No Catskills skiing this weekend
By Jay Braman Jr.
On Monday it looked like there would be skiing at Belleayre Mountain this weekend. In a press release issued last Friday, Belleayre management said that cold weather had kick started their snowmaking operation and that they expected to open for the season on Saturday, Nov. 24.
But alas, it’s not going to happen.
At press time Tuesday, Belleayre’s General Manager Tom Tar told the Catskill Mountain News that they had just made the decision to throw in the towel on opening this weekend. “It doesn’t look good. We’re definitely not going to open,” he said.
Tar explained that, unfortunately, Belleayre is experiencing a weather condition known as a temperature inversion. “Its cold in valleys, but the cold air pushes the warm air up,” he said.
So, for Belleayre, while those in the lowlands are freezing these past few nights, up on the mountain it has been downright mild. The result? No snowmaking.
But Tar said they have everything ready to go, including new snow guns. All they need is that all-important final ingredient: cold weather.
Asked if he cared to offer another opening date target, Tar said, “When the fates allow.”
In fact, there will be no skiing anywhere in the region this holiday weekend.
Hunter Mountain spokesperson Trista Chiarulli said Tuesday that they too had high hopes of opening Saturday, and Hunter’s snowmakers were watching the weather very closely. However the recent warm up shut those hopes down.
Hunter has no opening date set at this time.
Windham has chosen to announce its intentions on Facebook with the following post on Monday. “Our eyes are fixed on the temperature gauge, waiting for the right weather window to fire up our snowmaking system, which is charged and ready to go. Our projected opening is December 8 (weather permitting), however we will absolutely open sooner pending Mother Nature’s cooperation! Hang tight skiers and riders - we will open as soon as possible!”
In Roxbury, Plattekill Ski Center has no opening date set yet.