As the weather gets colder and the snow starts to fall, it's time to break out the skis and snowboards and head to Terry Peak Ski Area.

Terry Peak is tentatively planning to open their slopes Dec. 3, according to Marketing Director Linda Derosier. 

"With the snowfall we got last night (Nov. 17) and the cool temperatures, that was our first opportunity to make snow," Derosier said. "As soon as temperatures are favorable again, 28 or below, we'll get going again."

Terry Peak makes their snow with an underground system that pushes air and water together through their snow-making guns in freezing temperatures, which is pushed out the nozzle to create the snow.

"The system makes a nice, natural type of snow," Derosier said. "It's not just frozen in a great big gun and thrown out in a fan, which can create a chunkier surface."

Derosier added that man-made snow is more durable than natural snow, setting up a base of 15 to 24 inches that's added to with natural snowfall.

She said Terry Peak offers snow slopes that accommodate both beginners and experienced skiers.

"We have a wonderful beginner slope that provides people with a safe, slow way up the mountain," Derosier said. "We also have three high-speed chairlifts to get experienced skiers up the mountain quickly, and we have a fleet of groomers that groom the slopes overnight so that when you get there, they're perfect for them."

Terry Peak has also renovated Stewart Lodge, their main day lodge, with an extensive expansion and remodeling.

"You can get lunch, have alcohol at a nice big bar, or pick up necessities for the day," Derosier siad. "We spent the whole summer remodeling, and our kitchen is going to offer an expanded list of healthier food offerings."

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Later events in the season at Terry Peak include a youth league ski from the northern division on the weekend of Jan. 6 to 8, a lunar run currently planned for Jan. 14, and their music series in January and February. 

In the meantime, however, visitors can enjoy the regular skiing season for winter sports novices and experts alike.

"It's a wonderful way to get out of the house or the office, and it's something you can do with your friends, your family, or yourself," Derosier said. "Once you become a skier, you kind of get hooked."

For more information or updated dates for Terry Peak Ski Area, visit terrypeak.com or call 605-584-2165.

Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or max.oconnell@rapidcityjournal.com

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