2018-03-13 / Front Page

Area Ski Centers Thriving in Wake of Winter Storm Riley

By Rosie Cunningham

A skier at Windham Mountain Ski Resort bombing down the slopes immediately following the onslaught of Winter Storm Riley. 
Contributed Photo A skier at Windham Mountain Ski Resort bombing down the slopes immediately following the onslaught of Winter Storm Riley. Contributed Photo In the wake of the recent heavy snowfall which marked up to 25 inches locally, most area residents are hoping for mercy at the thought of being hit with another. However, area ski centers and snow bunnies, who are taking the mountains by storm, are not.

“The conditions are amazing. It’s hard to believe it’s March out there right now,” said Windham Mountain Communications Manager Becky Pine.

According to Pine, 100 percent of the Windham Mountain Terrain is open for business. She added that the recent snowfall is just what the doctor ordered for an otherwise weak season.

“We’ve had better seasons and we’ve had worse seasons,” said Pine. “The weather has definitely been a challenge. Bitter cold in December and January was great for snow-making, but not so great for skiers wanting to spend their holiday break on the mountain. Then, we had unseasonably warm temperatures throughout much of February. You never know what March will bring, so we’ve been very happy with the first week.”

“The recent snowfall absolutely has had a positive impact on the conditions and the mountain. It’s the first time we’ve been 100 percent open all season. Although we do make snow on 97 percent of our acreage, skiers and snowboarders love to see natural snow on the ground and until re- cently, we hadn’t seen much of that this season. We’re very grateful for these March storms.”

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount has experienced more than four feet of snow this past week according to its website. Fifty of 51 trails are open currently at the center and 98 percent of the terrain is in pristine condition.

“The conditions are just phenomenal and they just keep getting better and better,” stated the Bellaeyre website. “Snow is in the forecast for the next couple of days - looks like we are going to be adding to our snow totals yet again. Show showers will be developing tomorrow afternoon and through the night with accumulations anywhere from one to three inches. There is also potential for an additional two to four inches on Tuesday.”

Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury is owned by the Vajtay family and features four lifts and 38 trails, and boasts 1,100 feet of true vertical. As of Monday, 100 percent of the terrain is open and the Plattekill website boasts that conditions are terrific.

Area skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers flock to Plattekill each year, due in large part to its family oriented charm.

Many improvements have been made over the last couple of years which include 3,200 feet of snowmaking pipe, the widening of ski trails and base lodge improvements, according to the site, which details snowfall and trail conditions.

Additional improvements at the mountain include an expanded beginner terrain, a regraded and expanded loading area for Superchief, a new paint scheme for the Discovery lodge and additional buildings, continued efforts to expand and clear the gladed terrain, including widening the Dreamcatcher Glade and 267 seat cushions were added to the Superchief and Tomahawk lift chairs.

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