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Before It Melts: NY and PA Snow Missions
Field reports from the late April snow zone
Editor's Note: Earlier this week the highlands of western NY and PA were hit with the backside of a coastal storm that brought 1-2 feet of spring snow to the region. The ski areas out that way have been closed for a month but one decided to re-open and the rest were laying dormant covered in quickly melting snow. Here's the scoop from two Ski The Easters who made the effort on Tuesday. - AK
Adam in NY:
Although the chairlifts at Holiday Valley have been stopped for over 4 weeks, and their business plan has shifted from skiing to golfing, the ski gods answered our prayers with a late April storm resulting in over 15 inches of fresh snow. With only 750 feet of vertical the hike up Yodeler is short and steep, the snow is heavy and the ground is wet but that hasn't stopped us.
Heading up the boot pack
As I unload my car and walk to the bottom of the hill, I meet up with the regular group of "sickos" the guys out there rain or shine, ice or powder, doing what we love, doing all we know. The vibe is extremely high, and I am immediately greeted with high fives and a couple of "woos" and "hoots." If there is one thing we know at Holiday Valley its how to have fun and keep the energy up.
We start our trek up, the sky isn't sure what it wants to do, going from clear skies, to puking snow within minutes. The uphill climb takes about 20 minutes. Once we get to the top we take a minute to really take a look around, and realize how lucky we really are. Realizing that we are doing what we love, with the people we love. We take a few minutes to catch our breathe and then we all drop.
Catching breath between laps
If you heard us, you would think that there was a parade going down the hill, screams, woos, yells, yee-haws, and the occasional "do it up" in honor of our local pro "Radio Ron." The snow was like cream cheese and our skis were the knives, slicing and smoothing the snow like "butter on bread." It was heavy, and thick but the hill was ours, and with the lifts not running, it was our own private resort.
Saw snow showers and breaks of sun
We had trekked up the hill and done eight runs throughout the day. Skiing on days like today aren't about the snow, or location, its about being outside, doing what you love, earning every turn, and respecting what made this sport what it is today.
Dustin in PA:
On Monday the east coast caught a little more action from old man winter. Seven Springs then announced that they were opening for the day on April 24th to take advantage of the unexpected snow. After hearing this, my buddy Oakes and I decided to skip school and make the Two hour trip to Seven Springs to make a few more runs this season.
Snow in the distance in the Allegheny Mountains
When we pulled in to the parking lot at the mountain, under pristine blue skies, you could tell it was going to be a great day. Even though the snow was slush by noon, boatloads of people showed up, and the slope was covered with die hard skiers and boarders.
Seven Springs pulled the trigger for a one day melt fest
Seven Springs even had free hot dogs for everyone at the mountain, and the staff seemed as stoked about the snow as we were. Despite the poor quality snow PA had a great ski day, and now we're even more stoked for next season.
The latest date Seven Springs has ever been open
Start of the day snow conditions - butter
End of the day snow conditions - melted butter