First snow of season hits local ski resort

Somerset County, Pa. - The first snow of the season hit Seven Springs Mountain Resort Sunday night.

"It's chilly up here, I'm glad I wore my coat today," said Katie Buchan, the communications manager for Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort.

"We got about an inch. It was just enough to cover the mountain. There was a clear difference with the summit of the mountain getting a lot of snow and as you went down towards the base it was a lot less," Buchan said.

Snow in October is not uncommon, according to Lorrie Matisko who has lived on the mountain for 15 years.

"We put our porch furniture under tarps. Our rule is: always before Halloween. It held true," Matisko said.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort employees said they don't think Sunday night's snow will stick around. They need to wait for five consecutive days with temperatures at or below 28 degrees, in order to make enough snow to open the slopes for the winter season.

"People think once it gets below 30 degrees you can make snow. You can make snow, but it's at a smaller rate so it's not enough to have a big enough base. We really need several days in the 20's to make enough snow to do anything with," said Kirk Russel, Mountain Manager at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

Once it's cold enough to fire up the snowmaking machines, workers said they will be able to keep the slopes open, even if the mountain sees warmer days.

"Any time we have the opportunity to make snow, we do. We can then create stockpiles of snow, so if we do see a warm spell we continue to refresh the slopes even when the weather isn't perfect," Buchan said.

Resort workers will be keeping a close eye on the forecast. They hope the weather gets cold in time for skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes around Thanksgiving.

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