Watch CBS News

With Colder Weather Coming In, Skiers Get Ready To Hit The Slopes

MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Record warmth at the end of 2015 has meant no snow and no ability to make snow, making this bitter blast  a welcome gift in the Poconos.

Ski lifts are finally moving at Camelback Mountain, as crews test and de-ice them. It's a small sign of progress, but skiers know it means they'll soon be able to hit the slopes, CBS2's Elise Finch reported.

"I'm ecstatic that the resorts are able to open soon," Joseph Cohn, a skier, said.

Camelback Mountain typically opens to skiers the second week of December. The last two years it's opened the day after Thanksgiving.

There are nearly 200 snow-making machines operating around the clock to get Camelback Mountain ready for its delayed opening weekend.

MORE: Best Places For Winter Workout Gear In NYC

"The snow that's man-made isn't some chemical, it's not some mystery concoction -- it's water and air, the same thing mother nature produces,"Dru Brooks, of Camelback Mountain said. "We just give it a little bit of a boost."

"We've really been able to pile up the snow -- the strategy is to make it as deep as you can, then we come in with the snow cats which will basically groom the snow out, so it's spread out evenly," Brooks added.

Justin Heller is a lift operations attendant and avid skier. He says he's never been happier to do his job.

"Having to look at dead grass and dead trees, no snow in the area -- it's kind of been a bummer," Heller said. "But finally seeing snow being made and opening up on Thursday will be a blast." 

Camelback officials say they require a 12-24 inch base of snow before they open a trail. Only 13 of their 34 trails will open to skiers on Thursday morning.

In New Jersey, nearly three dozen snow guns are being deployed at Campgaw Mountain, as officials plan to open up to skiers on Thursday.

"We have a foot of snow covering everything, we can be open," Campgaw manager Robert Fuhr told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Fuhr said this is the latest start he can remember in 25 years.

"We usually on average get open by the middle of December," he said.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.