Mother Nature delivered a blast of fresh powder as a pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm struck the East, much to the delight of holiday skiers.
The storm unleashed several inches of snow from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York through much of New England on Wednesday into Thursday. Snow totals topped a foot in the higher elevations of western Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Wildcat Mountain, located in New Hampshire, had its summit high-speed quad open earlier than scheduled on Thanksgiving morning, with skiers and riders pumped to hit the slopes.
"Skiers and riders were enjoying Thanksgiving Day skiing and great early season conditions when 14-16 inches of new snow fell from a storm that began Wednesday afternoon and ended early Thursday morning," Thomas Prindle, director of marketing for Wildcat Mountain, said.
Ahead of the storm, conditions were already ripe for snowmaking and good ski conditions, with more than 25 percent of Wildcat's terrain open. The open terrain includes seven trails, 56 acres or 3.6 miles, including New Hampshire's longest trail, Polecat. Cold weather this season has been favorable for snowmaking, Prindle noted.
"Conditions should be great for the Thanksgiving Day weekend and I'm hoping many will take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some remarkably good early season skiing and riding," Prindle said.
At Killington Resort, located in Vermont, a fresh foot of snow fell from the storm.
"The snow is great - light enough powder to easily throw around, but wet enough to make a great base for the season ahead," Michael Joseph, communications/PR manager of Killington Resort, said. "We couldn't have asked for a better storm this early."
On Thanksgiving, Killington had 36 trails open with more expected to open through the holiday weekend as a result of snowmaking, grooming and additional lifts opening, Joseph said, adding that bookings were slightly up for Thanksgiving weekend this year compared to last.
"It's a great start to what we expect to be a very snowy winter and a fun season," Joseph said.
Many ski resorts across the Northeast took to social media to give thanks for the fresh powder in time for the holiday weekend.
It's a mighty fine morning here at the Loaf. #theloaf pic.twitter.com/gwPYC7gtCX— Sugarloaf Mountain (@SugarloafMaine) November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving! 8" of fresh snow and sunshine gives us plenty to be thankful for! 21 trails, 139 acres 2 lifts pic.twitter.com/SCP8RMUdzY— Loon Mountain (@loonmtn) November 27, 2014
#Whiteface says thanks to #lakeeffect #snow. #SkiTheFace #Newschoolers #WhitefaceMountain #SkiTheEast #ISpyNY #winterishere #LakePlacid #November #photooftheday
A #snow storm on day 2!? We have a good feeling about this season. #Letswinter #Skitheeast pic.twitter.com/7mbFrU9ASm— Stratton Mountain (@StrattonResort) November 27, 2014