With two feet of snow at its summit and more on the way, Discovery Ski Area plans to open on Thanksgiving Day, joining several other Montana ski areas to open this week.
Ciche Pitcher, president of Discovery, said the mountain will be open throughout the holiday weekend starting Thursday. It will operate seven days a week Starting on Dec. 16.
Over the past summer, Discovery invested in lift maintenance, new rental gear and grading at the base of the mountain to improve chair-life access. The mountain’s new website is also more user friendly.
“We want to make sure that everything we do in the off-season is improving the skier experience,” said Pitcher. “From making sure our lifts run seamlessly and increasing access to all our terrain to offering a user-friendly website and the most modern rental gear.”
The ski area also added a new trail on the north side of the mountain, connecting the bottom of the Limelight Chair to the Granite Chair.
“The new trail allows skiers and boarders skiing the advanced terrain from the Limelight Chair the ability to stay on the backside of the mountain and ski over to the Granite instead of needing to go down and back up the front side as in previous seasons,” Pitcher said.
Echo Lake Trail Association, the nonprofit that maintains nearly 20 miles of Forest Service cross-country ski trails near Discovery, also made off-season upgrades for Nordic skiers — adding a warming hut with a wood stove and making improvements to the Midway Parking Area.
Discovery joins Big Sky Resort in planning a Thanksgiving Day opening. Red Lodge Mountain and Bridger Bowl plan to open this Friday, while Blacktail Mountain is aiming for Dec. 1.