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

Slopeside: Stratton

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Dan Kasman of New York started coming to Stratton decades ago.

"I came as a kid, probably 35 years ago," he said.

These days, he comes to Stratton on family ski vacations. On this day, Dan's daughter Phoebe and her friend Jessica are getting a lesson.

"Well, I got better at my hockey stops," Phoebe said.

"It's important," Dan said. "I think that kids learn a lot better when they're not with their parents, quite frankly. And they've done really well in the lessons."

January is Learn to Ski and Ride Month, and coming off a strong New Year's Week, it's off to a good start.

"It was definitely one of the busiest weeks we've seen in quite a while," said Ian Bruso of Stratton. "Really awesome. Exciting. Lots of people here, especially the Wednesday to Sunday stretch. We did thousands of lessons."

Last weekend, Stratton's slopes were filled with the New Year's crowd. This weekend, there will be some extra people for another reason, the 24 hours of Stratton.

"An epic opportunity to ski at Stratton over 24 hours, as long as or little as you want into the night. We light up the trails and people have been raising money to help the Stratton Foundation," said Tammy Mosher of the Stratton Foundation.

The nonprofit organization raises money for children and families living in poverty in southern Vermont. This event will raise about $200,000 this year.

"I love the idea of helping great causes through activities that people love to do," Dan said.

The 300 participants in the 24 hours of Stratton will be logging lots of time on the slopes on good conditions. Despite the rain and wintry mix that occurred earlier this week, the combination of a little natural snow, snowmaking and grooming is bringing snow surfaces back to life.

"The snow is really nice," Dan said. "We've got a little fresh snow overnight, so it's really nice. It's a little hardpack underneath, but overall the conditions are great."

Conditions this weekend shouldn't change too much, as the weather will be cooperating. We'll just have some colder temperatures to deal with, and you'll need an extra layer. And that's for all skiers, whether you're participating in the 24 hours of Stratton or not.

Skiing is about having a good time.

"It's just my passion," Dan said. "I love it."

And with pleasant conditions that won't be hard to do this weekend.

If you head to the 24 hours of Stratton this weekend, be on the lookout for some familiar faces. Channel 3 has our very own ski team participating.

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