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Western N.Y. Ski Areas Pile Up Snow Totals

Holiday Valley, N.Y. (Holiday Valley)

While the rest of the country hit the shops on Black Friday, in western New York, it was definitely white.


Ski and ride areas like Holiday Valley and Kissing Bridge, both near Buffalo, and Bristol Mountain, outside Rochester, regaled in the early arrival of winter, thus jump starting the new season.


“The weather was hard to ignore and everyone was getting so excited,” Holiday Valley’s Kristen Sciara told SnoCountry.com. “Once we knew Friday was going to be the opening day, our guests and employees were ready. We had customers come from all over our region. There were folks lined up at the chairlift by 6:15 a.m.”


The area benefitted from natural snow, snowmaking and the lake effect snow machine off Lake Ontario. The combination enabled the region to offer on-snow fun in November for the first time in six years, according to the Buffalo News.


“We had over 18 inches of snow over the last week, and with our automated snowmaking system we opened with great coverage and a lot of terrain,” Sciara said. A total of 17 trails and four lifts running above packed powder made for a strong opening day.


Kissing Bridge welcomed skiers and riders on its first day with five trails, three lifts and up to two feet of snow, with many guests carving turns on the Holly trail. Three new terrain parks – The Beginner, The Progression and The Main – will debut this season. Currently the Twister Park has several features available.


Mother Nature’s cooperation will give Bristol Mountain, the facility that produced Olympic skiers Diann Roffe and AJ Kitt, the opportunity to have necessary base depths to conduct their snow sports camps. The first occurs Dec. 30–Jan. 2, followed by another Feb. 17-20. Sign-ups are now taking place.


The early season conditions got Bristol Mountain off to a great start in their 50th year of operation, one that began earlier than planned. Surfaces were so good they beat their intended Thanksgiving Day opening by two days.


Winter Storm Cleon is expected to make its way across the country this week, impacting virtually the entire lower 48. As it comes across the Great Lakes, that lake effect snow machine may get no rest.


The Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a long, arduous winter for the Northeast. If the start is any indication, it won’t be arduous at all. 


Photo: Opening Day at Holiday Valley (Holiday Valley)

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