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

Slopeside with Nick Borelli: Smugglers' Notch

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Little natural snow, up and down temps: the weather this season just isn't cooperating for skiers.

Lately, locals like Lena Freed have been spending more time at their favorite coffee shop than hitting the slopes.

"There were like two good weeks where I got to go like four times a week, and right now I haven't gone in three weeks, and in the beginning of the season I didn't start going until like February," said Lena.

Instead, she's been going on lots of winter hikes.

Lena made the decision not to ski very much this season.

Judging from the lack of crowds at Smugglers' Notch on Tuesday, she's not the only one staying off of the slopes. 

"Numbers have been down a little bit from last year, and we relate that to the amount of snow that we've had," said Steve Clockey, Smugglers' Notch. 

On Tuesday, Smuggs had 59 of 78 trails open, enough to attract some folks to the slopes.

"My family has owned a place for about 30 years, so we're up here on school vacation," said Sarah White from Boston. 

For Sarah and her family, Smuggs is a special place.

"It feels really organic. It feels like home. And I think it does a great job of allowing small kids to ski," said Sarah.

Reporter Nick Borelli: I bet you'd rather be here than in school, right?

Kids: Yes, yes!

On Tuesday morning, many ski areas finally got a few inches of snow. But things are still not great. We have some rain falling now and some heavier rain is possible for a period during the evening hours, and basically this is the last holiday period of the season. And each one has been pretty weak for many ski areas because the weather has been so challenging. On top of that, no big snowstorms are in sight. 

Snow surfaces are soft but choppy, almost like spring. A few turns in and your legs feel it.

"It's heavy powder. These guys are working hard to turn but it's fun," said Mathilde Ross, Massachusetts.

"It's heavy. Kind of mashed potatoes. But there's not really any ice up there. And it's kind of a thigh burner workout coming down," said Sarah.

It's now mid-February and the slopes don't look like it. Thin bases and bare spots exist.

Although we have yet to see a major snowfall, some aren't ready to throw in the towel on this season just yet

"I'm an optimist. I'm holding on, I'm making the most of it. I'm just happy to be outside," said Sarah.

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