Snow guns coat the slope at Mount Pisgah as skiers anxiously await the chance to use the new T-Bar lift (pictured).
Photo by Keith Lobdell.
Saranac Lake The temperatures are getting colder, but the snow remains away.
Fortunately for the village-operated Mount Pisgah, they only need one of those ingredients.
Snow guns at the ski mountain have been going non-stop since temperatures dipped Dec. 28, working to build up a base for what manager Charlie Martin hopes is a Jan. 3 opening.
“All we can really do is make the base,” Martin said. “We will be making snow right through the weekend.”
This is the second year the ski season has been delayed due to warm temperatures and lack of natural snowfall, but the first where the mountain was not open for Christmas vacation, a popular time for local skiing.
“Last year, we opened on Dec. 23 and then had to close the first week of January,” Martin said. “We were able to be open for this week and then closed right after when the temperatures went up.
“That is the unfortunate part about this year,” Martin added. “This time last year, we had people lined up around the building to get their season’s pass. When you lose a big week, you can’t recover that.”
Martin said things are starting to look up as the weather forecast shows a chance for consistent snowmaking and several big events still remain on the mountain’s calendar.
“This week has been the first real viable week of snowmaking day and night,” Martin said. “The biggest event that we have coming up is the Winter Carnival that also includes the 5K snowshoe race as part of the Empire State Games. There is also our race season at the mountain and the arctic barbecue.”
While things are looking up in terms of what may be coming down from the sky, Martin did say that he does not have a personal connection with Mother Nature.
“We get calls every day asking if we are open,” he said. “We don’t control the weather.”
There is a lot of anticipation for the season to start.
“We have new trails opening up, and everyone wants to try out the new (T-bar) lift,” he said. “It’s one of those things that is so unique, people want to try it out.”
For updates and information on conditions at Mount Pisgah, visit the website www.saranaclakeny.gov, and click on the Mount Pisgah Ski Center link at the bottom of the page.