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CAMAS COUNTY -- Folks have enjoyed skiing at Soldier Mountain Ski Area for decades, but this season the ski hill hasn't even been able to open yet.

Employees and volunteers have been getting ready, in case they get enough snow to open.

We worked all summer to get everything ready to go, said Soldier Mountain General Manager, Don Schiermeier. You just keep your hopes up, you gotta stay positive.

They keep the rental equipment ready, pack down whatever snow they get, and run the lifts periodically.

Schiermeier said this is the worst season Soldier Mountain has seen since the 1970s. The peaks at 9,600 feet still don't have enough snow for their Snow Cat tours and had sagebrush showing as recently as last week.

The big problem is they have only been getting a few inches at a time, and then the weather warms back up.

One week we'll get (enough snow), and then it warms up and then we have some south-facing slopes so the sun tends to melt those slopes off back down to the ground. So, then we're at ground zero again, and we try to build a base back up, he said. So that's been our problem is there's just not frequent enough.

This season, they could not open for Christmas break, one of the biggest times for resorts. They are hoping to open for President's Day Weekend, which Schiermeier said is the last big push for ski resorts. After that weekend, they start seeing fewer and fewer skiers.

That's approaching real shortly. That's only a week out so we're kinda at the tail end of the season here, Schiermeier said. So it's real difficult for Soldier being a non-profit.

So far this week, they've gotten 13 inches. They're hoping this storm will give them another boost.

There's supposed to another one coming in tonight and tomorrow so they're predicting a foot, 18 inches in the mountains. So, we're hoping Mother Nature will cooperate with us and bless us with some snow, said Schiermeier.

Schiermeier said it is expensive to open the resort, so they want to open as soon as possible to justify the expense.

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