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There's still skiing in Connecticut -- thanks to snowmaking

Thanks to the return to colder weather this week, ski areas are bouncing back from the warmth and rain on New Year's.

NEW HARTFORD, Conn. — For those who enjoy winter sports, it’s been a challenging winter in southern New England.

New Year’s weekend brought rain and temperatures in the 50s. Ski areas, including Ski Sundown in New Hartford, closed for three days after ringing in 2022.

Sundown reopened Tuesday with trails fresh with packed powder, all thanks to snowmaking.

RELATED: Icy spots possible Wednesday morning; On the WEATHER WATCH for Friday snow

Owner Bob Switzgable has weathered good and bad winters. He’s been the owner of Ski Sundown for 20 years. The mountain’s been open for 50.

Switzgable, more than just a casual observer of the weather, credits La Nina, known for warmer and sometimes wetter winters in the east.

Snowmaking is essential in a winter like this one. Otherwise, they’d be out of luck. Now that the cold has arrived, the snow guns have been running non-stop.

“We went for 40 hours straight,” between Monday and Tuesday morning, according to Switzgable.

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Ski Sundown typically opens the first or second week of December. It was a late opening this year, but now 10 of its 16 trails are open.

“It’s pretty great, honestly I didn’t expect it to be this good,” said Jack Caiola, of Ridgefield.

Before heading back to school after winter break, he and a friend hit the slopes Tuesday.

“I haven’t snowboarded in a year and I’m just learning… the snow is nice, it’s great,” according to Will Hooker of Ridgefield.

RELATED: Storm misses Connecticut, but the coldest night since last winter on the way

But even with advanced snowmaking technology, cold is still required. Fortunately for skiers, it looks like cold weather will be more persistent in the days ahead, allowing ski areas to maintain and even expand their available terrain.

There may even be a bit of natural snow on Friday, and even if it doesn’t amount to a ton, it will be cold enough to make snow through much of next week.

“Starting next week, we’re going to bury the place,” Switzgable told FOX61.


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