QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Skiers and snowboarders have flocked to West Mountain throughout the Christmas weekend for the ski area’s opening weekend. Despite challenges brought on by a lack of snowfall and some milder temperatures early this winter, scores of people have already hit the trails.
“It’s great. We’ve had a lot of demand, last year there was a lot of demand as well. We opened about two weeks later than we would’ve normally opened, but everyone is in the same boat,” said Spencer Montgomery, the co-owner of West Mountain.
On top of the challenges brought on by the lack of natural snow coming down in the Adirondacks, there haven’t been many windows to make snow, either. “People think, ‘Oh, below 32, you’re making snow.’ Really the warmest you can make snow is 28 degrees, and that’s very marginal. But we’ve got enough down that we were able to get some of the major trails open for opening day,” Montgomery explained.
Despite those early challenges, scores of people have already hit the trails and the tubing area, which was completely sold out throughout the day Sunday. Montgomery says there is also an ideal window of snowmaking weather on the horizon, “We’ll be making snow tonight, for the next 34 hours we have a really good window. We’ll try to get the Frolic online and some other trails.”
And while the artificial snow may be different, “It is snow, we do get to ski, so that’s exciting. That’s what we’re all out here for,” said Altamont resident Brian Fish.
Fish, who skis numerous times a week at West Mountain, says artificial snow has become the norm throughout the northeast, unlike ski areas out west. He’s hoping the coming months will bring more snow to the mountains. “We are always hopeful, but as we say, the conditions: it’s great for what we have and we’re happy with it,” he said.
After what the owners say was a “banner year” last winter, they’re hoping to build off that success. Montgomery says they’re already off to a faster start compared to the 2020-2021 season.