Lack of sufficient snow and persistent warm weather have kept Mount Lemmon Ski Valley from opening so far this season.
Slopes at the skiing site in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson held only patchy snow this week, with some lower slopes remaining barren.
“We’re not giving up hope,” said Leslie Garry, manager of Ski Valley. “It’s possible we could open if we get enough snow in February. It’s not out of the question. It just depends on what Mother Nature will do.”
Garry said the ski area has opened in February and remained open through March in some previous years after receiving substantial snow.
Recent history shows, though, that snow can be a no-go. Ski Valley remained closed for the entire 2013-2014 season because of insufficient snow for the first time in its half-century history.
How much snow would be needed for the area to open this season?
Ski Valley officials have said in past years that snow accumulations of 2 feet or more would be ideal.
“But it’s hard to say exactly how much would be needed to open,” Garry said. “It depends on the kind of snowfall we get” in terms of moisture content and density.
“We need to provide a good and safe base for people to come up and enjoy the mountain,” she said.
No snow is in the immediate forecast for the Catalina Mountains.
Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz