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Lookout Pass, Silver Valley to offer a final weekend of skiing

Courtesy of Matt Sawyer/Lookout Pass
Skiers have one last chance to hit the slopes at Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain this weekend.

Big snow last weekend convinced the resort to operate on Saturday and Sunday.

The ski season ended on Easter or even earlier for most of the resorts in the Inland Northwest. But two resorts, Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain, are staying open for one more weekend.

Lookout Pass spokesman Matt Sawyer says the resort received more than a foot of snow during Easter weekend.

“Friday we had four inches, Saturday we had three and we had seven inches on Easter Sunday," he said.

That was enough to convince the resort to allow skiing on part of the mountain and run the quad lift for two more days, Saturday and Sunday. The problem is this is normally a time when the resort is preparing for its summer biking season on the Hiawatha Trail.

“The hard part for us is we really completely gut our internal buildings to put in the infrastructure we need for operating the Hiawatha and move all of our rental equipment into storage. We pull all of the bikes up in the buildings. We bring up 12 buses and get all the buses ready. It’s a lot of work required to transition the area here just to get ready for the bike season. So operating later, it puts us into a bind a little bit," Sawyer said.

But, he says, resort leaders decided it’s worth extending the season for one more weekend.

“Everybody’s just kind of buckling up and saying, you know what, it’s worth it. It’s worth it for the guests. That’s the number one thing," he said.

Sawyer says, if more snow falls in the next few days, there could be discussions about another weekend after that.

Silver Mountain, a little to the west, is also offering public skiing Saturday and Sunday. It is also sponsoring its annual Leadman triathlon on Saturday: one-mile ski, eight-mile bike ride and four-mile run, followed by a party afterward in the Gondola Village.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.