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Abnormally Mild Weather Taking Toll On Local Snow-Less Ski Areas

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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Without a lot of snow or cold weather this winter, slopes, like here at Nashoba Valley, are bare.

Without a lot of snow or cold weather this winter, slopes, like here at Nashoba Valley, are bare.

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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WESTFORD (CBS) – Unusually mild temperatures have become a challenge for some local ski areas.

They’re dreaming of a white Christmas as they struggle to open up trails and make snow to get the season going.

At Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, they’ve been able to open seven trails, begin lessons for the season, and plan to open their tubing hill, but it’s been a slow start.

“Mother nature has not blessed us with cold temperatures. I’ve been doing the snow dance nightly,” said owner Pat Fletcher.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

With grassy surfaces, some trails look more like spring on the first day of winter.

“When there are jumps you know the season is starting,” said snow boarder Billy Sullivan, making do with the limited snow. “At least you’re not going to get injured too much because the snow is soft.”

A nighttime temperature of 10 degrees is considered optimal for snow-making, but temperatures have mostly stayed in the 20’s at night reducing the snow guns’ effectiveness.

“We had to dig and trench to divert water off the trail,” said Keith Kreischer of Nashoba Valley, who says the rain this week hasn’t helped keep a base of snow.

Still they’re trying to do a lot with a little, and because the ski area is smaller than some northern resorts, one night of snow-making can make all the difference.

“We can take bare ground and cover it with snow, with the right temperature, in one night and open the next day,” said Fletcher.

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