How unseasonably warm weather impacts Granite Peak Ski Area - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

How unseasonably warm weather impacts Granite Peak Ski Area

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RIB MOUNTAIN (WAOW) -

It's December and skiers are hitting the slopes in some unseasonably warm weather. Families and friends tested out Granite Peak's snow on Sunday, their new equipment, yielding positive results. 

"I'm having a great day, the sun's out, the food's good, conditions are great, it's absolutely perfect," said Mark Smith, an experienced skier and Rib Mountain resident. 

But with the weather warmer than usual this month, the ski park can't make more snow, for now. 

"You don't need a face mask, you barely even need a hat," said Chris Pingel, Granite Peak Ski Director. "November was actually colder than most Novembers so we were able to get a really good start. The start of December is definitely a little bit warmer than other starts but as of next week things get rather cold and look like they stay cold for a while so that's good for us." 

Pingel said it has to be 28 degrees or cooler outside to make snow. However, the weather on Sunday was just right for beginners.

"As for skiing, it just makes the snow a little bit more forgiving. You can go a little bit slower, you can carve a little bit harder," Pingel said. 

The higher temperatures may keep them from opening more runs, but a lot of people are enjoying what's currently available.

"I think the warmer weather gets people inspired to get outside," said Smith. "The snow is good, they groom it every night. It's not icy, it's not hard to ski on so it's nice."

Granite Peak employees said they might be able to start making snow again on Tuesday. 

"Things are looking really good for the Christmas holidays," said Pingel. 

Granite Peak's Ski for Youth class also kicked off for students ranging in experience and including first-timers. 

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