GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (KOIN) — Timberline Lodge kicked off its 2019/2020 season opener on Thursday after a week of uncertainty.
Extreme weather and snow conditions kept Timberline officials waiting to make an announcement.
“We had a big wind storm up here which basically shut everything down last thirty hours or so,” said John Burton, the director of marketing and PR at Timberline. “This morning, things were tapering off.”
People were waiting to hit the slopes Thursday morning after the decision was made to open the lifts. Burton estimated the lodge would see about 500 people opening day.
“It’s beautiful, it’s a great day to start off your first day,” said Kermit Knight, a skier from California.
Timberline will run 2 lifts for its season opener: Bruno and Pucci.
“We are currently operating 2 lifts and, as conditions improve, we will expand our offerings and open up more terrain,” said Burton.
Workers monitored snow and weather conditions on Wednesday and continued to do so on opening day.
“We weren’t quite sure what things were going to look like this morning after the trashing we got yesterday,” Burton said. “Mount ops worked really hard to get the resort open. They were here all night evaluating and they pulled it off.”
The decision to open the slopes was met by enthusiasm from Timberline guests.
“It’s pretty nice; there’s a little ice, there’s a lot of nice pockets of fluffy snow,” said snowboarder Sergio Siberio.
Cold and sunny conditions are expected to last through the weekend. Those considering making the drive up to Timberline should expect to hit winter conditions and carry chains or traction tires.
“Driving is no joke,” said Burton. “Give yourself a little extra time before you start traveling in the mountains.”
Timberline will be open 7 days a week through the end of the season. Lifts run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ski and snowboard lessons begin on Friday. Night skiing will open around Christmas.