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In spite of warm temps, ski conditions surprisingly good

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 12 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 04:25:57 AM CST

Warm weather hits ski resorts

PALMERTON, Pa. -

Not everyone is thrilled about our warmer weather.  In spite of heavy fog and temperatures near 50 degrees, skiers say conditions are surprisingly good on the slopes.

Alice Luo snapped on her snow boots and made the trek from New York City to hit the slopes at Blue Mountain on Sunday.

"It's winter vacation for school right now," she said.

She wasn't expecting the soupy fog though.

"You can't really see in front of you," said Luo.

"It's crazy!", added Kevin Keith of Point Pleasant, N.J.

Michelle Bergman of Short Hills, N.J., said she could barely see on the slopes.

"We just try to keep our eyes on where the kids are and keep up with them," she said.  "It is without a doubt the blind leading the blind."

On top of the fog are unseasonably warm temperatures.

"It's a little foggy, warmer than we typically like," said Blue Mountain general manager Jim Dailey.

Blue Mountain hasn't been able to make snow in almost a week, but Dailey said the mountain still has good coverage.  Skiers said the conditions are surprisingly good.

"It's real soft, it's not icy," said Keith.  "It's still fun."

Luo agreed. 

"The snow's kind of slushy, which makes it -- I mean, it's good and bad," she said.  "It's slippery and it's kind of heavy, but because it's so loose, it's easier to stop."

With temperatures expected to plunge next week, resorts are hoping to get their base back up.  And it doesn't matter if we get snow with the cold.  Believe it or not, Dailey said drier weather is actually best for snow making.

"The snow is just able to crystalize a lot better, because humidity creates warmth in the air," he said.

As you might expect, attendance numbers are way down.  A typical snowy weekend can bring out as many as 12,000 skiers. On  Sunday, Blue Mountain got about 15 percent of that.