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November 07. 2013 8:07PM

Loon Mountain opens for skiing Friday

LINCOLN — Wax up your equipment because Loon Mountain has turned on its snow guns. Loon will open Friday for early season skiing and riding.

The resort will be open Saturday and Sunday, closed on Veterans Day, and then will reopen for the season on Friday, Nov. 15.

After two days of snowmaking, the mountain plans to open five trails, including a top-to-bottom run for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders. The gondola and East Basin chairlift will take skiers to Exodus, Upper Bear Claw, Grand Junction, Link and Lower Picked Rock.

“We’re incredibly excited to be opening Friday, which will be one of the earliest opening dates in Loon’s history,” said Loon spokesman Greg Kwasnik. “With this season’s major snowmaking upgrades, we’re able to make more snow in the early season, and open terrain faster than we ever have before.”

The earliest opening day in Loon history was Nov. 5. Last year, Loon opened Nov. 17.

During the off-season Loon made improvements to the tune of $1.3 million, which included 100 new semi-automated snowmaking hydrants and 29 new high-efficiency low-energy tower guns. Loon also boosted its snowmaking water capacity by over 40 percent by installing two new pumps.

“Increased water capacity means snowmakers can pump more water to more snowmaking guns at any given time. Our snowmakers will be able to open terrain faster in the early season and deliver better snow all season long,” said Kwasnik.

The mountain has added 650 tower guns since 2010.

“The new snowmaking hydrants reduce snowmaking startup/shutdown times on key snowmaking trails by 75 percent,” said Kwasnik. “This allows us more flexibility in making snow during short cold-weather windows. In the past, we’d have to wait for a 12-hour window of cold weather to make snow; with these easy-on, easy-off hydrants, our snowmakers can now fire up the guns during a six-hour window.”

“We only made snow two nights and our snowmakers were thrilled what they were able to do in that short amount of time. We expect to open more terrain earlier than we ever have before with this new snowmaking capacity, so expect good things,” said Kwasnik.

Lifts will run Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, Loon will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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