Mammoth Mountain will open for skiing and snowboarding on Friday, following a powerful storm that dumped at least two feet of snow at the main lodge and four to six feet at higher elevations.

To celebrate the second-earliest opening of the ski resort -- in 1994, it opened Oct. 8 -- skiers and snowboarders will be able to ride for free for the day.

"We are so excited to start the season nearly four weeks ahead of schedule and to be able to reward our guests with a free day on the slopes," said Howard Pickett, chief marketing officer of Mammoth Mountain.

Lifts will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, providing access to the Broadway, Forest Trail, Mambo, St. Moritz and Main Park areas; more lifts and trails will open according to weather conditions.

For more on early-season snowfall and ski resorts across the U.S., see "Plenty of white stuff already on U.S. slopes."

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