JAY — The ground might be bare in most places, but not on Spruce Mountain Ski Slope.

Volunteers have been working around the clock to make enough snow to open the ski area the day after Christmas, Monday, Dec. 26.

Spruce Mountain Ski Club board Director Rick Couture said Wednesday they already had 6 to 12 inches on the Bunny Trail and are working on the Barn Trail.

“Mother Nature could help. It’s a lot easier for her to make snow,” Couture, a snowmaker and maintenance volunteer, said. “It’s always easier to have natural snow.”

They always make man-made snow for the tow lines, he said, so it lasts the season.

The club, which owns the equipment and operates the ski area, lost a couple of days last week to a downed generator that runs the snowmaking pumps. They rented one and have resumed their efforts.

The generator that provides electricity for the tow lines and other aspects of the ski area is new and is running well.

The towns of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls own the mountain and most of the buildings at the ski area.

Club members are also working on a plan to get a new garage to house equipment, including the snow-groomer and snowmaking machines.

Couture and another volunteer groomer, Greg Heath, both of Jay, started one of the groomers on Wednesday.

The National Guard did major work on six trails on the mountain, Ski Club President Kenny Jacques said.

Some earthwork and clearing the Guard did on the parking lot, base of the mountain and trails will provide for a smoother glide downhill for ski and snowboard enthusiasts, and prevent spring runoff from washing out the parking lot at the base of mountain into the Androscoggin River.

When skiers or snowboarders come down the mountain’s trails, it will be downhill all the way, Couture said. Up until this year, there were some areas that had inclines after starting down the trails.

Preseason pass sales end at 8 p.m. Friday.

They are available at a discounted price at the Ski Depot on Riley Road in Jay, which is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, said Jacques, who is also an owner of the ski shop.

The ski area is also now accepting all major credit cards except American Express, he said.

Preseason pass prices are $355 for a family, $205 for an adult and $179 for a student, he said.

After Friday, season passes will be available at the lodge on the mountain.

Those prices are $417 per family, $285 for an adult and $260 for a student, ski area Manager Dana Allen said.

During Christmas vacation week the mountain will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Couture said. The cost of day skiing is $17 for adults and $14 students, Allen said.

The mountain will also be open evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Those tickets are $12 for adults and $11 for students.

For more information and directions, go to sprucemountain.org.

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