Photo courtesy of Skibowl.

Skibowl will begin running the Multorpor chairlift at night tonight following a season-saving snowstorm this week.

Skibowl has struggled with low snow levels all season and has been unable to open its workhorse Lower and Upper Bowl chairlifts. The Lower Bowl lift will run for the first time tonight, but only to connect skiers and snowboarders with a trail leading them to Multorpor.

A goat path returning guests from Multorpor to the West Bowl base will also be open, but Reynolds, Dogleg and Lower Bowl are still closed, as are Outback and Scotty's Way up above and the Cascade chair at Skibowl East that serves as a key training slope for junior and high school racers.

I asked resort spokesman Hans Wipper why Skibowl is able to open Multorpor but not the Lower Bowl, and this is the explanation he offered through e-mail:

"Multorpor chair has a northern aspect that protects it from the sun, and the trees protect the runs from the wind as well.  The base of the Multorpor chair is also a couple hundred feet higher than the base of the Lower Bowl chair.  All that allows the area to hold snow much better than the wide open exposed runs of Lower Bowl."

Response to the Multorpor night opening on Skibowl's Facebook page was almost uniformly positive, although several people have grumbled on that page about the no-refund policy for season pass holders in low snow years.

Skibowl has adapted to the lack of snow by focusing on its tubing hill and other attractions at Skibowl East and two rope tows at Skibowl West, one for first-time learners and the other for freestylers, with 10 terrain park features. The terrain park rope tow is open until 10 pm and the tubing hill is open until 11 pm for Cosmic Tubing.

The Olympic Ski School at Skibowl West is also open for business, with a $24 learn to ski or snowboard package.

Night lift tickets are selling for $25 for adults and $20 for juniors. Day lift tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for children.

Season night pass holders can use their passes to board lifts during the day today and Sunday.

For the latest weather and lift statuses at Skibowl, check the resort's conditions page.