EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Saturday marked the first full day of skiing and snowboarding at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter since last weekend’s warm weekend threatened to demolish their snow base.
“We’re happy winter is back,” General Manager Tracy Hartman said.
It’s kind of a necessity at a ski area like Yawgoo, especially in Southern New England where time is the enemy.
“We have a short season so it’s important for us to get as many days in as we can,” Hartman said.
But for those days to be optimal Hartman says they need something that is sometimes viewed as negative.
“We need so much cold weather and the colder it is and the lower the dew points and humidity, the more snow we can make,” she said.
So when Hartman saw this storm system out west headed our way, bringing snow and cold air with it, she was ecstatic. And so were the skiers and snowboarders at Yawgoo on Saturday.
“I’m glad that got some cold weather so they can make some snow,” Tom Giammalvo said.
“If I’m going to live in New England I’d prefer to be able to do some fun things in the wintertime,” Meghan Ollerhead said.
But winter sportsman have been held back from engaging in the season because of the unseasonable weather patterns we’ve been experiencing. Those patterns have also been affecting the bottom line at place such as Yawgoo by forcing them to close to try and preserve what little snow they had.
“The warm temperatures and the rain we’ve had, a lot of times when you put a groomer or you put your skiers and snowboarders on there, it opens the snow up. And this is a man-made snow, it opens it up to a little more melting,” Hartman said.
Four of the park’s twelve ski trails are open with hopes that number will increase each day. Snow tubing at the park remains closed for the long holiday weekend, but Hartman is optimistic this weekend’s snowfall and colder temperatures will help get it open soon.