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      Ski Brule first hill to open this season

      Photo Credit: Ski Brule

      They were the last U.P. hill to close last season, and this year, they're the first to open. Iron River's Ski Brule prides itself in its lengthy season.

      "Ski Brule's earliest opening was October 24 and our latest closing was May 15, so six months of snow at Ski Brule is a definite reality," said Jess Polich.

      This weekend they kicked off another long one with more than 600 ski and snowboarders.

      Just by looking at the ground, you wouldn't realize that the hill got about eight inches of natural snow, but most of that melted over our warmer weekend. Still, that didn't stop Ski Brule from opening early as usual; they have a lot of manmade snowmaking power.

      Snow machines made 24 inches of snow, enough to open two trails and start the season, despite temperatures in the high 40s. But most skiers didn't seem to miss the usual winter bite in the air. They know it will come soon enough.

      "I saw a couple guys yesterday in shorts and a T-shirt," said Travis Enneper of Iron River. "It was pretty interesting. Definitely nice to have the warm weather."

      While temperatures at the hill are expected to drop over the next few weeks, the number of visitors is expected to rise, making right now the perfect time for beginners.

      "It's a great time for new people to the sport to get out and enjoy, learn how to ski or snowboard, because the slopes aren't quite as busy as they can be as the season progresses."

      Lift tickets are also cheaper. Next weekend Ski Brule will cut their prices in half at $20 a ticket for adults. For more information on ski resorts in our area, visit their websites.