters. North Summit Snowfield, accessed via Big Sky, will open later in the season when conditions permit.

The resort dove into improvements during the off-season. Several runs, including Cinnabar, Elkhorn, and Horseshoe, were widened and graded to change the pitch in places. The Moonride Rental Shop was also expanded with a larger inventory of equipment including new Rossignol ski equipment and Burton Learn To Ride Snowboard systems. The daycare facility moved to the Madison Village Base Area, near the Snowsports School, Moonride Rental Shop, and beginner lift to allow for easier transition to the slopes.

Moonlight Basin has also tweaked their operations on the beginner and expert ends. A special $25 ticket will be available for the Derringer Lift to accommodate beginners who don't need an all-mountain lift ticket, and for experts, the resort aims to open the expert North Summit Snowfield daily, conditions permitting.

Meanwhile, Moonlight passholders will get the first shot at the powder-covered slopes. Packed summed up the anticipation by saying, "Face shots on opening day: Is there a better way to start the season?"

More information.