Steamboat Springs Buoyed by snowfall during the past week, the Steamboat Ski Area plans to open additional terrain Friday and Saturday.
The mountain's Priest Creek area will open Friday with lift access via the Sundown and Elkhead chairs. Those lifts will provide access to upper-mountain ski trails such as Twilight, Three O'Clock, Two O'Clock, One O'Clock, High Noon, Rolex, Daybreak and Westside.
Friday's additional openings will bring the total amount of skiable terrain to 1,133 acres via 65 trails and eight chairlifts, according to a news release from the ski area.
Ski area officials also plan to open additional terrain Saturday, including the South Peak chairlift, which services the Sunshine Bowl area. That opening will boost the skiable terrain to 1,444 acres via 80 trails and nine lifts.
Resort officials said Morningside Park should open by the middle of next week.
The expanded terrain coincides with the beginning of expanded ski season air service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. That expanded service began today.
The National Weather Service is forecasting an 80 percent chance of snow tonight and Friday, with total town accumulations expected to range from 2 to 5 inches. Tonight's low temperature will hover near zero degrees, with Friday's high reaching only 15 degrees. The cold weather is forecast to persist into next week, with daytime highs reaching only into the upper teens and low 20s. However, little or no precipitation is currently forecast for the weekend and into the middle of next week.
The ski area has reported measurable snowfall on 10 of the first 13 days of December. The mountain is reporting a mid-mountain base of 29 inches.