Slopeside: Stowe - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Slopeside: Stowe

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STOWE, Vt. -

At 67, Steve Adams has made countless turns skiing at Stowe.

"I was born in Montpelier and so I always used to come up here since I was a kid," he said.

Adams skis about 65 days a year, enjoying retirement without lift lines.

"During the week, when it's less crowded," he said.

Last weekend, the crowds were larger than normal thanks to lots of snow.

"We had about 4,000 people here on the mountain on Saturday and that's about twice as much as we would have had on an early December day," said Jeff Wise of the Stowe Mountain Resort.

That's great news for the economy. After all, according to Ski Vermont, skiers directly spend $900 million in an average winter.

Conditions are simply spectacular for this time of the year. Powder and packed powder surfaces everywhere. No ice to be found.

"Conditions are excellent. Especially over here on the gondola," Adams said. "It's midwinter conditions all around. It's fantastic."

"Couldn't be better," said Leo Clark of Stowe. "For mid-December, as good as I can remember in a long time."

With more than 40 inches of snow falling in December, Stowe has about 87 trails open right now. That's about twice what they had at this time last year. And if you want to go out and enjoy all of this open terrain, just know there will be a big blast of arctic air coming Thursday and Friday, so you're going to want to layer up.

What a difference a year makes.

"There's no comparison," Adams said. "Last season, the snow was really marginal."

Underneath Stowe's FourRunner quad is the Liftline trail, a place you might catch WCAX News Photographer Tyson Foster doing his thing. Right now, it's covered in primarily natural snow, which is not the norm.

"Going into the season our snowmaking strategy was to open more terrain quicker. By moving the snowmaking operation from trail to trail versus stockpiling on a particular trail like Liftline and having that be set for the whole season," Wise said.

That strategy-- coupled with some help from Mother Nature-- has paid off. Skiers like Adams are stoked about the conditions and the number of open trails.

"When the skiing is good, I feel good," Adams said.

Now, skiers are just holding out hope that this wintry weather pattern continues in the weeks ahead.

Stowe anticipates opening even more terrain by Friday, when the Sensation quad at Spruce Peak will make its seasonal debut.

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