Kirkwood opening weekend |

Kirkwood opening weekend

by Sarah Gonser

Kirkwood Ski Resort opened for business Saturday, attracting about 1,000 skiers and snowboarders throughout the weekend.

The surrounding mountains barely sported a dusting of snow, but Kirkwood enthusiasts enjoyed 10 to 20 inches of man-made snow on four open runs. By Sunday, there were 4 to 6 inches of freshly fallen snow, making for a smooth first ride of the season.

“Saturday was good, but today is a lot better,” said Subobh Nijsure of San Jose, Calif. “However, this is my third year skiing and I have to say, I’m pretty scared of those snowboarders.”

Nijsure had reason to be wary, the ratio of snowboarders to skiers was about 8-to-1 on Sunday.

“They just scare me, I’m not a great skier but from what I see, they don’t know who’s in front and who’s behind them. Maybe if I get better my apprehensions will go away,” he said.

Kirkwood communications manager, Tania Magidson, attributed the uneven ratio over the weekend to “rider spirit.”

“Boarders are into the early season thing. They’re really anxious to get out and not as particular about conditions,” Magidson said. “I actually saw boarders climbing the mountain last week before we opened the chairs.”

Nevertheless, Sean Kanousis of San Francisco described boarding as a mellow, fun experience.

“It’s just the best time. I’ve only snowboarded five times but it’s so much better than skiing,” he said. “It’s just such a great way to get away from the city.”

Kirkwood Ski Resort is expected to open more runs as the week draws on and more snow falls.

“I skied Saturday and the snow was pretty good,” said Magidson. “But I saw a lot of people going through safety signs and onto closed runs. There couldn’t have been much snow there. I guess they needed a little more variety.”

Magidson said another 3 feet of snow must fall before more runs can open.

“If Mother Nature cooperates, we’re hoping to open at least three-quarters of the mountain by Thanksgiving weekend,” she said.

Four runs and two chairs were open, including Mighty Mite, Hay Flat, Buckboard and Wagon Trail. Kirkwood opened about a week earlier last year with a lot more snow on the ground.

“We got about 3 feet of snow around this time last year. But this year, with all the development we’re involved in, we can’t push to open early. Our priority is to get as much construction completed in the base area before the season opens,” Magidson said.

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