Many skiers have a mountain which they consider to be their home base -- their 'go to'. "It's my favorite place to ski. I've been skiing here for 25 years," said Alison Montgomery of Montreal.
For Montgomery that place is Smugglers' Notch. It's where she learned to ski. Today she can't get enough of the varied terrain. "I ski everywhere. The whole mountain -- off trail, on trail, backcountry, everything," she said.
But this week she's joined by lots of other Canadians who are on holiday -- Canadians like Rocky Zemmit. The Caledon, Ontario-native visits for the family friendly atmosphere that Smuggs is known for. "The kids really enjoy it. We were at the pool yesterday after the ski -- did a little bit of hot-tubing -- it was nice," Zemmit said.
Zemmit's son, Lucas, says the trip down to the states is worth it. "Just the height of the mountain, because where I'm from we've got those small hills, so this is definitely a great change of scenery," he said.
Smugglers' Notch is nearly 100-percent open. Surely the $3 million worth of snowmaking investments in the past three years has something to do with it. Snow surfaces on the mountain are currently a mix of packed powder and hard pack. But throw those skis on edge and you can still get a pretty good grip. "Better since it snowed last night. It was really fast over the weekend, but it's holding up pretty well," Montgomery said.
"The snow conditions are very nice -- little to no ice. The moguls are a little icy in places, but that's to be expected," said Conor McKenna of Deep River, Ontario.
And if we have just a little patience, conditions will get even better. Already Smugglers' Notch has received a little bit of fresh snow and that's helping to soften up snow surfaces. But by the middle of the week more than a foot of snow is possible in some of the mountains and that's making skiers really happy. "I feel that I've gotta get to sleep early the night before so that I'll have energy to go through it," Zemmit said.
The added snow will provide an added base for spring skiing and -- if we're lucky -- might even extend the season a little bit. "We have a tentative closing date of Mid-April, but with the conditions that we have now -- and temperatures -- we can keep on going as long as Mother Nature helps us out," said the resort's Steven Clokey.
If that season gets extended, you can bet that some die hard skiers will be on the mountain. "I skied until the end of April last year.
Reporter Nick Borelli: So you're planning to do it again?
Alison Montgomery: Absolutely.
If this weather pattern keeps up, a lot of area resorts could see an extended ski season, but it's too early to know for sure, just yet.
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