Good news, skiers! Badger Pass might open next week

The concessionaire for Yosemite National Park is hoping the weather conditions will allow Badger Pass ski area to open next week.

In Yosemite Valley, the roads are all clear, and there was only a little rain on Wednesday, but there's still plenty of snow on the ground to make some snowballs or even a snowman.

The ski area has received about three feet of snow since Thanksgiving, and staff members are now hoping to open the slopes and fire up the chair lifts next Friday.

Tourists are enjoying the snowcapped sights in Yosemite from recent storms that have blanketed the park in a layer of white and led waterfalls to start flowing again over the past few days.

"Aww, just stunning. We've just always wanted to come and see Yosemite," says Kay Pamer, who's visiting from New Zealand.

The snowy scenery had many people clicking their cameras, but soon visitors will also be able to hit the slopes of California's oldest ski resort, which is once again known by its original name, Badger Pass.

"We have about 3 feet of snow from the recent storms over the Thanksgiving holiday. We're really excited our team is out there grooming the runs. We've got 10 runs, and we're looking to open next Friday on December 13," says Aramark Marketing Manager Lisa Cesaro.

Badger Pass relies solely on natural snow, and it needs a packed base of 18 inches to operate.

The typical season runs from mid-December to mid-March.

It did not open at all in 2017, but Cesaro says 2018 was a very good year, and the early snow so far is a good sign for this season.

Families can also enjoy a variety of other winter activities once the facility opens.

"There's guided snowshoe walks, you can snowboard, we have phenomenal cross-country skiing. We have numerous trails to get out and explore nature and enjoy the winter beauty of Yosemite."

Yosemite spokesperson Scott Gediman says the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are also among the most peaceful in the park, but families who do head this way should bring tire chains and a few extra supplies.

"You can never be too safe or too prepared, so just have food, water, blankets in your car, chains and extra shoes for running in the snow and you're good to go," he says.

The Curry Village ice rink is also expected to open later this month, a little closer to Christmas.

Aramark officials will be providing updates about the conditions at Badger Pass on Facebook and the Yosemite website.
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