ARCTIC VALLEY - While a foot of new snow is good news for the Arctic Valley Ski Area it also means hard work for volunteers.
“Whew, this is tough,” said Richard Todd as he shoveled out a path to the lodge.
Arctic Valley Road was closed a few days earlier this week after heavy rain in the Anchorage Bowl made it a nightmare for drivers.
“Sometimes the road up here is just horrendous. It's been closed several days this year with just sheer ice conditions. It's in pretty good shape right now, there's a lot of snow and we need to do snow plowing,” said Todd.
While the fresh powder might be tempting, board members advise skiers to stay off the slopes until ski patrol can get their first.
“They'll be going up to do avalanche patrol work, which involves skiing across the hill and testing snow conditions, making sure all the runs are safe and stable. Then we'll send volunteers up to set up the mountain, then we can open to the public,” said Board President John Koltun.
If the flakes keep falling, the mountain could be open in a couple of weeks. It’s not as soon as they’d hoped for, but board members say better late than never.
“We've had a couple of late years like this, and up here at Arctic Valley we just have to be patient. The snow always comes. Right now we're getting a pretty good start on it even though it's late into January,” said Todd.
Koltun says he’s optimistic the slopes will be open by the end of the month.