[R172R, Hidden Valley Ski Area], located within less than an hour from most of St. Louis, has been serving the lower Midwest since 1984. It offers a nice choice for Gateway City residents who would otherwise have to drive hours for any snowsports.  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.

The Valley plans on kicking off the season on Dec. 19, weather permitting, and to kick it off with a bang.  That's also the date for the area's first Moonlight Marathon session.  It will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for regular skiing and riding, and the midnight session kicks in at 10 p.m. and runs until 3 a.m.  Better be working out to get those ski legs into shape.  The season starts out fast and hard.  Moonlight lift tickets run $30.  Regular daily adult lift tickets are $42. 

During the holiday period, Dec. 21-31, the Valley plans to open at 9 a.m. daily giving area skiers and riders a little longer on snow time.  They will be closed Christmas Eve, but have a special Merry Christmas Moonlight Marathon session scheduled from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Dec. 25.  A great way to break in those skis and snowboards you got from Santa for Christmas, and speaking of Santa, make sure you bring those little skiers and riders out to join Santa on the slopes noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 26. 

Don't forget that you can ring in the New Year, Holiday Valley style, when the area will run a special Moonlight session midnight to 3 a.m. Jan. 1.  You supply the horns, hats. and noisemakers, and the Valley will supply the snow.   Be one of the first to ski in 2010.

More information.