Of the Baker City Herald

No skier, even the egregiously naive, should trust the weather after its recent run of treachery.

But then skiers can get pretty gullible when the powder lies fresh and deep.

Such is the case at Ski Anthony Lakes, where storm clouds, which had horded their moisture for most of November, bestowed sufficient snow this week to make possible the first full weekend of skiing at the resort 34 miles northwest of Baker City.

The triple chairlift and handletow ran Friday, and will haul skiers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, said Jerry Krieg, Ski Anthony Lakes' marketing director.

Ski Anthony's Nordic center, in the Forest Service guard station on the north shore of Anthony Lake, will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well, and 15 kilometers of cross-country trails will be groomed.

The same storms that dusted Baker City with a skiff of snow earlier this week lavished the ski runs with seven inches, boosting the base to 28 inches, Krieg said.

Statewide, Anthony Lakes is tied with Timberline on Mount Hood for the deepest base.

And the National Weather Service predicts more snow several more inches, perhaps during the weekend.

andquot;There's good (snow) coverage up here,andquot; Krieg said Friday morning.

Krieg said John Powell, Ski Anthony's operations manager, said snow conditions are better than on any other opening weekend for at least the past six years.o

At least three runs will be groomed Variety, Broadway and Vista and possibly more if December's weather continues to more resemble October than November.

A couple of pre-Halloween blizzards very nearly persuaded Ski Anthony General Manager Rick Pignone to open the resort a couple weeks earlier than its traditional day-after-Thanksgiving debut.

But Pignone, displaying a keen sense of skepticism, waited.

And it was well that he did, because the overhead faucet's flow slowed to a trickle for the first three weeks of November.

A storm two days after Thanksgiving allowed Ski Anthony to open Nov. 28 but just two runs, Broadway and Variety, were skiable that day.

The slopes are smoother after this week's snow, but skiers should still expect to encounter occasional obstacles, Krieg said. He recommends skiers and snowboarders stay on groomed runs.

Skiers needn't nap between their downhill forays this weekend.

On Saturday Ski Anthony will celebrate a Victorian Christmas with a variety of events.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. guests will help employees decorate a Christmas tree and the lodge.

Adventurous skiers can swap their high-tech lengths of steel-edged fiberglass for long, heavy slabs of plain wood, and compete in the Victorian alpine race about 1 p.m.

Weather permitting, the competitors, some of them in control, will speed down the slopes on old-style wooden skis, which lack the steel edges that make modern skis so nimble.

In other words, it's sort of like driving a race course in a Hummer instead of a Corvette.

Krieg recommends skiers who want to compete in the free race bring their own wooden skis. The resort has a couple pairs of wooden boards, but they might not be available to the public, he said.

Also on Saturday, snowboarders can sample the newest Burton boards and equipment on Saturday by signing up at the company's demo tent, Krieg said.