Slopeside with Nick Borelli: Stratton - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Slopeside with Nick Borelli: Stratton

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Even though temperatures soared to around 50 degrees a few days ago, ski areas have a lot of open terrain. Stratton has 95 trails and is still skiing on most of them.

"We got about 30 inches right after Christmas, plus acres and acres of feet that our snowmakers produced for us. So, our bases held up really well," said Meryl Robinson of Stratton.

Photographer Mark Clement and I were pleasantly surprised by the amount of snow left on the mountain.

Now that the thaw has passed, snowmaking and grooming are bringing surfaces right back to life.

Mark and Emmons Hahn of Mountain Lake, N.J., said the skiing was good and Stratton does a fantastic job of making snow.

Snow surfaces are already very edgeable.

"It's almost like corn snow, I think they call it. It's just soft enough you can carve in it," said Nina Krasser of Columbia, Conn.

Andy Hopping of Londonderry and Barbara Wright of Manchester said the snow was sort of fast and the skiing was very good.

With more cold weather and snow in the forecast, conditions will continue to improve through the Martin Luther King Weekend. This Saturday is also the start of National Winter Safety Awareness week. Stratton is doing several things to recognize it.

"We try to step up our patrol presence on the mountain by adding patrollers to the slow zones. We add a few signs at the top of the busy trails and we also have a safety booth in the lodge so we can educate people on ways to be safer on the mountain," said Kayte Suslavich of Stratton Ski Patrol.

With MLK weekend upon us, the mountains may be a bit busier than normal. It's important for skiers and riders to use the slopes wisely to avoid injuries.

"If people slow down it helps a lot. Also if you remember that the downhill skier has the right of way, so you avoid hitting someone who can't see you coming," Suslavich said.

And of course it's important to always wear a helmet. By following these simple tips, skiers and riders will be able to safely enjoy carving through the mountains.

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