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Cascade plow

Cascade Mountain Manager Matt Vohs plows the ski hill Wednesday as the Portage business plans for a soft opening Saturday and Sunday. Cascade Mountain expects to open for good on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Cold weather is good news for Cascade Mountain and area skiers.

Cascade Mountain making snow

Cascade Mountain Manager Matt Vohs explains the snow-making operations at the ski hill Wednesday as the Portage business plans for a soft opening Saturday and Sunday. Cascade Mountain expects to open for good on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The Portage ski hill will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday thanks to single-digit temperatures that have so far helped Cascade to produce more than 20 million gallons of snow.

Cascade plow

Cascade Mountain Manager Matt Vohs plows the ski hill Wednesday as the Portage business plans for a soft opening Saturday and Sunday. Cascade Mountain expects to open for good on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Cascade Mountain expects to open again with the same hours on Nov. 23 and 24 and stay open every day beginning Friday, Nov. 29.

“I’ve been here 21 years and have never seen an early November like this,” Cascade Mountain Manager Matt Vohs said of the cold weather. “It gave us a lot more work to do, right away.”

Director of Operations Jamison Vaughn said Cascade should have 14 trails open for Saturday and Sunday — double the amount it typically provides in soft openings.

Cascade Mountain crew

Cascade Mountain crew members work near the chair lifts Wednesday during snow-making operations as the Portage business plans for a soft opening Saturday and Sunday. Cascade Mountain expects to open for good on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“This is a very uncommon November for Wisconsin,” Vaughn said of Cascade snow-making that involves nearly 500 snow guns. “We’ve been making snow for eight days and this weather is outstanding for it.”

Cascade Mountain has 47 total trails and will likely produce more than 100 million gallons of snow throughout the winter, Vaughn said.

Cascade Mountain manager Matt Vohs

Cascade Mountain Manager Matt Vohs explains the snow-making operations at the ski hill Wednesday as the Portage business plans for a soft opening Saturday and Sunday. Cascade Mountain expects to open for good on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The ski hill employs 350 seasonal employees and 120 volunteers with the ski patrol.

“We anticipate a big season,” Vohs said while standing next to an SMI Super PoleCat — a snow gun that uses 150 gallons of water, per minute, to generate snow for Cascade’s main trails. “I think the early snowfall and cold weather has piqued a lot of people’s interest. We’ve had more phone calls and inquiries on social media than ever before.”

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Vaughn said the vast majority of snow at Cascade right now is man-made, noting that early snowfalls earlier this year have mostly melted away. “The cold temperatures are what really helps us. You can pretty much make as much snow as you want in this kind of weather.”

Interested skiers should check cascademountain.com to confirm all scheduling.

‘Great start’ for Devil’s Head

Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac announced it will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday that weekend. It will likely repeat that schedule the following weekend and then stay open every day beginning sometime in mid-December, depending on the weather, Marketing Director Alex Stoick said.

Devil’s Head features 32 trails, seven lifts and two conveyor belts for beginners.

“This is a great start to the season,” Stoick said of cold weather and snow-making efforts involving 350 snow guns. “We’re a full resort with a hotel, restaurant, bar — everything you need.

“We’ve been very fortunate with this weather, and we’re making a ton of snow.”

Interested skiers should check devilsheadresort.com to confirm all scheduling.

Christmas Mountain Village

In Wisconsin Dells, Christmas Mountain Village hopes to be open for skiers in late November or early December, employee Maddie Hanson said.

According to its website, Christmas Mountain features 16 downhill runs.

Interested skiers should check bluegreenvacations.com/resorts/wisconsin/christmas-mountain-village to confirm all scheduling.

Follow Noah Vernau on Twitter @NoahVernau or contact him at 608-695-4956.

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