Shawnee on Delaware, Monroe County: Cold temperatures and our first measurable natural snow of the season make for lots of fun to be had outdoors this weekend. Meteorologist Les Still headed to Shawnee Mountain in eastern Monroe County for a special ride on the slopes.
Transforming a clearing in the woods on a mountain into a great ski slope is the job of the snow groomers. Two of these machines work all night to have the ski slopes at Shawnee fresh and ready for skiers and snowboarders each morning. With out them, it's just a pile a snow sitting on the slopes. Jeff Williams Mountains Operation Manager at Shawnee explains "Snow cats come along to groom it, shape it, push it to where it needs to go, and level it out. Basically we design the terrain. The snow gets dumped out there and we push it to where we want it to be."
Although not everyone enjoys a smooth flat slope. Snowboarders love the bumps and jumps. Shawnee has made it easier for beginner boarders to learn. Jim Tust, Adminastrative Manager at Shawnee, declared "This year we added a second terrain park on one of our novice runs. We call it the incubator. It's a good place where all the features and elements are at a lower skill level and allow those just getting started to learn."
So far this winter they've had to rely on man-made snow to cover the slopes. While the cold temperatures have been nice for that, it's been great now that we are starting to get some natural snow. That has been the icing on the cake as far as conditions on the trails are concerned. It's even helped get peoples mind-set back thinking more about coming out skiing.
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