CLAYSBURG - Craig Gibson stooped down Friday afternoon to help his son, Tyler, 9, strap into his snowboard, as fresh snow from a nearby snow cannon blanketed the area.
Gibson and his family from Vinco visited Blue Knob All Seasons Resort for the first time this season. Heavy snowfall from Wednesday's storm convinced the family to visit the mountain, and they were not disappointed, Gibson said.
"Great weather," Gibson said. "For the first week [of snowfall], it's great up here."
Mirror photo by Zach Geiger
Craig Gibson of Vinco helps his son, Tyler, 9, strap into his snowboard at Blue Knob All Seasons Resort on Friday.
Ski resorts across the region welcomed the return of winter weather and fresh powder ahead of the New Year's weekend.
"It's excellent. We got a foot of fresh powder in that last storm," Blue Knob spokeswoman Christine Perkins said.
About 25 runs were open to skiers and snowboarders as of Friday afternoon, Perkins said. Crews will continue to make snow throughout the weekend as the weather permits, she said.
"Right now, whenever the temperature is perfect, we're blowing snow," Perkins said.
Seasonal skiers and those just learning to ski or snowboard for the first time all took advantage of the conditions at Blue Knob.
Rebecca and George Troutman of Altoona spent the afternoon practicing their snowboarding skills at the resort.
The couple purchased snowboards for each other as Christmas gifts. Although just beginners, both said they fell much less than they had originally anticipated.
"Actually, it wasn't too bad," George Troutman said.
The couple said the mountain was covered in fresh powder and relatively little ice Friday afternoon - something both snowboarding "newbies" enjoyed, George Troutman said.
Carl and Amy Remling of Gaithersburg, Md., made the drive up to Blue Knob Friday morning with their two teenage children.
"So far, the mountain is really nice," Amy Remling said.
The couple, both novice skiers, said they decided to visit Blue Knob for the first time after checking online snow reports - and after their two children demanded it, Amy Remling said.
"If it wasn't for them, we probably wouldn't be here," she said.
"These are pretty advanced trails," Carl Remling added.
Wednesday's storm and lower temperatures allowed area ski resorts to blanket their runs with fresh snow.
Crews at Seven Springs Mountain Resort used every opportunity available to make snow, Seven Springs spokeswoman Anna Weltz said.
After Wednesday's storm dumped about 7 inches of fresh snow on the mountain, the resort opened 15 slopes, trails and a couple of terrain parks ahead of New Year's Eve, Weltz said.
Many resorts said today's forecast could bring an additional 3 or 4 inches of fresh powder to the slopes.
"We're doing very well," Hidden Valley Resort spokeswoman Laura Argenbright said. "It set us up for a very nice holiday week."
"We've been able to make snow consistently," and 26 of the resort's 29 slopes and trails were open as of Friday, Argenbright said.
Tussey Mountain crews took advantage of the resort's new snow-making cannons to cover the mountain during the week, spokesman Aaron Weyman said.
"Right around Christmas, it got cold and we started making some snow," Weyman said. "That was great - we got about 10 inches out here."
While a lack of snowfall slowed ski and snowboard businesses across the region last year, Weyman said the colder temperatures and snowfall predictions for this afternoon would allow crews to keep fresh powder on the slopes.
"It's looking much better," Weyman said.
Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.