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Hudson Valley ski season begins

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Albany/HV: Hudson Valley ski season begins
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The wait is over for skiers and snowboarders. Several of the Hudson Valley's ski resorts opened their doors this weekend. YNN's John Wagner trekked to Hunter Mountain to check out the snow.

HUNTER, N.Y. -- Just like last year, if you trek up to Windham, Belleayre, or Hunter Mountain, you won't need snow tires. Although mother nature didn't supply it, man-made powder is here and aplenty.

"If you didn't get here last year because you didn't think there was any snow, worry not, because there is snow at Hunter," said Pete Ashman, a regular Hunter mountain skier from Philadelphia.

The below average snowfall and temperatures a year ago forced a short ski season, leading to below average resort visits. But during the no-snow winter, the faithful still popped in.

"It's always good to get out on the slopes whenever you can, no matter what the conditions are," said Ashman. "To me, it's all down hill."

"We did really well last year, all things considered," said Trista Chiarulli, Hunter Mountain's marketing and communications manager. "All of the forecasts are showing a completely different winter from last year."

If you're thinking about skiing someday this winter, but don't see any snow out your backyard, the secret to Hunter Mountain and anywhere with powerful snow machines is the temperature matters more than the precipitation.

"Hunter Mountain has the ability to resurface fifty percent of it's trails in one night," said Chiarulli. "As long as the temperatures are cold enough to make snow, we'll start making it and we can have this mountain completely covered in nothing but man-made snow."

"The technology is getting better," said Brooklyn resident Simon Sheridan. "Hunter spends more money than anyone else on this, so they're ready."

Hunter's main ski trail is running from its 3,200 foot summit down to the 1,600 foot base. Exterior trails will continue to open as temperatures drop below freezing.

It's the beginning of the season," said Sheridan. "It's been a full summer. You've had no snow. You're probably itching to get out--it's worth it."

"We didn't go over any rocks, no grass the whole ride from top to bottom was covered in snow," said Tannersville resident Carli Gazoorian.

The mountain's ready, however, the skiers on the other hand. "I just like being with my friends and falling is fun," said one youngster from Kingston.

"There's no snow in the view," continued Manhattan resident Colin Hanna, "but as long as you're skiing on some, you're all right."

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