Wolf Creek Ski area opens

Wolf Creek is the first ski area in the country to open this season./Photo by Rosanne H. Pitcher, courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area

WOLF CREEK — Mother Nature blanketed Wolf Creek Ski Area with a 20-inch storm leaving an all natural settled base of 14 inches at the midway. 

This weekend Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, October 14th, Wolf Creek will open with Treasure, Bonanza and Nova Lifts operating. This is Wolf Creek’s second earliest opening ever and the first ski area in the country to open this season.

Wolf Creek is open for the season with weekends only until conditions allow full-time operation. Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova Lifts will be turning from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with very early season conditions and obstacles. 

A Nova Only Lift Ticket with access to Nova and Susan’s runs will be $29 for adults, seniors and children. Access to all three lifts will be at the Local Appreciation rate of $50 for adults, $33 for seniors and $27 for children.

The Wolf Creek Lodge will be open with a limited lunch menu. Pathfinder Bar will be open as well. The Ski School will be available for both adults and children, including the Wolf Pup Program. The Ski Rental and Boarder Dome will be open, as well as Treasure Sports.

Visit WolfCreekSki.com.

Improvements this year at Wolf Creek include:

• a new high-speed detachable quad chairlift. The Charity Chair, formerly

Meadow Lift, is the tenth lift in Wolf Creek’s current lift system and will be the third lift in the spacious 900-acre Alberta Area. The new addition to the Wolf Creek Lift System is a Doppelmayr high-speed, detachable quad chairlift benefiting all ability levels of skiers and boarders. Beginner and intermediate skiers will have 55 acres of previously underutilized terrain available to them, whereas advanced skiers and riders coming from the Knife Ridge and Horseshoe Bowl area will have a convenient return connection to the Alberta and Elma Lifts.

The change of name to Charity Chair is a salute to Charity Jane Pitcher, past owner of Wolf Creek Ski Area, wife of Kingsbury Pitcher and mother of current CEO, President and Area Manager Davey Pitcher. The bottom terminal of the Charity Chair is to the East of the Alberta Lift towards Alberta Lake; the top terminal is to the East of Tower Eight of the Alberta Lift. The Charity Chair will be over 2,200 feet in length with a vertical rise of 341 feet spanning over eight towers.

• purchase and implementation of department modules through the current RTP Point-of-Sale technology used in the ticket office. With the computerized system implemented and launched during the start of the 2017-18 ski season in the ticket office, all departments will now be on the same program. A mountain wide POS will offer guests a more fluid and efficient visit to Wolf Creek through RTP. The ski area has chosen to offer the highest level of security through RTP in all credit card transactions through an encrypted tokenization.

• finishing touches on the Lynx Lift and Interpretive Center. Guests enrolled in the First Day Beginner Ski Package will now have the option of purchasing lesson tickets and renting skis in the Interpretive Center, located behind the Sports Center. Offering Beginner Ski Packages and rentals in the Lynx Interpretive Center will simplify novice skiers’ process of getting started for the day.

Beginner ski packages purchased on the eStore will now be picked up at the Interpretive Center too. The Beginner Specials will also include access to the Charity Chair, making five beginner lifts available to those enrolled. The eStore will continue to offer all group lessons for any ability level, ages five and older, including Beginner Specials, Wolf Pups, Wolf Riders and Hot Shots. Private lessons will still need to be arranged through the ticket office or booked over the phone because of the many details required.

• Wolf Creek Ski Area is celebrating its first year anniversary of going solar! Wolf Creek has always been a leader in maintaining sustainable business practices by purchasing renewable energy, using biodegradable oils in machinery and having water free restrooms. November 2018, Wolf Creek took a big step and became the first solar powered ski area. The first year anniversary of Wolf Creek having its main source of energy come from the Penitente Solar Project in the San Luis Valley is to be celebrated. The 2018-19 ski season will be the 13th season Wolf Creek has used a form of renewable energy year-round for 100 percent of the mountain. Wolf Creek continues to maintain its logging program in cooperation with the forest service to cut and clean dead beetle kill in an affordable manner.

Another eco-friendly practice that will become standard is paperless Season Passes and rental forms. Thanks to the point-of-sale system, Season Pass Holders and guests renting equipment from either Rental Shop will now fill out Contracts and Liability Waivers online, eliminating the need for paper contracts. An option of uploading a photo to be used on season pass cards will also be available online for pass holders. Pass holders will continue to go directly to lifts and skip the Ticket Office. Colorado Search and Rescue cards will continue to be included in the purchase of a season pass for the sixth consecutive season.

• Ski and snowboard clinics have been revamped for 2018-19! Wolf Creek will now offer two new clinics and has polished the existing ladies day to Ms. Mondays, and Baby Boomers’ clinics to Forever Young Ski and Board Clinics. The new clinics to debut for the ski season are a Current Affairs Conditions Series where a discounted lift ticket is paired with a two-hour morning lesson that will highlight how best to ski and/or ride the current conditions. Tuesday Turns is the second new series to be added to the clinic roster. Tuesday Turns will also be a discounted lift and morning lesson combo that will take skiers and boarders of all abilities out on the mountain and refine their technique.

• The highway leading to the ski area from Pagosa Springs has had its own improvements this summer. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) spent over $9 million dollars to make major improvements to approximately 30 miles of road. US highway 160 improvements consist of a new surface overlay, upgrade guardrail and improvements to the scenic overlook hairpin, all on the West side of Wolf Creek Pass. CDOT’s summer improvements compl3ment their work of keeping Wolf Creek Pass well maintained in the winter months.

Additional information can be found on www.WolfCreekSki.com or by calling 970-264-5639.

Don’t forget to call 1-800-SKI-WOLF for the latest update on snow and weather conditions.

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