BLANDFORD, Mass. (WWLP)– It’s an itch Western Massachusetts skiers, like Carol Smith from West Springfield, have been eager to scratch: “You have to get out! It’s the only thing that passes the winter is to get out in the fresh air, nobody can find you, you’re up skiing with the wind at your back, it’s awesome,” Smith said.
With little natural snow this winter and warmer temperatures in December, local skiers have had to wait longer than usual to feel that fresh air out on the Blandford Ski Area slopes.
“Very frustrating. You want to get going come December and you know you want to get started,” Peter Carne, from Southwick, said.
But now the waiting is over. Friday morning, the Blandford Ski Area opened for the first time this winter.
Those running the ski area told 22News that uncooperative winter weather has made it a challenge to get to this opening day, but now that the temperatures have dropped that they are busy making snow as often as they can.
Blandford Ski Area board members told 22News that they need temperatures consistently in the teens for optimal snow making weather.
Lisa Masciadrelli runs the ski area’s lessons department. She told 22News that ideally, they would have wanted to be open for the start of this week’s school vacation.
“We’re going to be out here making snow so everybody can come up here. It’s a big week for us so we’ve lost out on part of it but we’re ready to make the second half of the school vacation week and the rest of the ski season perfect for everyone,” Masciadrelli said.
She also said in the 25 years the ski area has been operating, this is not the first weather challenge they have faced.
The Blandford Ski Area is run by the Springfield Ski Club, which is the longest continually-running ski club in the nation.