Published December 02, 2012, 05:15 AM

DESTINATION: Good skiing conditions thanks to snow making machines

There’s still not quite enough snow for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in most areas of northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, but that’s not an issue of you’re a downhill skiing enthusiast. Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji and Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D., are the two closest downhill skiing destinations to Grand Forks, and both opened for the season this weekend.

By: Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

There’s still not quite enough snow for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in most areas of northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, but that’s not an issue of you’re a downhill skiing enthusiast.

Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji and Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D., are the two closest downhill skiing destinations to Grand Forks, and both opened for the season this weekend.

Thanks to snowmaking machines, skiing conditions aren’t bad. Frostfire reports a 20-inch snow base and 3 inches of new snow on its three open runs, and snowmaking is continuous when temperatures allow.

Snowmaking also is in full swing at Buena Vista, and conditions are good. Suzanne Thomas of Buena Vista said they’ll have two runs open with a 10- to 16-inch base, along with a terrain park for skiers and snowboarders.

Frostfire opened for the season Saturday and will be open only on weekends through the early part of the season. Skiing hours will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Buena Vista also is open only weekends early in the season. Skiing and snowboarding hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buena Vista also is offering an opening weekend special that continues today, with $12 lift tickets, $12 ski rentals and $12 snowboard rentals.

Frostfire Ski Area is about 110 miles northwest of Grand Forks, while Buena Vista is about 120 miles east and a little bit north of Grand Forks — slightly more than two hours in both cases.

For more information, contact Frostfire Ski Area at (701) 549-3600 or check out the website at frostfireskiarea.com. Additional information about Buena Vista Ski Area is available at (800) 777-7958, (218) 243-2231 or online at bvskiarea.com.

— Brad Dokken

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