Well, they are really trying at least. I would have really liked for a good cold snap after the rain, like lows in the 10s. The historically early open has been shut down by rain.
I really hope it's a cold and snowy Christmas vacation for everyone. These ski hills in the midwest really need it. Even if they make snow, people don't realize it's open unless it's cold and snowing outside. It's the make it or break it time of year. And when it costs so much to make snow, a successful Christmas and New Years season will give all the season pass holders, like me, lots of freshly blown snow and a lot more effort put into the hill.
Alpine Valley had a craft show last Saturday. It feels like whenever they try and do one of these events, the weather is not in their favor.
The last couple years have been rough. If we could get a good snow storm sometime after December 15th or so, and it sticks, a lot of people would be very happy.
So far this season has been very annoying. I missed the early opening because I was visiting my parents. And because of the early cold, I spent time doing leaves and other stuff before I could really start shredding. And now the hill is closed today. Thankfully they are opening for Wednesday, but I really hope this is not a sign of things to come. We have had too many winters where it warms up, gets wet, rains, and then gets annoying cold the last few years. It's been a horrible cycle and it's been very rough on snowboarders, skiiers, and snowmobiliers in SE Wisconsin. I imagine a lot of other people are in similar situations where they couldn't take advantage of the early cold and snow, and now that they got prepared for Winter it's on a short hiatus for some of us further south.
Quality of blown snow really gets a lot better when it's colder. It starts at 28 degrees wet bulb temp, but the closer you get to zero, the more natural the snow ends up. Less ice, smaller flakes, etc. It's never like natural snow, which is good. 12 inches of natural powder will groom out to only a few inches of skiiable stuff. Man made stuff compacts very well and is much more resilient to water and warm temps.
AV did good blowing a ton of snow very early. I worry about these other hills that skipped the early November cold and waited to blow. After that cold, there hasn't been any really great times to blow snow. To open, you usually need 48 hours of below 28 degrees, colder the better. We haven't really gotten that. And to be honest, if it weren't for that cold snap, I don't think they could have saved that hill. I know other places like Wilmot are struggling to be open. And looking at the forecast, while Alpine Valley had a record early opening, it looks like the ones that didn't take advantage of it will be having one of their latest openings ever. It's been a tough fall for midwest ski resorts.