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Hickory Ski Center's slopes may open Saturday

Two fans of classic downhill skiing enjoy the experience of traveling through “Paul’s Peril,” one of the glades maintained at Warrensburg’s Hickory Ski Center in addition to their open trails and slopes.

Two fans of classic downhill skiing enjoy the experience of traveling through “Paul’s Peril,” one of the glades maintained at Warrensburg’s Hickory Ski Center in addition to their open trails and slopes. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Staring into his computer monitor Friday Feb. 8, Jeremiah Greco of Hickory Ski Center was scrutinizing information on 10 different websites, one after another. For weeks, the classic ski venue has been poised to open for 2013, waiting for enough snow to accumulate on the slopes and in their glades.

“We now have forecasts of 9 to 17 inches, and our slopes need 14 inches of this light and dry snow to open,” he said. “Hopefully this storm system coming in dumps a lot on us — we’ve been itching to get open.”

Greco said that Hickory is bringing in its staff early Saturday morning, with the expectation that the historic ski venue will open for 2013.

Skiers are asked to either check the website as early as 7:30 a.m. Saturday or call (518) 623-5754 to see if enough snow indeed fell on Hickory Hill for skiing to occur.

If so, Hickory will be hosting its Ski History Fest, which features half-price lift tickets for skiers wearing retro or vintage clothing — get out your ski outfits from the 1930s, bell-bottom pants or plaid slacks and let the judges at the ticket window get an eyeful, Greco said.

Also scheduled with sufficient snowfall is a Lollipop Race for all ages — a light-hearted competition — will be held beginning at noon Saturday Feb. 9.

Regardless of the snow’s depth, Hickory’s lodge and cafe will be open, with food and socializing assured.

Having received dozens of inquiries recently about when Hickory will open, Greco said he hoped that enough snow will fall Friday night to launch the season. Hickory has become a favored destination for skiers seeking a vintage skiing experience, for which the historic venue has acquired an enviable reputation.

Greco said he’s hoping for a thick blanket of snow so more skiers can discover the classic skiing that features spectacular vistas, natural snow, challenging slopes and winding trails that Hickory has earned a reputation for among skiing purists.

Citing it as a charming throwback to 1950s skiing experience, one website has rated it among the top 10 skiing destinations in New York State.

“We’re hoping to see a lot of happy snowy faces coming off the mountain mid-day tomorrow,” Greco said.

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