Norm Wilson, manager of Coppervale Ski Area, right, gives a plaque to Pat McCormick that commemorates the years of service her husband gave to Coppervale operating the tow rope. The plaque will hang in the lodge at the ski resort. Photo by Terry Johnson

Coppervale Ski Area prepares for season opening

As snow begins to accumulate, preparations are underway to open Coppervale Ski Area as soon as there is a base of 18 to 24 inches. The first winter storms of the season brought about eight inches of dense, wet snow which is good for building the base, according to Norm Wilson, manager of Coppervale Ski Area.

Currently the Poma ski lift is being assembled, which requires double checking bolts and greasing parts during the process, said Wilson.

It is a time intensive process. It will undergo an inspection by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration before operating.

This inspection is required by law and is an important safety measure.

“This ensures the Poma lift is safe to run by providing a second set of eyes for inspection,” said Wilson.

The snowcat is also being repaired so it can be used to groom the slopes once the ski area opens.

A fundraiser dinner and silent auction was held at Lassen Community College Friday, Nov. 8, and enough money was raised to cover the cost

of parts for the snowcat.

The funds should also cover the cost of liability insurance for the season.

A new tow rope was purchased and will need to be installed.

Last year this tow was named the Mac McCormick Memorial Tow Rope. McCormick volunteered as the tow rope operator at Coppervale for 20 years until his death at age 85. Wilson presented his wife, Pat, a plaque commemorating his years of service during the fundraiser at Lassen College. This plaque will be placed at the Coppervale lodge this winter.

Wilson is looking for dedicated volunteers like McCormick.

He needs people to run the tow rope, load the Poma lift and sell lift tickets. In addition, he is looking for someone to train to operate a small ski resort.

He said that it is time for someone younger to take over the management position. Anyone interested in volunteering at Coppervale Ski Area can contact Wilson at 258-7635.

Last winter the snow conditions permitted Coppervale to operate for 30 days. During operation, hours are Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.