After Unseasonably Warm Start, Ski Areas In the Northeast Open for Business


Unseasonably warm temperatures have caused Northeastern ski resorts to hold back opening their doors to excited skiers and snowboarders.  However, as of today, most resorts are — at least partially—open for business.

Warm Winter Means Less Snow for Skiiers

If you reside in the Northeast, it would be near impossible not to notice the mild temperatures that have brought us rain, rather than the typical, snowy ski-weather of years previous.  Jamie Munks, writer at reports: “Christmas came a day late for skiers and snowboarders when West Mountain Ski Center opened on Monday.”  West Mountain Ski Center is a New York State staple ski destination.

That being said, the resort has had a tough time making snow, and an even tougher time keeping it from melting.  Ideal snow-making temperatures fall somewhere in the mid-teens and low 20s, Fahrenheit.

Brian Whitley, a senior meteorologist with North Country Weather, estimated that temperatures were on average six or seven degrees above normal for the month.  “About one inch of snow has fallen so far this month in Glens Falls and much of the surrounding area, compared to the roughly five inches that fell in November… but much of the area is eight or nine inches below normal for the month,” Whitley said.

The unseasonable warm weather has made it difficult for ski areas across the northeast to open their doors for business, but it seems that the veil has been lifted, and apprehensive skiers are finally able to hit the slopes that they’ve been lusting after in the weeks approaching Christmas.

The Associated Press reports: “Northeast ski resorts generally try to open by Thanksgiving, but warmer-than-usual nighttime temperatures delayed some openings this year.”  New Hampshire—one of the nation’s northernmost states — is not immune to the trend, but thankfully: “The number of open ski areas in New Hampshire has nearly tripled in the last two weeks, as colder temperatures and some snow finally arrived.”

The Associated Press also tells us: “With opening day at Black Mountain in Jackson (New Hampshire) on Tuesday, 17 of the state’s downhill ski areas are now open. The industry group Ski NH says the only exception is Abenaki Ski Area, the community owned and operated ski area in Wolfeboro.” Though accepting skiers, most resorts have only opened up a portion of their trails, as Mother Nature has left the job of snow creation entirely on the backs of the snow machines.

Jeff Valin reports on Massachusetts ski resort Berkshire East Ski Area: “‘We have had two good windows of snowmaking opportunity within the last two-and-a-half weeks,’ said Berkshire East’s Christopher Tuesday.  That’s not much for this time of year, and there have been plenty of thaw temperatures in-between, interspersed by precipitation only in the form of rain.”

Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, with “the crucial December school vacation week upon them, Berkshire East and counterpart Blandford Ski Area opened Monday,” as well.

“(Officials at) Blandford say they’re going to take a hit because of the weather,” but with limited trail openings, owner Eric Van Oostveen has decided to cut the normal lift ticket price from $47 to a mere $15.

It would seem that the wait has finally ended, and American skiers can finally benefit from the popular ski areas of the northeast.  It has been a slow start, but things are only looking better for the upcoming weeks.

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