TUPPER LAKE - Big Tupper Ski Area will open this weekend, and with more snow in Sunday's forecast, things are looking good.
Jim LaValley is chairman of ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy), the group that revived Big Tupper and organizes volunteers to run it. He said the Chair 2 and rope tow lifts will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, servicing eight trails ranging from beginner to advanced.
"The conditions are good," LaValley said. "There are a couple of areas that they're marking that area a little thin, but the guys are finishing up grooming and everyone's excited to get out and hit the slopes this weekend."
Up until Wednesday's snowstorm, the mountain didn't have a deep enough snow base for safe skiing. With the recent snowfall, there is now 8 to 12 inches of snow on the slopes. LaValley said the volunteer crew has been busy grooming the trails, which will have a packed-powder surface.
The opening is big news for Big Tupper, which has been on the cusp of opening all winter. ARISE has a limited budget and no snowmaking equipment, so temperatures in the 30s and rain earlier in the season were a setback that wasn't overcome until now.
A Big Tupper day pass costs $25. Those 6 years old and younger, 71 and older and active military personnel can ski for free.
LaValley said he hopes rentals will be available, but he said those who need them should call Big Tupper at 518-359-3730.