Winter storms help Ski Valley open earlier than expected

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Winter storms early last week packed a punch that left Mt. Lemmon covered in over two feet of snow.

Friday that winter blast paid off up on the mountain.  Ski Valley officially opened for business.

"An epic day at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley," said Matt Russell.

For these skiers and snowboarders like Matt Russell the weekend got started a little early.

Thirty plus inches of snow on top of a 14 inch base, not a bad way to open up Ski Valley

Conditions made for a busy day on the slopes.

No matter who you were, a seasoned snowboarder or a first timer everyone felt like a little kid in the snow.

"Plumes of powder exploding underneath the board.  It's just surfing the earth.  Doesn't get better than this.  An hour from Tucson," said Russell.

No one expected Tucson's winter escape to open up this early in the season, but all the white stuff made it happen.   And business owners aren't complaining.

"Definitely good for business, right before holidays to open this early this year," said area manager Graham Davies.

Friday the sun didn't warm things up too much, but that's the way the skiers like it.

And when it was time to call it a day and head back to snow-less Tucson, Tucsonans were not too disappointed.  After all, it's just an hour away and the snow's not going anywhere anytime soon.