WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 20, 2009, 10:20 PM

Ski Lodge Races to Make Snow

Frost Fire Ski Area in Walhalla is working around the clock to make enough snow to open all of the runs.

By: Joel Porter, WDAZ

A frigid December with not much snow cover has an area ski lodge scrambling to cover the mountain with a thick base of powder.

Frost Fire workers in Walhalla have been working around the clock making enough snow before they can open every single run on the hill.

You'd think that the staff would be happy with all the sub-zero days we've had recently, but they say it's actually slowed the snow making progress.

As boarders strapped in to head down the hill this afternoon, thick snow began to fall, just what the staff at Frost Fire was hoping for.

"Depending on how long it lasts, if we get maybe 10 inches, it'll help quite a bit, but if its less of a snowfall, we'll have to run the machines," Frost Fire snow crew member Shane Gempler said.

Shane Gempler and the rest of the snow crew have been working around the clock trying to get all of the ski runs covered with nearly three feet of snow.

"It's kind of crunch time to get everything done and there's quite a few people that want to come out but if it gets too crowded the people won't come out so we need to get all the runs open," Gempler said.

But they say they're already under the gun. The holiday break is starting, which is typically the peak of ski season in Walhalla.

"The Christmas break always brings out a lot more people so everybody gets a little busy with Christmas shopping and doing everything else in December, but once Christmas is over, people are out a lot more," Jeff Scott, an area snowboarder from Manitoba said.

Right now, only one of the two lifts is up and running, but Gempler says they hope to have all of the runs finished by the end of next week, which is music to the ears of both snowboarders and skiers.

"I really want all of them open because these few that are open are getting kind of boring," Christian Johnson, a snowboarder from Langdon said.

"Not all the runs are open, but the ones that are open are in really good shape," Scott said.

This past Friday began the marathon shift for the Frost Fire lodge.

They're now open every day until January 3rd with the exception of Christmas Day.